Yesterday I wrote a post about the importance of reminding ourselves that there is beauty in the world. That despite all the horror and the sorrow and the Chris Wars, there remains a profusion of luminous wonders all around us. As we stagger through this life, meandering from defeat to victory and back again, we slowly come to realize a revolutionary truth: It’s all about perspective. Of course material reality cannot be denied, but nevertheless: The right mindset can move mountains.
The trouble is that it’s not always easy to cultivate the right mindset. The weight of cumulative defeats can eventually prove such a burden on a person so as to deprive them of the one thing they need to do so: Hope. Hope is the glimmer of light that we fight towards, inch by inch in the dark. Even when all around us is shrouded in black and the glimmer seems all too far away, as long as it’s there, in sight, humans have a breathtaking ability to keep on going. If it goes out, we are lost. So it’s crucial that we keep that fire lit.
Because that’s the secret: That glimmer of light, no matter how far away and removed from us it may seem and no matter how dependent we are on it, actually relies on us in order to stay aglow. It’s the symbiotic relationship at the heart of all human endeavors. We need hope, and it needs us. In order to make the world a better place we sometimes need to see some evidence of it being a good one already. That’s why I like to post these uplifting things once in a while. We need them to remember: There is so much good in this world if you look in the right direction. That’s what I was trying to say yesterday.
But today? Today I say: Well, scratch that. I take it all back. I’ve seen shit since then that’s changed my mind. The world sucks. Irredeemably so. There is no hope. The light went out. It was stomped out and covered in sand and pissed on by whoever wrote this job ad:
I mean. Is that a prank? Or an experiment? It’s gotta be. It just has to be. ‘Our slightly bonkers team of holiday heroes.’ What fucking c**t wrote that? This is an ad for a cleaning job. Cleaners are the backbone of our world. Without them, shit goes South real quick. Don’t fucking patronize them. It’s funny, because it might be tempting to give the ad the benefit of the doubt at first. Maybe ‘holiday heroes’ is a sincere term, and they’re acknowledging the back-breaking, vital work that cleaners do. It is tempting.
And then you get to this bit:
‘And who knows what else you may find yourself doing. As long as you’re happy to help even when it’s ‘not your job’, you’re our sort of person.’
Motherfucker, I will cut you. I will track down your parents in the suburbs and I will punch your father in the dick on the off chance there might be more of you in there. Then while he’s doubled over and moaning I’ll read to him the definition of a ‘job description’. Over and over again until he has it memorized word for word and he can recite it in his sleep. Until it’s all he can say. Then one day when you call him to ask why he missed the last payment on your fancy apartment that you took from the Asian family that had lived there for four generations in that formerly poor but now trendy, up-and-coming part of town that’s all he’ll be able to say in response to you. ‘A formal account of an employee’s responsibilities. A formal account of an employee’s responsibilities!’ he’ll blabber on and on until you start to cry and you hang up the phone in indignation and confusion. He ends up spending a lot of money on a specialist to try and rid him of his awful condition and suddenly he can’t afford to pay for your flat, or for the cleaners you have round every week. Meanwhile you’ve never lifted a hand in manual labour in your life so before long the Chinese takeaway boxes pile up to unbearable levels and when the council come round to evict you that’s how they’ll find you: Cowering in the corner, perched on a stack of folded boxes above a puddle of your own over-privileged piss, gnawing on a week-old prawn skewered on the end of a stainless steel fork.
‘Please don’t evict me,’ you’ll weakly cough.
‘Sorry mate. You can try calling the Citizens Advice Bureau for help.’
‘Oh, ok. Ok. Thanks. Can I have the number please?’
‘Here you go. I wouldn’t bother calling today though. It’s a bank holiday.’