Sunday, April 17, 2011

Modern Living

Is it just me, or do others (you) have blinding moments of sheer panic, generally speaking about how out of control things are in your life?

To be predictably centrist about it, I guess some do and some don't. I'd love to know the percentages and degrees.

Many people seem to be on full throttle and showing no signs of slowing down or taking a break. Days are filled from 5 or 6 am until 7 or 8 at night or later. There's running here to appease this person, dashing over there because there's something vital to the machine that needs to be done and only you can do it. Then it's back again because you just got a phone call and somebody needs something urgently and apparently no one else is available. So on the way you get a take out coffee and a sausage roll at the BP while you fill up the tank at well over two bucks a litre, and chuckle at the furore created a couple of years ago when gas prices inched slowly towards two dollars. It dropped suddenly to one forty nine, but now it's back well over two dollars and not a single word of protest has been heard.

Same with cheese. Remember when there was an uproar and people stopped buying cheese when it hit, like 13 bucks a kilo? Suddenly it was back down to 9.

Now, have you noticed? It's 12 dollars a kilo and nobody has said a word about the price.

We're so stupid.

In the wake of the earthquakes in Christchurch there is good reason to be even more cynical as many come face to face with the corporate leviathan that is the Insurance Company. Good luck, people.

I love all the ads about how the insurance companies and many other businesses are "here to help" you. Yeah right. THEY DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU! All they care about is getting your money back. If The Warehouse really cared about people in Christchurch, they would have had a FREE DAY! Everything you need to help you recover from the earthquake: FREE!

Yeah right. Well, they are a business after all and have to make a profit. Of course. But don't advertise that you're "here to help" us! Advertise that your back on board and need to get our money again!

But who's got time to go to The Warehouse, anyway? There are too many other pressing appointments. You have to drop the kids at school, way too early, to get to the office through the bumper to bumper traffic on Lincoln Road by 9 o'clock. There you work for the man, busting your hump until 4 or 5 or 6 or 7, then rejoin the commute and snake down Lincoln Road again, with the same people you snaked with this morning!

Hopefully the kids have been at day care, or after school care (not that you could do much if they absconded and went to the mall). Dinner by 8 and kids into bed. Dishes by 9. Then you get to sit down and have a romantic hour with your significant other, watching murder and rape and child abduction on any one of the CSI programmes that seem to be on the tele every 45 minutes.

I'm often tempted to wonder what has changed in the last two, three, four, or nine hundred years. Back then the peasants toiled 18 hours a day to scrape a meager living for themselves while their fat cat landlords got rich off the backs of those tenants.


What's changed? We have nicer toys to play with. We get a "holiday" every now and then (a week or two off from the daily grind - not the kids, the bills, the stress or the murder and rape and child abduction on tele). And we live longer - but that's probably a negative, because what that creates is another 30 years of toiling so the landlord gets 30 more years of graft out of you!

There are a few getting ahead, I guess, and perhaps that's the major difference between now and nine hundred years ago. The chances of getting ahead are greater. But the irony is that, usually, the only way to "get ahead" is to change from peasant to landlord, and get rich on the backs of the poor bastards you used to commute with in the mornings and evenings.

But there's not much of that happening. Most are locked into the 6 til 10 grind with absolutely no chance of ever "getting ahead."

Is it any wonder we're prone to blinding attacks of panic and anxiety? How out of control are we? Are we showing any signs at all of slowing down? Taking a break? Add to that credit card companies calling, and reminding you that, while they understand circumstances in Christchurch may be mitigating - how nice of them - they still want their money. Funny how, in the midst of the debilitating chaos in Christchurch, the bills kept arriving in the letterbox. And don't get me started about taxes due. NOW!

Pull yourself together man.

Quit whining and do something.

I know.

I wish it were that simple.


tessa said...

three Chairs! to three chairs for making us feel that we are not alone. We all secretly stress about cheese costs.

Art Mama said...

I want my old life back!!!!!!