Friends and acquaintances
Discussion with Dave
Dave, a man who scanned my drawings, used to encourage me to hang around while he worked on them. For a slightly cheaper price, I was a semi hostage and kept him company during the evening ours into the morning workday. At 66 years old, he was intelligent, someone to talk to, someone who understood me on certain levels, and he was somewhat of a nerd. He was also a bunch of contradictions. On one hand he was very conservative and principled. On the other hand he earned part of his living by plagiarizing various photos and art using photo shop for shifty clients. Stars would be seen in various photographs miraculously. This man, who insisted on character, excused his one employee who was late every day because he couldn’t find anyone else.
Anyhow, a couple of interesting subjects were discussed one night. Dave believed in conspiracies, where a few men in a few rooms were orchestrating the entire world. He was not alone. I listened and often offered my own explanations. While the theories are intriguing and enticing, and part of the whole picture, it is doubtful whether men have the genius to conduct such wide scale undertakings. Just to keep track of the various entities, countries, economies, wars, and timetables is beyond one person's capacity, or two, or ten. It makes my own brain shut down. One can say that the bankers run everything and meet and plan to control the world currencies, bringing about a new order to things. I don't think it works that way.
Certain groups gravitate to certain industries. The most industrious, committed, ambitious, lucky or devious rise to where they want to be, and to protect themselves form groups, each watching the others back. This is just society 101. It is doubtful they agree on everything. It is just men protecting themselves with some power, trying to expand it. It is the way of all flesh. Middle managers, blue color groups do the same. Poor people are devious too. Many bosses I've had would be capable of great cruelty given the chance. It is just human behavior, maybe a kind of evil, which is how people exist in this world. Forming a group gives some a sense of power and belonging and comfort, even at the top. It is not a conspiracy necessarily. It is just how they work, and one group unites and forges their ties by competing with another group. Please keep in mind this is just a take. It is not the final word or written in stone.
Then we talked about how crass and commercial our society is. The materialism, the superficiality and the youth culture are enough to make a thinking person weep. However I brought up an important point I think. Perhaps these qualities diffuse and deflect the need for war, where men feud and kill one another. Maybe it allows our present civilization to exist. You are not thinking of killing your neighbor for eyeing your daughter when you are listening and bitching about a cereal advertisement. We are given much to dislike and the pent up frustration and rages that lead to killing and war instead are deflected and we vent in a thousand different ways. Yes it is an escape but it might be what keeps our civilization going, so some meaningful benefits are preserved for a bit more time.
And then I paid Dave $50, returned home late and repeated this pattern again and again until we had a tiff and I bought and learned how to use my own machine and gained independence. Work friendships don't always survive.