Tag Archives: Society

Society Sucks: Detachment From Survival

Bread. I wanted to bake bread. Why? Because I didn’t know how to bake bread and that seems like something any civilized person should know how to do. Like it’s one of the cornerstones of society, a thousand-year-old skill that for some reason I can’t do. Bread is only second to making fire which I also can’t reliably do. I’m getting pretty proficient at using a lens on charcoal but this only works well if it’s daytime, it’s not cloudy, and the charcoal is dry. If I get bored enough on my upcoming vacation maybe I’ll try the “rub sticks together” technique. I put fire a tier above bread because it’s hard to bake bread without a fire. Fire was probably the first big invention that humans have pulled off and it seems like a disappointment to the human species as a whole if you can’t make fire or bread on your own.

Bread became more meaningful the more I thought about it, almost an obsession. Why do we outsource bread to companies? What’s so damn bad about baking bread that we can’t do it ourselves? You kind of have to buy a car because you don’t have the skill, the expertise, or the materials to build your own. Cars are fine things to buy from someone else because of this, but bread? This became clearer once I actually baked my first loaf of French bread. (Here’s the recipe. It’s the first one that came up and I’m lazy.) It was easy, like mind-blowingly easy. Like “Why the fuck doesn’t everyone bake their own bread” easy. Not as easy as microwaving some frozen dinners but easy nonetheless. My two loaves turned out amazing especially considering it was my first foray into baking. It tasted better than store-bought bread, was cheaper, sure it took more time than buying a loaf from Walmart, but most importantly it was fulfilling to bake my own bread. Why?

We seem to lose sight of the fact that we’re just one of the millions/billions of species on this planet. We’re moderate-sized, dumb animals just like our relatives in the primate family. Sure were pretty fucking smart — we can buy cars and bread from other people — but at a fundamental level we’re still critters. Our culture seems to miss this fact putting us way above other animals, almost like we’re a diety. Our pet dogs and cats are really more like our distant cousins than “lesser beings” and why do we think we’re so damn special? Birds are even more detached from us, but still an animal, still stupidly similar to us. The momma bird is making nests for the same reason we build houses. Even insects that I share almost nothing in common with bring me awe. What would it be like to be a spider? What do spiders concern themselves with in their lifetimes? Whatever it is, as seemingly simple and dumbed down to us, that’s the state they live in. They’re happily doing spider things like eating and having babies and, damn, isn’t that what we’re doing despite all of the extra bullshit we concern ourselves with?

It’s easy to lose sight of this in our society. It’s easy to think of how advanced and “ascended” we are as a species, how we’re well past the mental capacity of the lesser critters, but is this true? Sure we have all of these fancy things like blog posts and smart phones and cryptocurrency and TikTok, but are we really that different from the other critters we share this giant ball called Earth with? I’m saying a firm “NO” here, and that our detachment from our fundamental animalism is a big part of why so many people are unhappy in our amazingly technical and connected world.

Work never seems fulfilling. Sure I show up and get a paycheck but I’m always wondering what the hell it’s all for. You need money because money is a fun little invention. Instead of bartering for goods, we created money — something everyone can agree on as valuable — and this makes trading a lot easier. If my neighbor wants to trade me goats for my bread cool, but this only works if I actually want goats. If I don’t need goats I’m out of luck. With money, I can trade my bread to the goat guy for cash, and then trade the cash for something I do need that isn’t goats. All of the people whining about money as made up or useless seem to miss this fact; money is damn useful.

Money is what we get for our services to society. If you do something useful you get paid for it, ideally based on how ‘useful’ your contribution is. (Let’s ignore what exactly “useful” means here. I think a bunch of jobs that pay are useless, but if someone is paying for those jobs, then they have some use to someone.) This allows people to specialize is all sorts of fields (pun kinda intended); not everyone has to be a farmer, or a blacksmith, or a baker at the same time. You do your small part, people pay you for your items/services and you buy what you need from other specialized people. It’s beautiful when you realize that you probably haven’t grown or produced your own food or meat in years, maybe in forever. You pay someone else to do that. And your job? Someone pays you to do that so they don’t have too. It’s a great system.

But there’s the inevitable detachment from the animal self, the part imbedded in all of our DNA that wants to survive no matter what. To look death in the eye daily and tell it to fuck off for a bit longer. And what is life other than telling death to fuck off? Maybe I want to grow my own food or kill my own meat? I doubt people go that far though, and maybe most have a nearly imperceptible sense of pointlessness to life in general. A subtle disillusionment with life and society, thoughts at night wondering what the hell your purpose is. In a round-about way I work for my food and shelter, but it doesn’t feel like my survival is attached to my work. It doesn’t feel like a matter of life and death or survival. It feels like a stupid job that I have to work because people told me I need money or something. Sure, I’m aware that this is me playing a role in society and in turn I get to eat food that others provide, but knowing this and believing/feeling this are two different things.

I think that’s my point here. Our society has detached itself so much from survival — something we are required to do as animals, something that I think we have an inherent need to feel — that it doesn’t even seem like it’s there anymore. It’s hard to feel fully alive when you don’t have death and starvation only a few days away. I’m not saying we should turn our society back into a hunter/gather type of thing where kids die before they’re three, but it’d be cool have have our daily work actually represent something in terms of our survival in a more directly and easy to appreciate way. I really think this would make life more fulfilling. I ship packages at UPS, and this is how I survive? How fucking silly.

And bread. I know how to make bread. It felt good to make because it felt like I was actually doing something to survive. Not earning a paycheck and buying food with it. Not relying on some other person (or worse, corporation) in our society to feed me. It was all me. Yes, I bought the flower and the oil and the mixer, but it’s one step closer to real, legit, Jeremy-made bread. It’s one step closer to me having my survival directly in my own hands.

Check out my YouTube channel about off-grid green energy setups!

Or my Instagram where I post pointless artistic pics and shitty poems every whenever I get around to it.

Or my other blog where I sometimes post stories.

Work Sucks: Detached Survival

Work Sucks. That’s right. I mean in case you weren’t aware of it. Work really sucks, but it sucks in such a way that is obvious but not-at-all-obvious when you think about it in depth. Work sucks — we all know that — but exactly why does it suck? If you’re like me, you might think that work primarily sucks because it’s something you have to do. Strangely, I’ve realized that if my job were voluntary, where I could show up and work whenever I need and wanted to and could take days off at will, I would probably still show up and work, but somehow I’d be much happier at going. This speak volumes towards the “I have to go to work” complaint as to why Work Sucks. But this doesn’t quite explain it all because even if you had a purely optional job, eventually you’d have to go (what with you being starving and homeless…) and then you’d be back at where we started at: work sucking because you have to go. But why is that? If your survival is dependent upon work you’d think you’d enjoy it a little more.

Work Sucks because it is required, because money is required, and shelter, food, water, and transportation are all required. Work is essentially for us to survive. But with a person’s survival on the line, you think people wouldn’t mind work too much. The alternative to not working is dying, so yeah, work isn’t too bad! Work is required so we can each survive, but it doesn’t really seem like that when you’re at work. To us, work seems very detached from the idea of survival where no one sees their jobs as important to their wellbeing.

People at work aren’t like “I’m doing fairly well, although I need to take some extra hours because I’m on the verge of starving to death! How is your day going Jerry?” At work, and in our greater society as a whole, money, food, shelter, and survival seem really distant, almost like an afterthought. Also realize the fact that you probably do stupid shit at work that seems so pointless and redundant to basic survival that it’s amazing to think that your own person survival really does depend on it. That’s crazy! You as a cashier must listen to people whine and bitch so you can survive. You as a taxi driver must drive people around so you can survive. And me, well I move Amazon boxes from an airplane into a semi-truck, so I can survive. It seems really dumb that my survival is dependent upon such a stupid thing.

I don’t think survival has always been this detached from everyday life either. Think back to how life was 200 years ago, as if you would be living on the family farm all pastoral style. You’d wake up when the sun comes up, and do a bunch of chores to take care of animals. But you have to do this so you can kill the animals and eat them because if you didn’t you would starve and die. You’d have to work in a field harvesting vegetable and canning them, because if you didn’t you’d starve and die. You might have to hunt for wild animals, or build and repair a fence to keep the cows in the pasture, so you don’t STARVE AND DIE. Before winter you’d have to have enough firewood on hand so you didn’t freeze to death during the coldest months of the year. My point here is that day-to-day life was almost directly attached to survival, and while you’d probably have to run to a store periodically for fabric, clothes, tools, and the rare food item (like salt), most of your life didn’t suffer from the detachment to survival that we deal with today. I bet people were happier and perhaps the Amish are onto something…

..Nah. Society is pretty cool with how comfy it’s made life. Instead of worrying about my next meal I can work a few hours, buy a box of doughnuts at the gas station, and sit on my ass at home wandering around a virtual world in Minecraft. It’s almost laughable how easy things are and you have to appreciate how nice it is when you think of life hundreds and thousands of years ago. We have time for leisure activities and most of us don’t deal with day to day survival like a gazelle in Africa has to deal with when drinking water. Babies don’t die from preventable diseases, and our drinking water is clean. It is nice not waking up day after day worrying about living or dying. But I don’t think this can happen freely without some sort of tradeoff, without some compromise happening within our human spirit. In our day-to-day lives, at work and at home, survival and existence are so far detached from anything we deal with that we forget that it’s there. It makes us go mindlessly to a job day after day without really thinking about survival at all. It seems really pointless and mind numbingly mundane. Jobs, while attached directly to survival just don’t seem important enough to care about. I work for my survival, but not really.

So we never face the daily connection between work and survival. Our jobs are pointless, mindless, and usually involve some chain of production or service that seems to have nothing to do at all with basic survival. You work to get money to live and survive on, but there seems to be so much extra crap going on that work and survival are only related in theory. That is why Work Sucks: your shitty job is directly required for your survival but since society is cushy enough your survival is detached from your job and you never relate the two together. It makes work seem pointless and arbitrary compared with something much more important: survival and living your life.

Society Sucks: A General Introduction

I intend for this to be an introduction to another expected large section of the site: a section about all of the stupid shit that exists in society as a whole and why these things are stupid. The more I think of it the more topics and posts I see this category having so if there’s an “intro” post about it, maybe that’ll make it all cooler. I don’t know. Maybe I can compile them all into an ebook someday or whatever and get rich.

We are very social creatures and our survival owes a large thanks due to this fact. After all, why go it alone? Early humans could team up, split the workload that is required to survive, and help each other out. It makes such an intuitive sense to us, and since it’s ingrained in our genes, it seems dumb to ever think otherwise. Why would a single person want to hunt for themselves, build their own shelter, find water, and survive the winter alone? By splitting the workload among many, early humans could excel at certain jobs and everyone could benefit from it. If we have a single person build shelter, they’d be better at it then everyone individually building their own crap. This still continues today as jobs are very specialized; you don’t hire your plumber to also be your doctor. Anyways, we’re social and it serves us well for the most part in form of our semi-close knit community called society. So if society is so useful in ensuring the survival of the human species, why does it Suck? And if it does Suck, why is it such a large topic?

The main reason–and the reason that will show up in every post in this category–is because society has no system in place to “correct itself”. It’s an organic thing, and customs can arise, die, and even stick around in way that just sort of happens without any logic or conscious thought from anyone. Fashion is a pretty good example but not really. Why the fuck are fuzzy boots currently a popular style for women in the winter? I don’t mean boots in general which have some utility to them, but the decorative fashionable ones. The ones with the fur on the top. Yeah, there is no answer other than “they look good,” whatever the hell that means. Fashion styles arise, die, and hang around outside of conscious thought as part of society and are a good example of how things “just happen” in society.

Other things come into existence because they are needed in society and they naturally grow out of this necessity. Daylight Savings Time was started for some whatever fucking reason (was it one of the World Wars? Or something about farmers? Or synchronizing train schedules? Fuck, I don’t remember.) and it made perfect sense when it became an actual thing a long time ago. The needs of society created a thing where we move clocks forward and back. Whatever, sounds cool bro. But the original reason for Daylight Savings Time are certainly gone in today’s world but the damn thing still hangs around. Since it’s established we stupidly set our clocks ahead and back once a year, and we complain about it, but we still let it to exist.

There’s a bunch of these things too, which is why the topic is so large. Why do kids get off school in the summer? Why are a.m. and p.m. a thing? Why do the months not have all an equal number of days? What the fuck is up with February and its 28 days? Why don’t we use the metric system? There’s a ton more, but you get the idea. You might know the answer to why we do these things, and while I want to explain why we started to do these things, I really want to explain why still having them around Sucks.

It’s almost like a form of brainwashing. We do things because we were raised to do them, everyone else in society does them, and we give it no thought as to why these things are around. That’s the really damning part about it; we don’t even realize we’re thinking in a box because when everyone is inside the box, you can’t even imagine being outside of it. It’s not like there is a list of bullshit things we are given and we have the option to not use them. No. We don’t even know there are other options because being creative is hard.

So, that’s it. Society is bullshit because it sticks us in a box where we do a bunch of things without realizing they don’t make sense. It really isn’t our fault because having the creativity to think outside of the norm is pretty damn hard. Let the complaining begin!