I’ve been back in England for over two weeks now and the change of scenery hasn’t had as debilitating effect as may have been predicted. This is perhaps due to the fact that I’ve been doing very little, and therefore, not too much of a change from my last couple of months in Brazil, where a strenuous day involved a yoga session and a swim in the ocean.
I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this going (I am looking for web design work at the moment mind, it’s just nothing’s biting just yet!). It’s a curious situation trying to do so little in a country like England, a country that prides itself on suffering. The worker who only does 20 hours per week is seen as being on perennial holiday while the 50 hour a week labourer is able to sit on his perch dictating the ills of the nation without reproach, he is after all a shining example of what this country needs. It doesn’t matter that he’s always in tired and in a full mood, he’s done an honest week’s work and that’s alright.
It’s something I’ve never understood but which still has embedded itself somewhere in my psyche. I talk of doing nothing for two weeks but I have been doing plenty of writing, reading, playing guitar, furious plan-making and have designed two web sites. It’s far more than when I was a student. I suppose then I would have said I was studying then at least I would have an excuse.
I made a commitment a couple of years ago that I would never return to 9-5 mediocrity. It’s something which I’m damned on continuing even if it does mean the current precariousness of trying to earn money through web design. It’s something which I will hopefully continue somewhere else though, somewhere a bit more continental than here, somewhere where I don’t seem like such an unworthy citizen.
Before I wrote this article I read a review of a new movie Cemetery Junction which helped awaken in me this annoyance at glowering suffering. It’s a review by David Cox in The Guardian where he criticises the movie based on the fact that it isn’t glum enough. It’s one of the most ridiculous reviews I’ve ever read, as if the fact his own experiences in the 70s (when this film is set) were so bad he can’t imagine anyone having a nice time. It’s also possible that this review is aimed at Ricky Gervais, someone that people used to like or were not bothered about, but now that he’s a big fish in Hollywood seems to get a lot of hate from English people, disgusted at the success he’s managed to achieve. Hollywood changes people, you should be suffering like the rest of us!