The Mourning After

by rsbakker

Definition of the Day:

Labour: 1) the renting of one’s metabolic activity for the pleasure of another; 2) the single most important constituent of society, and therefore the most despised; 3) something the poor are lucky to give, and the wealthy are entitled to receive. 

Just thought I would drop a quick note to thank all the well-wishers and to clarify things. First, don’t worry about me–or any other writer for the matter, especially if you work for a living. Trust me, as career paths go, this is slack. I’m only whining because I’m a slacker extraordinaire–I was made to do this for a living. I’m a monomaniac, for one, and organizationally challenged for another. But what I’m complaining about is the prospect–and at this point it’s only the prospect–of going back to post-secondary teaching… The second most slack career path I can imagine!

Second, do not worry, the APOCALYPSE HAS NOT ENDED. The books continue to sell, continue to be backlisted. If it weren’t for the pain the industry is suffering as a whole, I’m sure I would have the rights for all the remaining installments safely tucked into bed. It’s the schedule I’m concerned about. And that’s it.

Last night, as I paddled about the edges of sleep, it struck me like a bolt: by expressing anxiety about the series I was in fact undermining confidence in it. This has got to be one of the most bizarre, and horrifically important, dimensions of human social behaviour–as well as the reason the markets continually slip the noose of mathematical regimentation: the way doubt and belief gust through mobs of people. This is the real, ‘power of positive thinking,’ the one economists are so anxious to track. When the New Age cheeseheads prattle away about the need to beam positivity out into the universe they aren’t entirely off their rocker: they’re simply taking a fact of human intercourse (our attraction to confidence and positivity) and turning it into a metaphysical principle, one that–happily enough–makes everyone responsible for whatever fortune or misery the roulette wheel of indifferent existence spins out.

That, my friends, is what all blogs with any commercial dimension whatsoever boil down to: a kind of confidence game. Not only is it inescapable, it’s absolutely essential, on a whole different variety of levels…

Now if only someone would tell Julian Assange as much.