Monthly Archives: May 2010

Experience so far…. -am I responsible for my life or what?

Well, what have I learned so far? American Social Services are something of a nightmare. Fingerprinted and photographed like a criminal, having a ton of paperwork and responsibilities incurred – all so I can be rejected for emergency money to secure an apartment, (I’m staying in a hunter’s cabin with a fireplace so I don’t have an emergency according to them).

It looks like I’ll sublet something for a month or two, see if I can manage to score a job. The problem being, of course, that a job isn’t hard to find – a job that pays more than minimum wage and isn’t just part time – That’s hard to find. I may go the temp route – which may pay well and be full time – for a week or two, unless I luck out and find an employer happy to pay the temp agency a premium to hire me over anyone else that doesn’t incur that added expense.

Which brings us to a new idea. In paradigms of power, which includes everything from Napoleon Hill to Hoodoo, but especially the former – there’s the critique that such ideas enable capitalist exploitation. Why? Because if I’m responsible, it’s MY fault the business that once employed me for tech support is now outsourcing to India to cut costs. In a nutshell, paradigms like Law of Attraction and Napoleon Hill – the focus on being responsible and thinking positive, it may involve not exposing yourself to ‘negative’ news, and taking responsibility for a situation where you’re screwed by an employer. Is such coaching therefore, enabling of capitalist exploitation? Am I, given I personally promote personal responsibility and even law of Attraction myself -a cog in this exploitive system?

The answer is paradoxical of course, because I am and am not all at the same time.

I lost my job because my employer did not consider the possibility of an economic downturn hurting his bottom line and, unprepared, had little choice. A better manager of an employer may have found a way to retain me, because I provided a lot of value with my artistic and technological skill sets. So in my specific example, taking responsibility for my life and moving on – it takes heat off my former employer.

Now there are other examples where heat is truly warranted. I once could count on a tech support position anytime I need a job, but those jobs dried up not because the cost was too much or the function unnecessary – but because people living in India, prisons and elsewhere could do it so much cheaper. The business paradigm of outsourcing really does MORE damage to American jobs than undocumented workers in the USA ever could! HEAT is warranted! I should be angry! This situation is not my fault!

To accomplish anything requires the leap of faith that it is even possible, this is where ‘positive thinking’ in its various forms becomes relevant. And then you turn to the news! Should you? What if the news is bad? Right now, often the news is VERY bad! Won’t that make you feel powerless, and defeat your efforts to believe in the possible?

So here’s the thing. You are powerful, I am powerful. If the News is bad – you are never powerless, you can vote, you can boycott, you can organize! And if you DO SOMETHING, you get to be powerful in the face of negativity! The news isn’t dis-empowering – it’s your apathetic response that is dis-empowering!

If I lose my job unjustly, of course there’s justice to pursue! But being miserable to justify the idea of being damaged by the injustice – that makes you weak and a victim! Being powerful is making sure your life turns out well and that justice prevails!

So, no – paradigms of power need not enable exploitation – not if the power is legitimate. Because exploitation is always threatened by power!

But also, very important to keep close to your heart:

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Can only go up from here….

Hi all,

So I’d been living with my uncle Dan on a farm in upstate NY. saving up money for me to relocate to ithaca NY, where the job situation is fairly decent compared to the rest of the nation.

And yesterday evening, an electrical fire started and the house, it went up in flames. My mac, my external hard drive with my last ten years of artwork and files, my comics in progress – my pet cat Aries – all up in flames!

And.. I’m essentially homeless now.

So, if I don’t post much for the next few weeks….

I’m okay, this laptop I’m typing on smells smokey, but it survived. Right now in a motel room paid for by Red Cross.

I’m going to see if I can score some kind of housing in Ithaca with social services and find a job. It’s relocating to Ithaca the hard way, but hey. I’m also going to pitch a business plan to the local credit union and see if they will extend a loan, it’s an interesting idea and I have the resume and skills to back it up!

I’m not giving up on this site, I’ll keep you posted.

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May 2010
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