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2004-04-06

As Im inexorably dragged towards the ever-more-undeniable reality of adulthood, it strikes me that career choices are very limited these days. Not in the sense that there are few careers to choose from more in the sense that most of them, inexplicably, involve the competent and consistent output of a quantifiable product or service. Damn you, industrialized society! Im relegated to the role of an underappreciated anachronism by my unique skill set, which includes the following: uselessly puttering about; coming up with creative and seemingly plausible excuses for lack of tangible work product; doing nothing at all for long periods of time; assuming an air of condescension when discussing topics of which I have only a cursory understanding; and devoting large amounts of energy to ostensibly useless pursuits. These natural abilities would have put me right at the forefront of the rat pack back in those halcyon days when the term was used literally: yes, in the Middle Ages I would have cleaned up, leading a life of fame and fortune right up until my premature and painful death from a transmissible disease. Those were the days!

I could have been, for example, an alchemist. These guys had it made. The Church, back when it was spelled with a capital C, had money to throw away paying these guys to fiddle about trying to turn things into gold (the entire alchemical industry could have collapsed if anyone had bothered to clue the Vatican in to the obscure practice of mining). I would have rocked that shit! Id have passed my days isolated in a dusty laboratory, lighting powders on fire, pouring smelly substances into other smelly substances, melting things down, and doing a whole lot of poking things with sticks. When my patron paid periodic visits to see how the gold factory was coming along, Id have earnestly related my progress: Ive had some interesting results with the divapourisation of cinnabar when exposed to Powder of Algaroth. I think Ill have better luck balancing the spagyrics of the base metals when the planetary ascendancies are aligned in the ninth house. I feel a strong Mercury influence coming on! and thus easily secured myself indefinite pecuniary sponsorship. Plus, I could have had a bumper sticker reading, My other vehicle is Briactic Transmogrification. Ah ha ha!

Or I could have been a philosopher. This is the Holy Grail of pseudo-careers: the job consists entirely of sitting around and thinking about shit. This is what I was born to do! You give me someplace to sit, and some shit to think about, and I will sit and think the paint right off the walls! I will contemplate circles around anyone! I will think up a fucking shitstorm! Then, at the end of a long working day, Ill relax with a hard-earned beer, exchanging shop talk with fellow philosophers. Hows it going with you? Oh, you know. These days Im positing a fundamental epistemological schism between individual subjective realities. Another day, another dollar, right?

History has indeed done me a disservice by planting me in this frustratingly results-oriented age. Im condemned forever to the drudgery of actual work. Unless I become a marketing analyst, perhaps. Or a government employee. Heh.

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