Wednesday, February 01, 2006

More thoughts on human interaction, the social...

Thanks to Tom for this response to "guilt justice traffic." Am reading it and thinking.

But my initial thought is that we have to complain about what a jerk our boss is if our boss is a jerk, and if we're a boss we have to not be a jerk. Nothing particularly revolutionary about that, true, G-d I wish it were a standard. And I think you're right to tie this to complaining about the traffic on the commute home--really. They're both boring, but also both structural--the social position of having a job isn't, for most of us, a choice. Jobs are also very much on my mind...but that's probably obvious.


"i would not want to position the radical moment of human interaction as something that takes place to the exclusion of the barricades. that is, i would want that we have, make and keep contact and use that to draw strength for resistance. "

Yes indeed. Literal contact. Yes. Kissing is good.


tmorange said...

depends on what you hope to achieve by complaining about your boss.

1) if you just want to vent and feel better, complaining may work assuming you have a receptive listener who will take the complaining willingly.

2) if you want to end the jerk behavior of the boss, presumably the boss has a boss to whom such complaints can be registered although this may be to naively place too much faith in the structure of power on which the complaints are based (and may be in part why the boss is a jerk, namely that s/he's only the boss part of the time and the rest of the time gets bossed around by his/her boss, and so on and so on).

3) if you want to denounce the so-called free market in which we are hardly free but rather compelled to short-sell our labor value in order to survive, complaining will not do any good even tho it may get you (1) or even incidentally (2).

yr right, it is structural. i'd even argue that complaining is built into the structure, that the structure has a certain amount of space for complaining, just enough to enable you to think complaining gets you somewhere but really keeping you exactly where you're at. that is, asuuming that you're one of those who has a job about which to complain.

it's the bourgeois thing to do, really. aren't we in bourgeois hell yet??


K. Lorraine Graham said...

Right--the complaint is totally built into the structure of bourgeois hell. Yes, I think you're right: "just enough to enable you to think complaining gets you somewhere but really keeping you exactly where you're at."

The governer of California you know who he is has a plan to reduce traffic by some odd number, like 18%. Of course, the plan doesn't involve public transportation, it involves more freeways, and so more cars...

But I'm interested in this distinction you've made between the "radical" moment and the "revolutionary" moment. It could be that I'm fixed on the radical, as a means to an end.


Jessica Smith said...

(topic shift to pirgs re:t's blog) lorraine, we have way too much in common. how's lester? are you writing anything these days?