Work is borne of the almost unspeakably evil notion that time is worth money; cf. "Leisure," the complementary notion that doing as one pleases is a rare privilege that must be earned. Together, they condemn every human in the country (except for the mind-bogglingly rich1 and the so-called "insane") to a lifetime of dressing in funny suits, performing hours of backbreaking anti-yoga in oh-so-appropriately named cubicles, and frantically pursuing fun2 with the grim fanaticism of a Torquemada.
As Great Writer3 Percy B. Shelley put it (in a slightly different context), "Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" And well we might despair, but for the wide range of practical counterwork tactics developed by the radically lazy and those of us with better things to do than "earn" a "living" through "honest work." (See "Writing—Freelance.") From simple sabotage and theft to sex in the supply closet4 to welfare fraud to management, daring self-styled unemployees have eroded the foundations of work from within. Their comrades on the outside, for their part, turn up the volume on their lives of quiet desperation until the sheer absurdity of the Mass Employment State is as obnoxious as morning radio.5
If you should happen to find yourself at work, you are advised to repent, quit your job, and slack off. Really, on your deathbed are you going to look back and regret not working more? See you at Burning Man!
1. There are, of course, exceptions to this exception. See "Gates, Bill."
2. Fun is the literal opposite (and equal) of work, in the sense that it is the sad, hopeless attempt to buy back one's time with money. Like the free drinks served at casinos, it serves to cloud the marks' minds so they forget that the house always wins.
3. Dead? Check. White? So they say. Male? Said to have fathered children, and certainly played the part. Necessary, almost sufficient—oh, what the hell, add him to the canon.
4. Closets most certainly are not just for clothes and brooms, dear. Oh my, no. See "Sex, When Will Everyone Just Stop Jabbering About."
5. Like swallowing like a live toad, drive-time radio presents the old can't-get-any-worse scenario. Sure, most of us would rather swallow live toads than undergo a performance review, but ever since the bottom fell out of the market, there're hundreds of eager English and psych majors for every toad-swallowing position. See "Urban Legends—Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow."a
a. Oh, who are we kidding? Let's just do it now, briefly: No, it won't.
Rob Lightner, Contrib.