Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Shelley Day! On this date, in 1981, Dr. Shelley NameRelatedProgramActivity was produced in a secret laboratory under an extinct volcano near Seattle. As predicted, she has become a goddess.

In other news, Scott just asked me if there is "in the end, a difference between manual labor and intellectual labor? (I've been reading Ruskin again)". Hmmmmmmmm.

As a lad I mowed Granny's grass for pocket change. I worked for a time as a print shop assistant and delivery/fetchit boy for my bourgeois father's empire. I sold shoes at the original Just for Feet superstore for a couple of months. I cleaned up around and delivered for a local drug store for a couple of months. I sorted pallets according to their degree of damage for a few weeks. I delivered and gathered balloons and party supplies for a couple of months. I fetched, packed, and shipped hardware store stock for a couple of months. I dressed as an alligator and solicited passersby for a month. I loaded trucks full of Coca Cola products for a couple of months. I hauled away the furniture, trash, and personal belongings of people who had disappeared from public housing during two summers. I assisted college history professors for two years. I oversaw the stock and did various and sundry work in a small grocery store for two years. I taught college history courses for 3.5 years. I participated in the cutting and shipping of sheet steel for three months. I've taught high school lit, social science and history for just over 1.5 years.

In the end, the difference is this: I made far more money doing manual labor and found it oddly rewarding on a thinky level. I was also (painfully) aware of my exploitation, which is something that usually escapes the mind of the intellectual. I was also physically stronger than I am now, and often holding something dangerous.


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