(I made a soundtrack for this post, like I did here.)

I think everyone who reads this blog (hey you two!) knows I’m involved in a shared blog called Recomposition. I’m not really doing anything there for now, too busy with work and family. One of the things we did at recomp that I liked best was a series of posts on work, sleep, and dreams. My friend Lou wrote on for that called Even My Dreams These Days Have Work-Related Scenes. The title of Lou’s post comes from the J Church song “Bottom Rung.” It’s a good post, and a good song.

The song includes the line “Saturday, Sunday I was free,” in the sense of getting a couple days off work. That’s great and all, and I sure prefer days off to days at work, but this is definitely a meager sense of freedom. I think this gets at another way in which we can have work-related dreams – work sucks so much that getting out of work even a little feels like enough. Like a hot day can make sitting in the shade feel good, but it’s still a hot day. Some of the dreams people have about better lives are dreams in the shadow of work. I think this is part of what was going on in the country songs I wrote about a while back – dreams of escaping work, but dreams that still bear the marks of work on them.

Unemployment can do this too. Without a paycheck, you need a job, because that’s how you get a paycheck. “I’m just grateful to have a job” and so on.

Another version of this is a sort “I deserve better because I’ve earned it” or “because I have X important quality” (brains, strength, etc) sensibility. Because everyone deserves better. The problem isn’t that the wrong people don’t have enough, the problem is that people don’t have enough, and that we have to spend our time on all this bullshit.