Money can really fuck with one’s mind… worse than almost anything else except for maybe religious beliefs based on pure irrationality. As Bob Dylan sings in the song “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”:
money doesn’t talk, it swears
Obscenity, who really cares
Propaganda, all is phony
(How do I distinguish the notion of religion “based on pure irrationality” from other notions of religion? Well, roughly a year ago, my understanding of “religion” as a concept was enlightened considerably. A brilliant former professor of mine mentioned to me how region need not necessarily have its basis on, for a lack of better terms, metaphysical and cosmological axioms or assumptions, or might not even be based on religious “doctrine.” This professor offered as an alternative the inclination of some “religious” people to simply connect with some appealing aspect of the culture/ethos surrounding a given group of people identifying with and practicing a given interpretation of religious ideas. For example: maybe making the weekly visit to the place or worship to explore worship with others. I don’t relate to this point of view and believe that I believe does not mean I am going out of my way to assert, let me assure you. I just want the context of my own thinking to be clear to you. For all I know I am awfully wrong in my beliefs … Continue reading …religion necessarily departs from empiricism and reason… and often enough intentionally so, however, there are plenty enough instances, as I have encountered in personal conversations and plenty of readings, where people do indeed attribute their religious convictions to “reason”—they … Continue reading…often enough in the name of ideals like “faith,” “tradition” or pure “intuition.” To be inclusive I do think it is fair to note how other times, whatever it is someone thinks in terms of religion or basic philosophy, that which I perceive as a break from empiricism and reason, it’s just intellectual laziness—a depressed capacity for critical thought or lacking knowledge/ skill—whether mere lack of education, or in cases such as that of President Donald Trump, something that may very well be the result of some cognative-neurological disability.
I don’t confine religion to a stereotype. All-the-while, how significant a portion of the bloodiest acts of brutality and evil in the history of humanity are perpetrated on the basis of fanatical and utterly unreasonable “religious beliefs”–?)
“It’s the economy, stupid”
But then there is MONEY and not just in the conventional sense of exchangeable currency but more widely…resources. Ownership of resources. Circulation of resources. Policies determined and enforced to spread or over-concentrate resources. I even wonder if money and resources are in fact a worse force in our world and history than fanatical and terroristic religions.
To the extent that conflicts between differing “religious groups,” how many of the conflicts had to do with conviction that God is green versus purple (so to speak) and how many conflicts came down to RESOURCES!?!
Even the nationality bit that some folks adhere to (I barely do. I think of myself as an American merely in the sense that I live in America less by choice and more as a result of lacking in the abundance of resources—currently, anyway—that would enable me to make a most INFORMED choice as to which “country” I should like to live … Continue reading and that I am subjected to American authorities, in theory on the basis of American laws, politics, and enforcement. The third and final thread of my slight American-ness is a general appreciation for the noteworthy ideals of refuting the idea that one ought ever to bow down to a monarch and that which is often called “the American dream” whereby one can think so elaborately of one’s life in terms of what one wants to “do” with it. But even in this case, the Liberalism inspiring the “American Revolution” exists in Europe and elsewhere as well.)
Think of the feud between the Jews and the Palestinians over “Israel.” Think of the feud between Russia and Ukraine over Ukraine its very self. (Or to view it in even deeper a lens, the feud between Russia and Western Europe plus the Pre-Trumpian U.S.). How much of this has to do with naked Russian pride in the purely idealistic and abstract and how much of it has to do with “…the economy, stupid!”–?
I’ve permitted money to fuck with my mind far too many times. And in so many different ways. Oh lady money has had her way with me, indeed!
As proves to be quite standard many of us possess the drive to see about how we could best increase our finances and maximize. And the problem is that when money is substantially embedded in the core of one’s motives when in the act of negotiating in some sort of “trade agreement,” whether in the form of interviewing for a job, working one’s self “up the ladder” at that job, or selling a product or service, or even in politics (not even beginning to touch on the utterly corrupt role money plays in lobbying and campaigning)—I mean the politics of simply experimenting with how state and local governments levy, increase and cut different taxes imposed on property and business. If Amazon seeks to open up a new place of operation then the states may wish to compete and what’s the best deal for Jeff Bezos and what’s the best deal for a state’s bottom line? If your personal finances as a political person depend on your capacity to boast of the state’s overall economic gain under your leadership, the chances of temptation and bias are quite obviously likely!
Money can make a cynic out of me sometimes
Awareness of this tendency among people also can drag one down into a very cynical outlook on human interaction. Why is this person TALKING to me? WHAT DO THEY WANT? Money, sex, or validation? Even expressions of gratitude, with the kind of paranoid cynicism I sometimes succumb to, seem to me like complete and utter bullshit. You’re saying “thank you” because it’s a decently established belief that expressions of gratitude increase one’s chances of being perceived as pleasing and “valuing the customer.”
And people do go to great lengths to put on a huge theatrical show demonstrating this often enough deeply feigned “valuing the customer” mantra. What does it truly MEAN to “value” the customer?
When was the last time you felt that someone you gave your patronage to demonstrated a sentiment of “gratitude” you found to be quite likely genuine?
I should like to offer my own example (I will get to this but first… ). It makes me a little nervous and paranoid both because I am still working hard at cultivating the foundational elements of my self-esteem and self-confidence but also because…this conundrum “goes both ways” after all. That is to say, I am perhaps equally as paranoid of another person’s motives as I am of mine plus how mine might be perceived.
In my process of applying to graduate schools and adjusting to my first semesters at graduate school I often lavished my favorite professor’s with praise. All the while, I constantly worried that they might suspect me of having “ulterior motives.” I had my hopes in terms of where my relationships with them might go, but when I lauded their writings and emphasized how much I wanted to be mentored by them I bloody meant it! I have a certain luxury and privilege of having failed so many times at trying to build sustainable rapport with people I was fond of and have experienced enough rejection (not purely or only rejection of my person but also in my many, many attempts to reach out to newspaper writers, organizations I hoped to work for, universities I fancied attending, platforms I believed could benefit from whatever project I was working on at the time)… I’ve experienced enough rejection to simply not care anymore and this self-esteem cultivation I am working on, consists heavily of composition from scratch! I mean to say, I have so tarnished in the eyes of some, my credibility as an artist committed to his art, that telling people about my next big thing appears sometimes to be rendered nearly meaningless. I am not bemoaning my context, I’m merely stating it and trying to convey the complexity of worrying about successfully expressing to others what I genuinely like about them—I simply have no incentive to bullshit my compliments. It is not going to MAKE someone LIKE ME more. Even supposing I thrust upon someone a load of bullshit flattery, if that flattery served as the basis of why this given person would care to speak with me at anyway, then it is not ME, Sean O’Connor, that this person finds a resonant connection with, just simply the desire to inflate one’s “ego.” Anyway, offering someone encouragement to persist with something that contradicts my beliefs and preferences is like “nails on a chalk board.”
(Where is it that I go wrong in pursuing self advancement with the hope of money or appreciation or being liked? Other than my chronic failure to generate credibility via commitment!?! I would like actually blame my views of marketing and the sources of those views. By “blame” I mean attribute as a likely cause, not “blame” as in “condemn” with raw anger and fault-labeling.
Alas, I drank the manipulative bullshit marketing Kool-aid for awhile
Now, this is twofold. First of all, let’s face it, a lot of marketing is belligerently and greedily manipulative bullshit! Secondly, my mistake in past attempts at marketing was not only corrupting myself by drinking the marketing Kool-Aid but knowing full well that I was. Had I actually believed with pure conviction that I was trying to “sell my product or service” in a manner that was more than manipulative bullshit, like, if I actually believed in the bullshit I had bullshat than maybe that would be a different story. But because I view most acts of marketing as insultingly manipulative bullshit I undermine my own capacity to better focus on the bullshitting. Rather, I’m distracted by disillusion with my own actions. Moreover, the sort of people I always hoped to be my employers, donors, customers, partners in trade whatever we shall call it, frankly, are the sort of people who see through bullshit better than I do, for I mean to work for and with those who value virtues like honesty, integrity, virtue in itself, objectivity, science, intellectualism, openness, compassion, et cetera.
Had I viewed “marketing” from a ethical “marketing” perspective, at least so far as I can conceive of it now, the whole concept of “marketing” would be replaced by the concept of “SHARING.”
If one wishes to share then one’s more basic motivation and goal is not to manipulate. That is to say, one’s goal is not to try and “wow” someone with some sort of “mystical power” which one’s fellow people must buy into to have a piece of, as if HYPNOTIZED into giving their money way because the advertising concepts were just so perfectly informed by the science of manipulating people to cough up their money to you. If one is simply sharing what one believes might somehow “make the world a better place” without designs to do more than share, so that its “value” can pretty much “speak for itself,”… if you are opposed to the marketing of evil, bullshit manipulation just like those Republicans in congress trying to scam as many as they can that truly is “all you can do.” It is the first time that bit of song by Paul McCartney:
“whisper words of wisdom Let it be Let it be Let it be Let it be There will be an answer Let it be…”
made any sense to me.)
…One of my key thoughts to contemplate for awhile is how to share. What it means to “share” both as a receiver and a giver of that shared thing/things…
|↑1||that I believe does not mean I am going out of my way to assert, let me assure you. I just want the context of my own thinking to be clear to you. For all I know I am awfully wrong in my beliefs although obviously I don’t think so—ha ha|
|↑2||however, there are plenty enough instances, as I have encountered in personal conversations and plenty of readings, where people do indeed attribute their religious convictions to “reason”—they may be on to something simply over my head|
|↑3||less by choice and more as a result of lacking in the abundance of resources—currently, anyway—that would enable me to make a most INFORMED choice as to which “country” I should like to live in|
|↑4||By “blame” I mean attribute as a likely cause, not “blame” as in “condemn” with raw anger and fault-labeling|
|↑5||whatever we shall call it|
|↑6||just like those Republicans in congress trying to scam as many as they can|