Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gentleman of the House

For the past seven months I have been basically basking in one might call, "leisure."  In the Old World a life of leisure was rather glorious: Mr. Darcy, Soren Kierkegaard, Lord Byron, and a whole bunch of other people that we've never heard of lived lives of leisure.  Unless riches were self-made, and thus self-sustained, then a life of leisure was more or less expected.  Even if it wasn't expected, who wants to work if they can instead travel, go to theater, go to balls, and otherwise make a name for themselves in high society, perhaps serving as an officer of government.  Most notables of history before the dawn of the 20th century were gentlemen or gentlewomen of leisure.  Nowadays a life of leisure is somewhat harder to come by, at least in American society.  Anyone can live a life of leisure if they have parents willing to spoil them forever and never send their child away from home, but even if you have millions of dollars to sit on we are expected to work work work, all the time--if you don't, then you are damned lazy or a damned profligate, or both.  We are inclined to condemn the poor as lazy and style the rich as profligate, but either way they should get off their butts and work, eh?

Well, I laugh in the face of American society.  Ha ha ha.  That's my laughing in the face of American society.  As far as I'm concerned, money exists so that we can spend it and never see it again.  We should not be extravagant or wasteful, neither should we be a hoard.  All that should matter to us is that we earn enough money to eat healthy with a roof over our heads.  As long as those two demands have been met we should give ourselves time to rest, relax, and enjoy life; any extra money should be spent on rejoicing: vacations, trips to the park, the theater, giving to useful charities, etc.  Basically, we shouldn't be so darn stressed and serious.  And so my main goal in life--I mean, my main goal in order to then achieve my real goal of being a famous writer--is to marry a woman who earns enough money to pay for my life, or to have friends who become rich and are wiling to donate money to my cause.  I want to be an old world gentleman of leisure in the new world. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, as I have teased myself with this gentlemanly experience the past few months, I have learned, opposed to my former assumptions, that many of the great writers and thinkers of the past few hundred years have not had such a leisurely life.  I already knew that Karl Marx, for example, spent most of his life in poverty, even with the charity of Lenin.  "Who cares about Marx, that friggin Communist?" you might ask.  Well, what Karl Marx had to say is much different than Marxism, first of all; and apparently Marx's life is representative of many formerly assumed gentleman of leisure.  This news is unfortunate because it means I have less ground to hope for a gentleman's life, cue dismay; fortunate because it means I am in no way a failure if I must work, by society's definition of the word, a little to sustain myself.  Thus, as I first mentioned in my last post, I enter into a real world.

Still, if you happen upon this post and have any money you'd like to donate to a writer sure to make a splash someday, feel free.  I won't complain. 

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