“Work is about a daily search for meaning as well as daily bread…”

As some of you may know, I am a huge fan of Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple.

(I still respect him, but I’m no longer a fan of Apple’s products. Not since MacOS 10.4 in 2005. Just so you know I’m not a blinkered fanboy.)

Now, here’s one reason why I rate Jobs, which you can file under: “Insanely Great!” his most famous catchphrase.

When the Mac was produced in 1984, he insisted, at significant extra cost, in having the names of all the engineers who designed it engraved INSIDE the case, where almost nobody would ever see those names. I was lucky enough to see them, because I once watched an engineer remove the casing. (Oh yes, circuit boards can be beautiful, why are most of them ugly?)

You can also file under: respect for the dignity of the work of other human beings.

Which leads me on to my next couple of stories.

Studs Terkel has been described as a historian and a sociologist but he prefers to call himself a “guerrilla journalist with a tape recorder.” He created controversy we’re told when Tony Blair resigned and he asked: “Why was he such a house-boy for Bush?” Studs Terkel died in his Chicago home on 31st October, 2008 at the age of ninety-six. He asked that his epitaph should be: “Curiosity did not kill this cat.”

He said:

“When you become part of something, in some way you count. It could be a march; it could be a rally, even a brief one. You’re part of something, and you suddenly realize you count. To count is very important.”

Working (1974), is his account of people’s working lives. Terkel wrote:

“Work is about

a daily search for meaning

as well as daily bread,

for recognition

as well as cash,

for astonishment

rather than torpor,

in short for a sort of life,

rather than a

Monday-to-Friday

sort of dying.”

This is an edited excerpt from the interview that opens the book:

(Mike LeFevre was thirty-seven in 1972). He works in a steel mill. On occasion, his wife Carol works as a waitress in a neighborhood restaurant; otherwise, she is at home, caring for their two small children, a girl and a boy...

“You don’t see where nothing goes. I got chewed out by my foreman once. He said, “Mike, you’re a good worker but you have a bad attitude.” My attitude is that I don’t get excited about my job. I do my work but I don’t say whoopee-doo.
The day I get excited about my job is the day I go to a head shrinker. How are you gonna get excited about pullin’ steel? How are you gonna get excited when you’re tired and want to sit down? It’s not just the work. Somebody built the pyramids. Somebody’s going to build something. Pyramids, Empire State Building-these things just don’t happen. There’s hard work behind it. I would like to see a building, say, the Empire State, I would like to see on one side of it a foot-wide strip from top to bottom with the name of every bricklayer, the name of every electrician, with all the names. So when a guy walked by, he could take his son and say, “See, that’s me over there on the forty-fifth floor. I put the steel beam in.” Picasso can point to a painting. What can I point to? A writer can point to a book. Everybody should have something to point to.”

~

taken from this PDF which I found on the net,

so you can too: StudyGuide-Working.pdf

A Study Guide Of WORKING

From the Book by Studs Terkel

Adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso

Original Production Directed By Stephen Schwartz

FORT WAYNE CIVIC THEATRE

IN THE WINGS Arts-In-Education Program

PERFORMANCES FOR SCHOOLS

AND SOCIAL SERVICES

Saturday, May 8, 2009 @ 2:00 p.m.

Even the sports guys think there is not enough play and too much testing

 

child-custody

“I told a friend today that it’s time to take a stand. Here is that stand.

“I have been an advocate for, and more importantly a community worker in Active Play for quite a few years now, and have worked in a number of capacities.  Because of that, I have had the opportunity to watch our advocacy develop in the context of physical education, sports performance, the so called “obesity crisis”, and the push for academic “excellence”.”

Above and Beyond

 

“During this time, there have been herculean efforts made to justify ”moderate to vigorous physical activity” for kids and teens in terms of things like “productivity”, “test scores”, and “health”.  All you have to do is look at the terminology.  It is clinical and measurable.  That’s what I keep having to justify play against – clinical and measurable.  I will submit to you during this article that play can’t compete with measurable on it’s turf, but measurable is no match for LIVING.”

 

 

Go read it!

 

http://www.drkwamebrown.com/above-and-beyond/

 

 

 

 

 

I like paying taxes.

http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/29/deficit-cutters-tax?cat=commentisfree&type=article

“I like paying taxes,”

the US supreme court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once remarked,

“with them I buy civilisation.”

BAN FECKLESS PARENTS AND FECKFUL KIDS!

This, dear reader, yes all 8 of you, may be worth a listen, especially as both  Adrian Voce and Bob Hughes are on  it:

 “Feral Kids and Feckless Parents”

the first in a series on Broken Childhood featuring an expert-led discussion on the contemporary issues, such as knife-crime and gun-crime and crime-crime and other feckless issues facing parents in our contemporary society

RADIO 4 today, Wednesday, at 8pm.

Do have a listen then we can discuss it online. Such fun!

I speak like this because the increasingly London-centric posh media types at the Beeb, seem to think everyone lives like this, cue vicious parody:

just after you have had a simple family supper of jugged hare in an aubergine and Marsala jus, and just before the ‘man of the house’ has to ‘pop’ upstairs to read Jemima and Jasper their organically-grown, fairly-traded recycled children’s story by Kate Winslet, entitled “ The day that Satsuma forgot about global warming”, you can huddle round the Pure DAB set and listen to (or record for later – such fun) this lovely programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0184s39

————–

From the actual BBC:

“Programme 1: Feral Kids and Feckless Parents

”The August riots in parts of England showed youngsters out of control on the streets, and put huge focus onto parenting skills.

“MPs and council leaders warned parents that they should know where their children were at night and keep them indoors and out of trouble.

”But parents themselves were saying they were unable to discipline their kids, either because they feared repercussions by the authorities, or because their children were simply physically too strong.

“In the first of the new series of “Bringing Up Britain”, Mariella Frostrup is joined by a panel of experts to discuss parental discipline right across British society.”

{uncontrollable interjection: RIGHT across? As in all classes? Somehow I doubt it}

”How easy is it for us to control our children, especially after they stop being biddable toddlers and begin to assert their own personalities?

“Have we given children too many rights and ignored those of parents?

”Can you really stop a large teenage child going out, and what restraining measures can you legally use?

“And, if your child is going off the rails, how do you break the cycle and get them back into good habits?”

—————-

Back to the totally made-up vicious parody:

Joining a woman in early middle-age who has a sexy voice because she is foreign, are 4 people who are already known to BBC researchers (who these days are all unpaid interns called Rebecca or Piers), because their names are already in the producer’s filofax (remember them). Joining poshtotty to explore these issues will be:

• Adrian Voce, OBE, freelance policy consultant and ex-Director of PlayEngland,

• Bob Hughes of PlayEducation, the UK’s leading thinker on children’s play and playwork

• some bloke who used to be a teacher who went to school with George Osborne

• the wife of George Osborne (is he married? I thought he was gay, must check) who has set up a charity for badgers distressed by quad bikes

•an ethnic minority person who was booked by mistake but the BBC has an equalities policy so they aren’t being told because it might upset them and they might call us racist

• Professor Martina Rousseau-Clarkson, the  founding director of the Luton University Centre  for the Study of the Causes of Research into the Parenting Strategies deployed in early adolescence by Developmentally Challenged Agricultural Workers in South America and Children

• Peter Rabid, the foreign policy editor of the Economist and best-selling author of ‘Shoot The Bloody Lotl!’

Only joking all of those people are made-up. The two that are real people are the ones least likely to be actually, and disappointingly, on the programme. Follow the link to find out who the real panel is. Gosh, with luminaries like that, we’re assured of a jolly debate. I’m going to be glued to my set: if you miss it, and if I hear anything sensible or interesting or hopeful, and if I write it down, you might see it on here, later.

Can the Occupiers return stronger?

Thrown out of their camps, can the Occupiers return stronger? | ‘Occupy’ movement News | The Week UK.

 

Cockburn writes:

“Then the police started swinging, brutally beating people’s chests, arms, knees, and backs. They were swinging to hurt. With the crowd behind and the police in front there was no way for people to leave even if they wanted to. A few people tried to escape in the narrow gap between the students and police. They were savagely beaten. Throughout what can only be described as a terrifying physical attack that has left many with serious injuries, the students stayed entirely non-violent.”

In an email to the campus, Chancellor Birgenou, who often likes to reminisce about his Freedom Rider days, defended the administration’s response by saying that it was necessary to remove the encampment for “practical” considerations of “hygiene, safety, space and conflict issues”. He remarked: “It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil disobedience.”

So peaceful non-violent civil disobedience is not non-violent civil disobedience. Thanks for the update, Big Brother.

One set of rules for the rich, and another for the rest of us

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/amol-rajan-after-the-capitalist-banquets-its-time-for-humble-pie-6258945.html

”If corruption means anything, it means buying immunity from the law. The protesters occupying temples of capitalism around the world might be an incoherent bunch – more obviously against the present than in favour of a different future – but there is great solidarity with them in Western democracies, because it increasingly feels like it’s one set of rules for the rich, and another for the rest of us.“

I like Amol Rajan, more and more. This is the guy who started being an unofficial bus conductor (shouting ‘Room at the back!) because he was sick of bus drivers not letting people on because the sheep hadn’t ‘moved down the bus’.

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2010/07/20/the-moral-abdications-that-lead-to-empty-rush-hour-buses-and-my-big-society-solution

Observe this, unintended systemic consequence fans: one-man* buses not only increased unemployment by sacking conductors, but also made bus travel a nightmare of overloud iPods and misbehaving yoof with no one to police basic human niceness and give and take, but also – PAY ATTENTION BUS COMPANIES – reduced profit!

Capitalism might be the least worst system, as Amol says, but boy** is it dumb sometimes…

NOTE:

  • One -person operated, so sue me.

*** Yes I know, or person

One set of rules for the rich, and another for the rest of us…

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/amol-rajan-after-the-capitalist-banquets-its-time-for-humble-pie-6258945.html

“If corruption means anything, it means buying immunity from the law. The protesters occupying temples of capitalism around the world might be an incoherent bunch – more obviously against the present than in favour of a different future – but there is great solidarity with them in Western democracies, because it increasingly feels like it’s one set of rules for the rich, and another for the rest of us.”

I like Amol Rajan, more and more.

This is the guy who started being an unofficial bus conductor (shouting ‘Room at the back!) because he was sick of bus drivers not letting people on because the sheep hadn’t ‘moved down the bus’. Observe this, unintended systemic consequence fans: one-man* buses not only increased unemployment by sacking conductors, but also made bus travel a nightmare of overloud iPods and misbehaving yoof with no one to police basic human niceness and give and take, but also – PAY ATTENTION BUS COMPANIES – reduced profit!

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2010/07/20/the-moral-abdications-that-lead-to-empty-rush-hour-buses-and-my-big-society-solution/

Capitalism might be the least worst system, but boy** is it dumb sometimes…

 

NOTE:

  • Yes I know, One-person operated, so sue me.

** or person, if you prefer.