The Only Thing Worse Than Having a Job is Looking for One

The Only Thing Worse Than Having a Job is Looking for One

by Morty Finklestein

Applying for a job in the “real world” is the dumbest fucking thing one can do! Calling it a soul-destroying, farcical, invasive, epically moronic and ultimately pointless exercise in futility gives the process too much credit.

First off, you are always required to ‘fluff up’ your resume in order to make it look ‘presentable’.  In other words, you must pull fiction straight out the ass because honesty from a potential employee is the last thing the fuckstain employer would ever want. Secondly, you must fill out mountains of paperwork, telling the company if you are a felon, if you are willing to take a piss test, if your credit rating is up to snuff.  They need to, ya know, make double sure you’re an upstanding, obsequious grapehead that’ll dance for ‘em at the drop of a hat.

Yes, all of that is very bad indeed, but the worst of the worst is the psychological exam.  They’re in most American applications nowadays and generally range from thirty to sixty questions; all being totalitarian in nature.  ‘Do you daydream?’ ‘Would you snitch on an employee if you caught him stealing?’  ‘How do you feel about our current president?’ ‘Do you vote?’  If you don’t fill these out exactly how the corporate computer wants, your application gets automatically rejected without even a pleasant ‘go fuck yourself’.  No courtesy call.  No human interaction whatsoever.

See, this is why I admire the lazybones who wakes up at ten in the morning, smokes hash, lies about, does nothing to contribute to the industrial misery and mostly keeps to him or herself.  They do not participate in ecological annihilation. They think ‘why be a headless chicken stressing out over a 401k and retirement?  Why bother with healthcare when the stress from work alone would, ironically, kill me? Why go ape over all of this nonsense instead smelling the roses, taking a deep breath and saying ‘you know what, fuck it…this bullshit ain’t worth it…I’m going to the park for a walk then taking a long afternoon nap’.  Am I saying laziness is next to godliness?  Of course not, but we all could take a lesson or two from the indolent ones who outright reject this society of productive plastic podded people.

In the long run, this culture is truly not worth the effort …

… but fuck, I need a job.

Comments 38

  • Morty: that was awesome and i totally agree. After wasting my entire life following everyone else into oblivion, i’m with you. i make just enough to subsist. i used to remark after ranting about the latest outrage (topics like “oh they’re going to put a nuclear plant 10 miles from where i live!”) “i think i landed on the wrong planet.” Certainly there’s no intelligent life ‘leading’ us and the corporate sector is the vehicle that makes the human cancer continue (until it can’t). It’s exactly like living in the madhouse and has the same effect on ones psyche and soul. Yet we always seek to stay alive for one more day of torture, pain, sadness and what we foolishly, ignorantly call life – being manipulated and mollified 24/7 through whatever coping mechanisms we’ve come to use, missing the real thing and becoming brain-dead and/or soul-dead zombies in the process.

  • Time to start your own church Morty.

  • Job and Wage Gains as Americans Rejoin the Work Force

    …With new figures on the last two months of the year, 2014 turned out to be the strongest year for job gains since 1999.


    What collapse – this party is rockin’ So put down the bowl and grab your work pants — the ‘Merican Dream is alive and well.

  • Mr. Finklestein,

    Your observations, except your final one, exactly echo my realizations from more than a decade ago. Moreover, the system essentially operated the same way for more than a decade before that, but has become more convoluted and complicated since then. I wish I had some sage advice for you but I do not. I’d considered Dredd’s suggestion a few times over the years but always returned to the same “conclusion” proffered by George Carlin in the YouTube link supplied in the previous thread by kevin moore. To colloquialize the situation, “It’s the system, stupid!” (Absolutely NO offense intended.) You may be, perhaps, too young but have you ever wondered how or why the personnel departments of corporations in days gone by morphed into human resources departments? The system is completely FUBAR! It was ill, if not maliciously, conceived and was, continues to be, incompetently implemented, and as you noted, is one of the most dehumanizing experiences to which one can be subjected. The only “cure” I can perceive is that it will soon fail, catastrophically, under the weight of its own ignorance.

  • Great post.

  • Nice rant Morty!
    Im in Britain and this chap was a bit of an inspiration to me. The Moneyless Manifesto is on this site to read free and it is time well spent to have a look. Although it relates to Britain Im sure a fair bit of it is translatable to other States.

  • Excellent article, Morty. I especially loved your “fuckstain employer” comment. It’s such a game, all of it.

    I just read an article that proves again how Humanity and our Heat Engine Machine is fucking things up. Everything is happening so fast it’s making my head spin.

    Read it and weep, literally….

  • Morty,
    Your article is just too funny. Yes, and yes, and yes to all that you have presented on the job front. As I’ve often written, we don’t need jobs, but rather need to address the reasons why we must still have jobs to survive. What’s the old saying, ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us.’ Plainly, if you don’t have a job, you’re a bum.

    Try as hard as I could, I could never accept being a slave for too long, except of course when I fell into the family trap and the social responsibility conditions. I lost a lot of jobs when starting out, a year at one job was almost a record. But then the jobs were easy to come by. My reason for being fired so many times is that somehow Mondays didn’t quite register as important work days and missed a lot of them to other interests. Another reason was to tell my bosses to f&&k O…. Anyway the exit doors always seemed to be my last visions of past employers. When leaving, my smiles were wider than the doors.

    We are slaves to the economy, and to each other. Jobs is a 4 letter word, because in my world I needed them in the plural sense, and they all stunk. When I tried to let my bosses know how nice they were when they were absent, I sort of got shown the exit door that much sooner.

    I remember smiling from ear to ear when a boss once asked me to go back home to put on a necktie. Since it took about 2 hours each way to get there.That day was the best yet. Couldn’t psyche myself up to get a job and had to really struggle to put on my smile of the day.
    When credit scores are more important than moral scores, can we really expect bosses to come from the holy Grails of human empathy?

    In the end, the psyche tests did me in. If any job required the brass to know whether or not I was a good candidate for enslavement, it seems that whoever analysed the psyche part did a double-take, relegating my applications to the fire pile asap. Somehow they made me out and I just couldn’t figure out how to fool them.

    My saving grace was when I became a teacher, an event which to this day amazes anyone to whom I tell my story. That’s for another day. But in the meantime having 30 kids in front of me and with whom I could exchange a few ideas was a thousand times better than listening to the brass relaying yet another teaching method to the flock on teacher-conference days. My dedication was mostly due to the fact that I was actually at work for less days than I was not at work. With summer vacations, Christmas break, week-ends and spring-break on my calendar, my Math was good enough for me to figure out that more than half the year was spent away from work, and that seemed to stop the cycle of firings for about 20 years, a mental condition which
    inevitably returned in spades.

    Anyway Morty, thanks for the memories…

  • We need unpolluted air to breathe, clean water to drink, fresh, nutritional food to eat, a stable environment, the company of other humans, the opportunity to express myself via conversation or art or music or dance.

    What does the industrial system provide? Ever-more-polluted air, ever-more-polluted water, crappy food which is low in nutrients and high in toxins, an increasingly unstable environment, a population of ‘zombies’, and [within the culture] little or no opportunity to express myself, with the expectation that I will be content to watch corporatized sport, celebrity gossip, and mindless cooking competitions, all interrupted by advertisements for things I do not need at all. And the War on Terror or whatever the latest version of the War on Terror is.

    The good news is, the industrial system is collapsing (profoundly negative interest rates for the first time in the history of banking); the bad news is, there will be immense suffering as it collapses.

    There is no way out of the progress trap we were all born into, but I am disengaging from the madness as mush as I can. And the garden is looking good.


    Feb. 6, is the birthday of the best friend I have ever had. The only true one really. This was a fortunate day for God. Whenever I think and weep for John and wish for him to be present, I weep, HARD.

    John Haralson Hayes was a “Piper to the End”. This video of Mark Knopfler reminds me of John; bluejeans; even looks like him, with all the emotion of his true and simple heart appearing on his face and his waving good-bye at the end.

    Verse 3

    “This has been a day to die for
    Now the day has almost done
    Up above a quiet seabird (John, died 7-11-2013)
    Turns to face the setting sun”

    Verse 6

    “This has been a day to die on
    Now the day is almost done
    Here the pipes will lay beside me
    Silent will the battle drum”

    The song reminds me that John, indeed, passionately utilized the battle drum and pipes, in perfect time, as strong and loud as any human being I have known. He didn’t need a gun; he had blessed words as fine as the beatitudes. I should have tried to touch the hem of his garments more often.

    Verse 5

    “We watched the fires together
    Shared our quarters for a while
    Walked the dusty roads together
    Came so many miles.”

    John’s life was a peace giving life!

    When you sought his advice, John, of course, wasn’t perfect, unless you listened. He just knew. He always just knew. I remember him giving me many an answer that changed my life for the better, but, once or twice or … , I did choose to see it. Now I do and will try to make up time, at last.


    It is only possible to explore the sixth stage of grief known as “Laughter in Self-defense”.

  • Morty, right on. Used to be, when I was a youngster, I’d look in the paper just to see what job I might be able to pick up if I absolutely had to. Ya know, entry level bagel baker or newspaper delivery or whatever. I did the same thing a couple months ago just for “fun” and ran into an ad for a dishwasher that required 3 recommendations!

    You might like to read this in your copious free time:

    Other fine work in this space is by Ivan Illich:

    Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is assumed: the more treatment there is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby “schooled” to confuse teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. His imagination is “schooled” to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, social work for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. Health, learning, dignity, independence, and creative endeavour are defined as little more than the performance of the institutions which claim to serve these ends, and their improvement is made to depend on allocating more resources to the management of hospitals, schools, and other agencies in question. [Deschooling Society]

  • It is only possible to explore the sixth stage of grief known as “Laughter in Self-defense”.

    Misery, offered…
    Joyous laughter, she returned!
    Her smile is my sun.

  • @Morty: Yes, all of that is very bad indeed, but the worst of the worst is the psychological exam. They’re in most American applications nowadays and generally range from thirty to sixty questions; all being totalitarian in nature. ‘Do you daydream?’ ‘Would you snitch on an employee if you caught him stealing?’ ‘How do you feel about our current president?’ ‘Do you vote?’ If you don’t fill these out exactly how the corporate computer wants, your application gets automatically rejected without even a pleasant ‘go fuck yourself’. No courtesy call. No human interaction whatsoever.


    I can help you with that, Morty.

    First, you need to understand the REAL purpose of the test. It’s a no-brainer, really.

    FACT: In order to co-exist in working relationships with other people, you need to be ready, willing and able to lie more or less continually.

    If you’re married, and the wife asks you if her ass looks fat in those jeans, and you don’t know enough to say what’s diplomatic rather than what’s true – you deserve all the sex you’re not gonna be gettin’.

    Similarly, if you’re working in any group situation – whether here in corporate America, or in the People’s Republic of China, or an ISIL brigade, everybody’s nose is up someone else’s ass. Everybody goes along to get along – even the so-called alpha. Remember what happened to Quaddafi.

    So…FACT: If you’re unable or unwilling to play the human game, they don’t want you around – no way, no how.

    And since you’re showing them that not willing by truth-telling on their stupid test, why would they care about giving you a COURTESY CALL? Obviously, you don’t have any courtesy to begin with. Clearly, you just hate these sumbitches and resent every second you have to spend in their presence – and it shows…bigtime.

    So next time you have to take one of these tests, think about this:


    “Honey, does my ass look fat in these jeans”?

    “No baby, you look SO good in those jeans that I want to toss your salad like my name Romaine”. (Thanks to Nicki Minaj for that one, for you NBL geezers).



    Only 44% of adults in the US are fully employed (with the threshold defined as 30 hours at min. wage).

  • Ed,
    You’re right! but where does the pretend-you-like end and the real feelings begin. If you don’t like your wife’s behind how will you continue to ignore your feelings? The most troubling condition with a sales force to me was that the sales people actually believed their product was the best. That was the scariest of all, and not worth the risk of falling into that void. We all wear (have to wear) a mask, but when the mask can’t be removed isn’t the essence of life gone?

  • “the world reached peak corn in 1985, peak rice in 1988, peak milk and peak wheat in 2004, peak chicken in 2006 and peak soy in 2009, it means that since those years the production of the commodity has been growing more slowly, and is not keeping up with the demand curve of an ever-increasing population. Of the 21 commodities they studied, 16 reached peak production between 1988 and 2008, a breathtakingly short period of time. It suggests, rather than spot shortages and isolated crises, that the world’s food-production system is being overwhelmed.”

  • During the plague in the 1300s “,,,all over Europe the hunt was on for a scapegoat…searching for someone to blame”. Of course we see exactly the same thing happening widely today related to global heating with abrupt climate change, ecological and nuclear collapse, just as the title to Tavris’ and Aronson’s wonderful book about cognitive dissonance, Mistakes Were Made (but NOT by ME!), suggests. “Those bad guys over there did it! I am just an innocent victim!” Meanwhile, anyone who does not support this responsibility-disowning scapegoating anger and rage necessarily gets classified as one of the “bad” or “evil” people in comparison with the alleged “good” ones. I wonder: what percentage of the essays and comments posted here fall under the heading of “responsibility-disowning scapegoating anger and rage”? In true human supremacist fashion a large, vocal percentage of people scream variations on the theme of “This cannot POSSIBLY have occurred as a result, fundamentally, of some universal human weakness or weaknesses, such as a general inability to manage our population within the carrying capacity of the land bases that we depend on for our survival! NO! Those few bad guys over there did it! And I feel SO much better self-righteously screaming that blame to the world!” Meanwhile, contrary to the ever-so-popular “pressure model” myth of anger, the more people “ventilate” such anger and rage, the MORE anger and rage they tend to feel, NOT LESS. All of which makes perfectly good sense if one begins with the premise that humans exist not as rational animals, nor as “supreme” in any meaningful way—as so many so strongly wish to believe and demand—but instead as highly irrational, essentially insane animals. Rage on boys and girls! Hey, how about making anger and rage the official NBL religion?

  • Good job Morty! Gosh, I remember those days. Landed a job as an ambulance attendant. Great old caddy ambulance! RRRRRRRRRRRRR-RRRRRRRRRRRRR! No Experience Necessary. (Or training, lol)

    Hey! maybe you could have got a job on the railroad, supplying the life’s blood of industrial shrivelization!

  • As a self-employed person for many years now (going on 20 since I started part-time) my opinion is that you’ll better spend your time figuring out a skill or trade you can earn money on your own, rather than trying to get a job. Perhaps it’s some kind of consulting in your field of expertise. Perhaps it’s driving an Uber car, or being a Virtual Assistant.

    The truth of the matter is, there are going to be fewer and fewer jobs, and those jobs are going to be lower and lower pay, except for some very specific exceptions. So find an exception (software and web development is one) and learn what you need to get a job, or spend your time and effort finding a gig (or gigs) you can earn $ on your own.

    People say that being self-employed is difficult, and it means that you don’t have assured income, etc. That’s for sure true, and I would not suggest most people with full-time jobs ditch them until they’ve gotten their biz gig making some money. But if you are already unemployed, and the job prospects in your field look dismal, why not? What is there to lose?

  • From a Railway Carriage

    FASTER than fairies, faster than witches,
    Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
    And charging along like troops in a battle,
    All through the meadows the horses and cattle:

    All of the sights of the hill and the plain Fly as thick as driving rain;
    And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
    Painted stations whistle by.

    Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
    All by himself and gathering brambles;
    Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
    And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
    Here is a cart run away in the road
    Lumping along with man and load;
    And here is a mill and there is a river:
    Each a glimpse and gone for ever!
    — Robert Louis Stephenson

  • @Jean: Ed,you’re right! but where does the pretend-you-like end and the real feelings begin. If you don’t like your wife’s behind how will you continue to ignore your feelings?


    Porn. A mistress. A divorce. Morty’s bowl of hash.

    There are so many ways, and humans employ them all, regularly.

    One of the all time favorites is just kvetching to let off some steam, while avoiding the difficult thing that CAN be done (like Michelle’s idea of self-employment).

    That don’t make you Socrates…or Jesus.

    But if you REALLY do want to be Socrates or Jesus and ALWAYS tell everyone the truth (as you see it), you’ll have trouble with self-employment, too. Just take note about how their story ends.

    I don’t care what time or place you go to look at, or what kind of society you have in mind. People don’t put up with that 100% truth-telling shit forever. At some point they just want you gone.

    What each of us does (except for the REAL Socrates/Jesus types) is decide where we’re gonna draw the line, and how much we’re gonna sacrifice truth-telling (as we see it) for the dubious comforts of civilization – industrial, hunter-gatherer, or otherwise.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying outright, or somewhere on the autism spectrum to the point that s/he just doesn’t comprehend the social dimensions of the human experience.


    @Bud: Rage on boys and girls! Hey, how about making anger and rage the official NBL religion?


    It already is, Bud. “Only love remains”. Didn’t you get the memo on that one? Or did you just miss the Orwellian tongue-in-cheek salad tossing here?

    BTW, I haven’t been keeping up with my NBL reading for a few days. How did that apology to Scott Johnson go for your baseless slandering of him? I would guess pretty well, because he’s really seems to be a pretty nice and reasonably guy, regardless of his critique of Guy’s NTE thesis.


    @mo flow: “Don’t stop till you get enough”.


    Clearly, that’s what happened to poor MJ. He had had enough…actually WAY too much…so he stopped before his nose fell off altogether.

    He’d had a good idea there, with “Man in the mirror”…but we all know that having a good idea and actually taking it to heart oneself are two VERY different things.

    And speaking of Old Soc’…he had two pithy thoughts that always struck me as gold. “Know thyself”, and “the unexamined life is not worth living”.

    Maybe in some alternate universe there’s a version of our world, and a version of NBL, where people actually do those two things on the regular. Sure, it would be more loving, more wise, more sustainable – but it wouldn’t be as funny as this one.

  • RIGHT ON, Morty!! People who demonstrate for jobs and the “right” to a job are demanding to be exploited. To paraphrase George C Scott playing General Patton: “Capitalism is not about working hard so you can get rich. It’s about making some other sonofbitches hard so you can get rich.”

  • Well said, Morty!

    One particular book comes to mind. I have felt ashamed of calling myself either “educated” or “professional” after reading this book. What it says is absolutely spot on. It goes to the core of what makes a professional. Roughly 1 in 6 Americans is some sort of a professional these days. Professionals, in their many roles, form that layer of humanity that serves capital directly. Surely, the sociopaths couldn’t have killed the planet all by themselves! They need help and the educated professionals help them with the deed. In return, they get their fair share of the loot. Of course, most of them are blind to recognizing their role in the current state of affairs. Worse, some of them actually think they are saving the world!

    Disciplined Minds: A critical look at salaried professionals and the soul-battering system that shapes their lives
    By Jeff Schmidt

    Free online:

    Excerpt from the intro:

    This book is intended for a broad range of professionals, nonprofessionals and students, and for anyone interested in how today’s society works. It is for students who wonder why graduate or professional school is so abusive. It is for nonprofessionals who wonder why the professionals at work are so often insufferable, and who want to be treated with greater respect. It is for socially concerned professionals who wonder why their liberal colleagues behave so damn conservatively in the workplace. (Chapter I explains how professionals are fundamentally conservative even though liberalism is the dominant ideology in the professions.) It is for individuals who are frustrated by the restrictions on their work and troubled by the resulting role they play-or don’t play-in the world. It is also for those who simply find their careers much less fulfilling than they had expected and aren’t exactly sure why.

  • nlaPilot:

    Marine mammal strandings shatter records on West Coast — 10 times worse than they’ve ever seen before — Expert: “3 years of babies have crashed & burned… doesn’t make sense that they’re fine, then all of a sudden 3 years in a row, they’re not” (VIDEO)

  • 1st Post 2-7-2015, Saturday


    The words professional and reputation wud seem to be synonymous. I would think for them *reputations* are all important so they can keep climbing “to serve capital directly”.
    Thanks for the book reference. Looks like another light shining on our society.

  • Ed,
    Yes! Drawing the line is always a conundrum.. Can’t disagree much with your response…. Have been trying to hide my true feelings about ‘jobs’ ever since I became aware that I needed one… and whenever I tried to get away with just looking at clouds or watching time go by someone would inevitably come along to remind me that ‘nothing in life is free’…. Really!

  • I found this video made in 1958 To bad we didn’t change things then.

  • Try being a musician, constantly looking for the next gig.

  • Monty, I enjoyed your essay immensely.

    The great irony is that you have to acquire a lot of fiat computer digits in the Matrix to make your escape from the Matrix.

    I know of a lot of people who are now hanging in by their finger nails, doing poorly paid work because there is nothing else available to them.

    Funny thing is, when I came to New Zealand there was a desperate shortage of employees, and so the story goes, you could quit a jib at 10am and have another by 2pm the same day. How times have changed.

    I a major reason is the additional 2 billion people who have arrived on the planet since 1974, and the desperation of a multitude of displaced peasants and those born into even worse conditions than us to find work in Asian ‘slave camps’ set up by western corporations and local exploiters of humanity and the environment etc.

    I read recently that there are over 100 million adult Americans without full time employment. So things must be getting better.


    ROCHESTER, MN—In an effort to help working individuals improve their fitness and well-being, experts at the Mayo Clinic issued a new set of health guidelines Thursday recommending that Americans stand up at their desk, leave their office, and never return. “Many Americans spend a minimum of eight hours per day sitting in an office, but we observed significant physical and mental health benefits in subjects after just one instance of standing up, walking out the door, and never coming back to their place of work again,” said researcher Claudine Sparks, who explained that those who implemented the practice in their lives reported an improvement in mood and reduced stress that lasted for the remainder of the day, and which appeared to persist even into subsequent weeks. “We encourage Americans to experiment with stretching their legs by strolling across their office and leaving all their responsibilities behind forever just one time to see how much better they feel. People tend to become more productive, motivated, and happy almost immediately. We found that you can also really get the blood flowing by pairing this activity with hurling your staff ID across the parking lot.” Sparks added that Americans could maximize positive effects by using their lunch break to walk until nothing looks familiar anymore and your old life is a distant memory.,37957/

  • i’ve been unable to post comments on nbl the past few days. maybe this one will get through…

    nice little essay, morty. i related to / agreed with just about all of it.

    ‘“i think i landed on the wrong planet.” Certainly there’s no intelligent life ‘leading’ us and the corporate sector is the vehicle that makes the human cancer continue (until it can’t). It’s exactly like living in the madhouse and has the same effect on ones psyche and soul. Yet we always seek to stay alive for one more day of torture, pain, sadness and what we foolishly, ignorantly call life – being manipulated and mollified 24/7 through whatever coping mechanisms we’ve come to use, missing the real thing and becoming brain-dead and/or soul-dead zombies in the process.’

    tom, great comment. life’s an addiction, maybe the hardest one to break. i definitely miss ‘the (sur)real thing’ too. earlier this evening i was pondering composing a little essay myself on the topic of my greatest regret: feeling as though i never surreally lived. the life we’re allowed to live may be relatively comfortable, easy and secure, with many petit pleasures, but we’re still domesticated, unfree, unfulfilled, imo. no matter how gilded the cage, it’s still a cage.

  • Short , sweet, and to the point Morty.

    But a ‘job’ per se, is different from getting your true needs met. Not suggesting this is an easy equation to figure, but if you grow your own food, or some, and find a way to gather clean water, (keeping the mosquitos out), and such, being relational to all beings, what else do you need ? What is the ‘Funny-Money’ you seek for?
    I have little right now, and yes a ‘Job’ would get me some paper to exchange for ‘More’ and some needs, but there is not much time left in the Democratic Illusion the Working Debt Zombie System, really! So maybe don’t sweat it, soon everyone will be in the same soup, and some new collectives will emerge/are emerging.
    Just Imagine it, and it may happen!
    Meanwhile, here is some very clear commentary, especially in the second half, from Max Keiser, telling it like it is…

    ‘[KR716] Keiser Report: Greece, Beware Bureaucrats & Bankers Bearing Bailouts’

    IHO, the quote of the Millenium….Max reads a quote form a spokesperson from Banking Industry….

    “…we don’t need deposits, so we don’t care if customers leave our bank…..and, we’ll continue to not make any loans”

    Max then points out these are the two central functions cited by sovereign States as to why Banks exist, and it voids any social contract.

    You are on your own, now, everyone, or you are free to collectivise however you see fit, to supply your needs.

    Some places I guess it will be easier than others.

    Wishing all here much Love and good Fortune.

  • Hey, Marty. I read the below just now, and immediately thought of you and your problems with those danged psych tests when you apply for a job.

    Like I said, they’re TRICK QUESTIONS – and if you answer them honestly you are WRONG.

    You go in there, and you do what you’ve got to do so you can make that paycheck, and get yourself that next bowl of hash. Otherwise, all you get to win is a Darwin award for being too damn stupid to survive in a world where lying is ubiquitious, and an essential survival skill.

    And what’s a Darwin award good for anyway? Only a few chuckles by people who are laughing at you, rather than with you.

    Just in time, here’s a piece on the subject in today’s NY Times – in which a deeper thinker than me explains the whys and wherefores behind the exact example I used to make the point: “Honey, does my ass look fat in these jeans?”.

    Smarten up, Marty. That bowl of hash isn’t gonna pay for itself!


    VALENTINE’S DAY is not a celebration of truth telling. God forbid!
    Relationships last only if we don’t always say exactly what we’re thinking. We
    have to disguise our feelings, to feint, to smile sometimes when we want to
    shout. In short, we have to lie.

    We all tell lies, and tell them shockingly often: Research shows that on
    average in an ordinary conversation, people lie two to three times every 10
    minutes. (It makes you want to be completely silent for a day or two just to
    throw off the statistics — but what about lies by omission?) And we lie
    particularly often when it comes to love, because we care more about love than
    we care about most things, and because love causes us more fear than most
    things do, and caring and fearing are two of the most common reasons for

    It starts when we’re kids. Why did you lie then? Because you didn’t want
    to get in trouble; because you cared what the other kids thought; because you
    were afraid to lose the love of your mom. “It is the law of obedience which
    produces the necessity of lying in children,” Jean­Jacques Rousseau wrote,
    advising us against making our children fearful. But even more than that, I’d argue, it is the need for love.

    The people who find themselves most betrayed by the lies of lovers are
    those who have the most unrealistic expectations about truthfulness. And the
    people who are most inclined to believe the lies they shouldn’t are the ones
    who tell themselves the biggest lie of them all: “I never tell lies.”

    If you want to have love in your life, you’d better be prepared to tell some
    lies and to believe some lies. If honesty is what matters most to you, you might as well embrace a life of silence and become a Trappist monk. These are, of course, options: Immanuel Kant, who argued that it was always wrong to lie,
    was a lifelong bachelor. And the notorious misanthrope Arthur Schopenhauer,
    also a champion of truthfulness and opponent of romantic love — he argued
    that to marry meant to do everything possible to disgust each other — saved
    his greatest devotion for his uninterrupted string of poodles.

    But most of us do want to love and to be loved. So what are these lies we
    should tell and believe?

    Think of the dozens of lies you tell your children (or your parents told
    you) in order to help them believe in themselves: “You can be whatever you
    want to be.” “Life gets easier.”

    I was a know­it­all as a kid, and it made me unpopular: “Other kids are
    jealous because you’re smart.” These lies of love allow us to make it from one
    day to the next. “You’re the most beautiful woman in the room.” “You’re the
    only man who’s ever understood me.”

    What is true one hour can become a lie the next, and vice versa. Some
    days saying “I love you” doesn’t feel honest at all, but it expresses a deeper
    truth that is necessary for the love to be sustained.

    There are many lies that my wife and I trust each other to tell. I ask her,
    “What are you thinking about?” and she reassures me with a pleasant lie about
    what she’s planning on wearing to dinner. Or she asks me, “Was that a hurtful
    thing to say?” “No, honey,” I reassure her.

    But there are good lies and bad lies. I’ve been married twice before. The
    only time I’ve ever been deliberately spat on was by my second wife in the
    parking lot of our daughter’s elementary school. We were separated, soon todivorce, but we were at that stage when you’re almost more intimate, in a
    sickening way, than when you were married. The gloves are off: You can say
    anything to each other. “I wish you were dead!” she screamed. A man looked at
    us and then crossed the street. “You are the worst thing that ever happened to
    us! I wish you would leave and never come back!”

    She was in the right. About a year before this argument, I had been at an
    academic conference and had met a colleague for coffee. By the time we were
    back in my hotel room, I was still telling myself: I am a happily married man.
    I am not going to have sex with this woman. I lied to myself all the way up the
    point when she said, “Let’s get into bed.” Like so many people who have
    started a disastrous affair, I’m still not sure why I did it: vanity, mostly, I think.

    I felt flattered by her desire. When the affair finally came to light, my marriage was over.

    What concrete advice could I offer the younger me, who got into that bed
    and forever damaged the lives of his wife and daughters? Don’t cheat — of
    course. Examine your intentions. Of all the things I did wrong, the worst was
    not that I told lies. The self­deception and denial didn’t help matters, but my
    real failure was a lack of care and commitment.

    My ex­wife and I are very good friends now, and I’m grateful. We care for
    each other enough, once again, to lie when we need to do so.

    When it comes to love, both honesty and deception should be practiced in
    moderation. Only then can we celebrate the intoxicating illusions of love.
    Odysseus, Cleopatra, Scheherazade, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Molly Bloom —
    all of our greatest lovers have been fabulists, equivocators, promoters … liars.

    Even Penelope, that great model of fidelity — do we really believe that she kept all those suitors around for 20 years just by weaving and unweaving a tapestry (itself a deception)? Or was weaving by day and unweaving by night Homer’s metaphor for the much more complicated — actually, much simpler, more
    human, more believable — activity she was truly engaged in?

    Love is a greater good than the truth. No marriage, no parent’s love of a
    child should be scrutinized like a pathologist examining his cadaver. Save your
    ruthless pursuit of the truth for the laboratory; we lovers would rather be likeShakespeare: “Therefore I lie with her and she with me / And in our faults by lies we flatter’d be.” Don’t worry so much about ferreting out the truth.
    Take care of each other instead.

  • Morty,
    Well done…short & (bitter)sweet.

    Here’s a tune to get you psyched up for the next battery of 30-60 questions…
    Don’t know the lyrics cold, but it may make a decent ‘out the door’ outro, too.

    Nice remembrance of your friend, John, too.
    Hey, if you watch that clip again, tell me if Knopfler doesn’t remind you just a bit of Mike Ruppert…not a spittin’ image or anything like that…but it seemed that way to me. Sometimes it’s a blessing to be able to see a live person who makes you remember a dead one with fondness.

    Here’s one for you & John…and maybe for Engineer 1st Class, Casey Jones, at the controls of that snow-snortin’ Canadian freight train, too, if the lyrics are anything to go by…

    Well, another one would probably wind me up in secondary inspection, moderation, or worse, so just imagine there’s a YT clip just below featuring Sha Na Na doing “Get a Job” in their gold lame outfits.

  • I’ve posted anew, with abundant information about coming events. Catch it here.

  • infanttyrone,

    thank you! A little bit more about my friend.

    he was humble. he never introduced himself as Dr. Hayes, it was hello, I’m John Hayes, yet he was one of the most respected scholars of old testament history having obtained his PHD from Princeton University, where he met and became good friends with many notables. Princeton honored him about two years before he died.

    There were three(3)tributes staged for John in 3 states and people came from all over the world as you can imagine since he was such a generous teacher.

    Thanks again.