The reality of the working world

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The reality of the working world

Postby steelersman » 24 Jun 2012, 21:36

In the past there has been some discussion between the Western view of work and the Eastern view of work. I was reading
The Pale King
by David Wallace and there was some interesting thoughts about the working world.

Wallace writes, "The Truth is that the heroism of your childhood entertainments was not true valor. It was theater. The grand gesture, the moment of choice, the mortal danger, the external foe, the climatic battle whose outcome resolves all-all designed to appear heroic, to excite and gratify an audience. An audience'. "Gentlemen, welcome to the world of reality-there is no audience. No one to applaud, to admire. No one to see you. Do you understand? Here is the truth-actual heroism receives no ovation, entertains no one. No one queues up to see it. No one is interested.

"True heroism is you, alone in a designed work space. True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care-with no one there to see or cheer.

I wonder if the romanticism of living abroad makes it difficult for some to adjust to the mundane task of working life for the long haul?
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby Shaktipalooza » 25 Jun 2012, 09:55

What an eccentric take on heroism.

Must have been written by a philosophy major In between pizza deliveries.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby the bear » 25 Jun 2012, 10:33

Right now I can completely relate to this. I just completed translation of a 136 page Corporate Social Responsibility Report for my company. It's the biggest project I've ever done with no assistance. Quite possibly no one will ever read it. (Actually there's a certain Zen perfection in that accomplishment. :cool:)
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby finley » 25 Jun 2012, 11:42

Was he being serious? This:
True heroism is you, alone in a designed work space. True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care-with no one there to see or cheer.

Is bollocks. If that truly is what "heroism" means in Western culture now, then Western culture is doomed. It would also imply that everyone in Taiwan is a Hero.

Yes, people talk about 'heroic efforts' when cranking out 136 page reports, but only because that's easier on the soul than saying "why the fuck did I just waste a huge chunk of my life writing some meaningless words on paper that will add nothing to the sum of human happiness"? If you had to face reality, the air would be full of falling bodies jumping out of office windows.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby steelersman » 25 Jun 2012, 11:46

Yes, it is from a novel. It is about his life, but he takes some liberties. It is classified as fiction rather than an autobiography. The book is about him growing up and getting a job with the IRS. The main focus is about the changes from childhood to adulthood and taking responsibility.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby the bear » 25 Jun 2012, 11:50

finley wrote:Was he being serious? This:
True heroism is you, alone in a designed work space. True heroism is minutes, hours, weeks, year upon year of the quiet, precise, judicious exercise of probity and care-with no one there to see or cheer.

Is bollocks. If that truly is what "heroism" means in Western culture now, then Western culture is doomed. It would also imply that everyone in Taiwan is a Hero.

Yes, people talk about 'heroic efforts' when cranking out 136 page reports, but only because that's easier on the soul than saying "why the fuck did I just waste a huge chunk of my life writing some meaningless words on paper that will add nothing to the sum of human happiness"? If you had to face reality, the air would be full of falling bodies jumping out of office windows.


right, this is me jumping out the window, right about now........... :bow:
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby finley » 25 Jun 2012, 11:51

right, this is me jumping out the window, right about now

oops :eek:
Bear will be sadly missed.
Note to self: think before posting. :wink:

Yes, it is from a novel. It is about his life, but he takes some liberties. It is classified as fiction rather than an autobiography. The book is about him growing up and getting a job with the IRS. The main focus is about the changes from childhood to adulthood and taking responsibility.

Ah ok, well, in that case, we can allow him some artistic license.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby Petrichor » 25 Jun 2012, 12:00

This reads like someone trying to come to terms with a lack of fulfillment in their life.

I don't think anyone goes to their deaths wishing they'd worked more.
If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches. Rilke

http://talesfromthebeautifulisle.blogspot.com/
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby Jaboney » 25 Jun 2012, 12:05

He's dressing 'duty' up in heroic garb. Dutiful ain't sexy, but it's admirable all the same.
Hyperbole, though, is absolutely the worst form of artistic expression, ever.
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Re: The reality of the working world

Postby Feiren » 25 Jun 2012, 12:20

Well, it is David Wallace
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How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives -- ANNIE DILLARD, The Writing Life