Has it been 6 months again? Or closer to 2 this time? Every day the sun comes back around and I think: “It’s just one more day, you just have to make it through today.”
But being a hostage of capitalism throughout a literal pandemic has really taken it* out of me.
Stage 4 lockdown kind of slaps on a personal level, so I’m high-key stoked to be in it for another week. Aside from the work part, I resent that they’ll boast record breaking profits while telling staff how good we’re doing yet continue paying minimum wage. Sometimes I’ll be marking up prices while simultaneously cutting medical expenses because even with Medicare I can’t afford the out-of-pocket costs but you’re welcome, I guess?
It was re-contextualised for me a while ago when my father pointed out that profits are for investors;
- Not comprehensive staff training.
- Not living wages for employees.
- Not high quality products and/or services.
Investors who crave those sweet, sweet, unsustainable short-term profits and the perpetuation of poverty- not just for their own staff, but suppliers and manufacturers alike- that goes with it. It’s a systemic issue of devaluation which largely seems to boil down to: “Get a better job or die.” And a blatant refusal to acknowledge the inherent value in “unskilled” work- which has laughably been categorised as
expendable “essential” during the pandemic because- Surprise! Capitalism comes to a complete halt without it!
Remember: if you’re not paying for a product then you are the product- and as a product, if your monetary value is not enough to sustainably live on? You better believe you’re replaceable.
The ASUS N-Series I purchased back in 2013 died at the end of 2020. It hadn’t really occurred to me how much my savings had eroded until I looked at prices for an equivalent machine and cried. To be fair, December is an emotionally fragile time for me in general, so that might’ve been a timing thing, but who knows? Maybe I just loved that computer more than I’m capable of loving other humans?
Hallward dropped off a spare MSI a couple of weeks ago which has been a huge stress relief. Turns out I’ve come around to the idea of filling computers with colourful lights. No pics right now, but trust me when I say: This keyboard is Very Fun™.
Keyboard aside, at the risk of oversharing: I feel like a burden on society- there is not one thing I do which couldn’t reasonably be achieved by another person, and likely to a higher standard. Impostor Syndrome but for being alive, maybe? Bear with me here.
Things could be worse, for sure, I guarantee that things can definitely always be worse. (How much worse do they need to be before it’s socially acceptable to ask for help without judgement or repercussions?) They can also be better, and the possibility that there would be a majority better if I was not here? It’s difficult to ignore.
When the ASUS died I genuinely considered selling the rest of my design equipment to pay for a private neurologist to assess my spine for possible surgical intervention. If the pressure on my nerves could be reduced there’s a chance my hands could improve, but spine surgeries are risky so there’s also a chance that it’s inoperable, or at the very least that the risks may outweigh the benefits.
Besides overlooking the financial reality: I can only sell any given item once. Doing so would ultimately be a moot-point. Every bit as much as running out of savings, I can also run out of material resources.
Which just brings me back around to the fatigue of existing under capitalism; the concept of financial wealth equating to the inherent value of any given human life.
It isn’t that I don’t appreciate the kind things that people have done for me, but the guilt of having put people in that position? How do you work through that?
Tell me that things will get better, or at the very least that they have the potential to as long as I’m still alive, and I’ll still have the nerve to be ungrateful by suggesting the sentiment is difficult to believe without any tangible evidence.
But how could I presume to quantify a perspective as abstract as the concept of “better” ?
It’s difficult to plan for the future.
*“It” is my will to live.