Power-dressing in the Psychopathic Workplace

Arbeit Macht Frei, by CR/MM/SRS, oils on board, commenced 2005 finished 2014, 54.5 x 74.5 cm"Arbeit macht frei" is a German phrase meaning "Work shall set you free" found above the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps during World War II. More than 70 years later, almost everyone is an inmate of the global concentration camp of modern human culture. And yet, as Jesus is said to have said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these."
The wearing of neckties, by men, at work, is a cultural practice akin to the chest-thumping dominance displays of jungle gorillas. There is a fabric-based language, a symbology, a semiotics used in the workplace, where necktie-encoded subliminal messages about power, position and personality are constantly being transmitted and received. The dialect of necktie-wearing stems from the language of corporate power-dressing, which is more about psychopathy than about style or fashion.

And yet, and yet and yet. In the context of self-actualisation and personal growth, attention to physical appearance and accoutrement such as clothing is considered to be counter-productive, at least within some discourses). There's a highly potent meme infecting the minds of many internet-users, that the more you think about how you look, the less progress you make on your spiritual journey. Ghandi for instance was never friendly with Calvin Klein: the one died before the other was even born. Nor would the Buddha have given much thought to the style or fabric of his loincloth.

And yet, and yet, and yet. Isn't it true to say that the discourse in which a higher value is placed on becoming self-actualized than on enjoying a good meal or a good fuck, say, is itself context-dependent and relative? And therefore, in some contexts, for some people, the pursuit of spirituality is just as 'stupid' or 'meaningless' as the wearing of neckties in the workplace.

[Digression alert: the quantity of dried snot and sperm on the doors and walls of workplace toilets is an indicator of the extent to which work in that workplace is seen as stupid or meaningless. Body fluids are an effective medium in which to express messages about despair and desperation.]

Which leaves us washed up high and dry on the drear shores of meaninglessness, enslaved by our own choices and contexts, and self-deceived by the trickster going by the name of Free Will.

But there is a way out. And it's really very simple. Here`s the way out: don't be surprised by the outcomes of your choices and don't complain about them. Or do complain, but then don't complain when your complaint fails to achieve the outcome/s you seek. Because you become a serial whinge-bag and acquire a taste for it, and then pity everyone around you.

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