Uncle Hyena (unclehyena) wrote,
Uncle Hyena
unclehyena

Campbell Grousing

"I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave."
-- Joseph Campbell, American author, editor, philosopher and teacher, (1904-1987)

Joseph Campbell is a widely read and well respected scholar whom I despise utterly, and the quotation above goes a long way to illustrate why. It's a TRUE statement, of course, but it is phrased in such a privileged, condescending way that it makes my teeth hurt. Which is to say, the statement implies that Campbell really thinks that most of us have a choice, and we don't.

OF COURSE we all want work that we enjoy that provides a reasonable amount of material comfort, but the simple fact is that if some divine hand were to re-shuffle humanity so that we were all matched up with the most enjoyable, most lucrative job we could have and still keep the engine of the world turning over... The vast majority of us would still have jobs we didn't enjoy, and a fair number of us would still have jobs that didn't provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter.

If you happen to be a member of the tiny minority who enjoy your work and can also pay your bills, you have won the game. Please shut up about it. The rest of us don't WANT to hate you, but we do find it REALLY easy.

Uncle Hyena
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