Radio Quarantine: INTENNA – HELTER SKELTER (2015)

Malang, Indonesia… you’re going to find it everywhere, this shoegaze thing but it makes me wonder. What is it about shoegaze that resonates so strongly all over Asia? I don’t even know where to begin to search for that answer, so in the meantime, this is INTENNA. Helter Skelter doesn’t seem to be a Beatles reference either, not that the term is specific to the Beatles but that’s properly the most obvious connection, or would have been if there was a connection.

I feel like a dull knife pressing through a firm block of cheese this morning. It’s going but it requires force and it’s not a particularly clean cut. It’s going though. You’re not going to get any deep thoughts here today. What will you get? Well, you could potentially get an hour or so of good music but that’s going to depend on your tastes. Intenna is right up my alley.

There are a lot of articles in the press lately about worker burnout, perhaps tied in partly to the labor shortage for service and food service jobs, but many are about office jobs as well. There are a number of people, apparently, who’ve decided not to go back to work full time, or aren’t anxious too. My guess would be that a large number of people are just plain reluctant to go back to grinding for companies that they’re not invested in who aren’t invested in them, making products they would never consume themselves. Think alienation. Marx wrote about it. Marx wrote about more than government controls. He predicted generations of young workers feeling entirely disconnected from not only the means of production but from what was being produced. This isn’t new. The pandemic has probably exacerbated it some.

I’ve had to think about it some and these are just seedlings of ideas. I feel okay about the company I work for and what we produce. We provide a good and necessary service in a quality way and while I may not be a direct consumer, it’s nice to be a part of. The company treats me well, and I’m a shareholder, to an extent and hence invested in their success. It’s pretty cool and a decided step up from other firms I’ve worked for. Going into the office to do the job has been a dodgy prospect now because of the pandemic but we’ve been getting it done mostly from home. It’s okay.

Overall, and this is as much about the state of the world at large as it is about work, I’m not burned out on anything. I’m in pretty good shape. No, it’s not about burnout, but I’m weary. It’s a weariness though not exactly about the pandemic but that is a layer of it. This required some thought but it’s hostility that’s worn me the fuck out. I’m just over the level of discourse about everything, and over the arguments about who is good and who is evil and who is righteous and who is diabolically stupid, etc. blah blah blah. I’m over the ugliness. It’s not enough to say that there has been a collapse of civil discourse. It’s the rise of hostile soapboxing and monologues that has done my head. People have lost their shit.

I jokingly (half-joking) told someone last night, that if there was indeed a god then he is probably just disgusted by us and ready to wipe the slate and never start again. Like, here you go assholes. Have another variant. Fuck you. Suck it up! How could any rational higher power look at us and not merely shake his head in horror and then turn his back, leaving us to our own cruel devices?

Half-joking.

Maybe less than half.

Anyway, I don’t think it’s specifically “worker” burnout. I believe that I am not unique, and people are more generally just burned out. This nonsense can’t be sustainable, can it? And it might not even be accurate to characterize it as complete burnout. For me it’s been more of a low-key malaise. There are many good things in my life. There is boundless gratitude. There is happiness. And yet there is a lack of… enthusiasm perhaps… for a lot of the day to day. You can push through with a fake it ’til you make it approach, but is that sustainable?

It’s encouraging though to know it’s not just me. Not this time. It’s not just me.

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