Alan Watts: What if money was no object? (x)
Well this is the most relevant thing right now.
What if fear was no emotion.
What if hopes and dreams could pay the fucking bills?
What if you didn’t have to worry about this nagging little feeling called survival instinct that tells you you need a place to stay and food to eat and both of those cost money?
What if you were guaranteed not to have dependents or anyone else for whom you must provide?
This is yet some more of that well-meaning upper-middle-class-white-dude bullshit. Like that quote about birds being able to fly anywhere and how awesome…but if you think about it, so can we. No. We can’t. Well, some of us can, but that’s a very small minority of the overall population.
Sure, it’d be fantastic to be able to say “Fuck that whole making-money thing, I’m going to Art!” and follow through on that. But you do that in the real world, before too long you’ll be fucking homeless, and then how are you going to do your art?
This kind of mentality acts like people who work regular boring 9-5 jobs to pay the bills do nothing BUT work those mind-numbing jobs. Like we don’t get off work and do other things. Like we don’t spend our weekends on anything. ”You’re just going to do things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, in order to continue doing things you don’t like doing.” JFC, dude. What a bullshit all-or-nothing attitude. The choices aren’t “spend every waking second like a hamster on a soul-sucking treadmill” or “LIVE YOUR DREAMS AND BE FREEEEE!” You do what you have to do, in order to enable yourself to do the things you want to do. I spend 40 hours a week being Assistant of Operations for an insurance company so that I can afford, as well as food and gas and whatnot, the raw materials for my jewelry, my computer and ergo keyboard on which to write, video games to play, etc. That’s how it works. Unless you’re independently wealthy, you cannot afford to invest the amount of time it takes to become a “master” at your passion to the point where you *can* start making money from it. My dad makes $168k a year as a corporate pilot, because his uncle paid for his flight school and my mother supported them both while Dad was spending his time doing shit work to build hours so he could get hired for a real job.
He, like Alan Watts and so many other well-off people, talks a lot of shit about doing what you love. What he, like Alan Watts and so many other well-off people, seems to forget is that the ability to support oneself with one’s passion did not materialize out of thin air.
Not to mention that, until we reach the point of a fully-automated robotic society, there will never be a way in which *everyone* can follow their passion. There are not enough people in the world whose true passion is for collecting garbage or scrubbing toilets or waiting tables, to support the rest of the passion-pursuing populace. Period. Until we have automated systems and machinery to do all of that, there will always be people stuck doing shit work to survive. That’s how the system is designed.
So on top of the absurdity of it, advocating this kind of blithe Follow Your Dreams attitude is classist and, given the way that class and socioeconomic realities play out in this culture, racist. This message tries to liberate well-off white college kids at the expense of their less-white, less-well-off peers.
“Forget the money” is something you will only ever hear from the lips of those who can already afford to forget the fucking money.
reblogging for commentary
I’m walking around my tiny little shit-basement-room/apartment, looking at job ads for the same jobs I left to go be to school to get away from but are the only thing out there that will pay the bills. Every so often, I think of this commentary, and break out in a slow clap.
THANK YOU. I was so tired of seeing this on my dash, I appreciate you picking it apart more eloquently than I could.
Reblogging for commentary.