Posted By on August 12, 2005

“They Told Me I Would Appreciate Life Even More After This”

.: Today was my last day of work. I was an employee for a bank, but I didn’t do a single bank task. I didn’t deal out money. I didn’t make loans to people. I didn’t even get to foreclose a mortgage. But I did get to stuff envelopes, and I did get to scan pages.

.: In fact, I had what was called a project, and it was this: I, along with a coworker, would take every on-line banking application and scan it into the computer. This project of ours lasted all summer. Actually, it’s not even done, but I don’t work there any more, so I don’t care. It was demoralizing. It was dehumanizing. It made me weep for the days of . . . of whenever. I’d’ve prefered high school to this. The grandparents told me that, whether I enjoyed the job or not, I would have a new appreciation of working for a living. I think they’re wrong, because now I’m not so sure I want to live. I worked for three months, and I can think of not one interesting story that happened there. My grandchildren, years from now, will ask me, “Tell us about your first job,” and I will tell them about my second job without even knowing it, because by then I will have forgotten about this one.

.: What a sad story. Let me, dear reader, take us on a complete 180 into the world of laughter:

.: There is a filmmaker, and his name is Godfrey Reggio. He makes unique and intruiging films that lack both dialogue and narrative. They are but images and music. Many people think they are pretty; others do not. I haven’t sat through any of them completely. I tried watching Koyaanisqatsi, but I fell asleep. I tried watching Powaqqatsi, but I watched the Truman Show instead. I haven’t tried watching Naqoyqatsi, but by now I don’t need a reason.

.: Godfrey has another movie not in his -qatsi trilogy. It’s a short documentary called Evidence, and it’s eight minutes of children staring into the camera, their minds one notch above jelly. They appear in trance, mesmerized, numb, completely fixated on the camera. The big twist is at the end when we learn they were–surprise–watching television! God be damned, their eyes were watching television!

.: And so it is that Godfrey sets himself up for perfect parody: what’s stopping somebody from filming people staring fixatedly into a camera, eyes still and mind numb, only to find that they were–gasp!–watching Koyaanisqatsi? No, it probably wouldn’t turn out like that. I’m thinking, instead of lifeless eyes and still faces, they’d get lots of footage of people sleeping.

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5 Responses to “Done”

  1. Zane says:

    The revelation concerning the children watching television made my poor little heart jump. Lord, it’s a sad, sad thing.

  2. Christina says:

    We watched part of Koyaanisqatsi in Music Theory; the only interesting part was the beginning when they chanted “Koyaanisqatsi”. The only person in the class who got something out of it was Greg. I think TC owned it. That would be like him. You should have worked at the YMCA, then you could have scarred thousands of small children for the rest of your life as opposed to scarring yourself…but then what do I care if you scar yourself?

  3. pero says:

    Look at it this way: when your kids ask you why they should make good grades and go to college, you can tell them about that bank job. In all honesty, you were lucky to have that for a first job rather than working at Jack in the Box.

  4. Cody says:

    But I *did* make good grades! My going to college made no difference, except that I prefer summer school to work, but ended up working.

  5. Anonymous says:

    ahh, but the point is that you won’t be doing soul-crushing work forever!