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[- What's to be Been... Mr?
By GabrielPickard, Section editors' corner
Posted on Fri Nov 28th, 2003 at 08:30:24 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
Kenta Ohji, a philosopher involved in the (now-dormant) project NAM (New Associationist Movement), when i told him about my plans for the future, commented something like this: He said that he liked the way i based my plans on function, on what i wanted to do and achieve, instead of status and the role i would want to play. Well, that cheered me up. I was then 17 years old.
Now, three years down the road, the question what box to stick my head & shoulders into has nevertheless kept on nagging. I have even started considering professions (mostly induced by different concerned parties' propositions).. Only to wind up feeling quite uncomfortable about those boxes' inside.


[ --------------------------------------------- ]

Soon (well, another 7 months from now), the arms of institution are going to release me, i have served long enough, be it in school or in (German) compulsory community service, and have become weary. I have started to feel begrudging towards those time-thieves - as i more often than not percieved it. So maybe you can imagine my reluctance to beat down the trodden path, to university.
Then again, maybe you can't. - I bet there's quite a few here who feel quite comfortable with their academic lifestile. - Though whatever your background, what many of you might have in common, would be a tendency to (what i would call) a more "floating" lifestyle. (Though i'm just supposing things here, no rock-solid demographics..) Living on research, teaching, projects, freelancing, lots of unpaid work etc. - in these categories, it's often a similar type of work-ethic, a feeling of engagement, alternativism,,, something like that.

Of course i would like to know how those who have taken this style further beyond the institutional background have experienced freelancing; Building up, and maintaining your physical existence in the economic system we're dependent on, while (possibly) doing stuff you love to do - and getting to decide how.. However, i do not really know if that would satisfy my hopes and wishes. I just know that many German freelancers are peculiarily interested in money.
Well, if rigid society demands one to bend too far, why not change it? Even though this may definately belong into the "functional" category, creating the conditions of "alternative economy in free cooperation" would be a great (and easily said) way to start off a career. Where was i? Dreaming. ;-}
Anyhow, why not go to university? You need to be educated. Well, whatever happened to alternative ways of education? - In a way, i am an example of what happened to them. I guess, in a way, it does work. Although "auto-didacts" admittedly tend to miss out on having a well-founded & -rounded education (at least i am in that danger), they can be good at "thinking outside the box". - But in another way, let's rather ask what happens before, after & while alternatively educating yourself. Well, quite a bit - and then again not much. In my case, i have become accustomed to cramming my free time with all kinds of stuff. I am even a bit afraid of driving myself nuts, if i suddenly had all the time of my life at my disposal, to use for whatever my hearts desire. I do sense a fear of totally falling out of concept as well as context, and an ever-so-small need to move in a frame. Beyond that, of course, i also dream of enjoying the fruits of free life, after all - it's mine, not the projects' - of getting back into music, or getting out to see the sun (yea right, talk about that in noviembre-alemania; so, next on the to-do list: find a more sunny spot for residency).

These are just thoughts in progress, they're still being moved around. Of course, when people ask me what i'm gonna do, i don't get into this; I simply feed them that i'm going to study computational linguistics, sociology or something like that; I don't want to discuss. Well, in fact no! I want to discuss, i'm opening this process to public - give me feedback!
In the end, all i have to say is: So much for this rant, so much for now... Any advice? (job offers will be handled confidentially ;-)

[ --------------------------------------------- ]

What's to be Been... Mr? | 3 comments
[new] musical chairs (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#2)
by joerabie on Sun Nov 30th, 2003 at 11:09:15 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME
(User Info)

Over the past few years I have built up considerable expertise in the uncertain art of keeping my juggling-act company afloat above bankruptcy, though it has become more and more difficult now that the chamber of commerce has noticed how far our balance sheet has deviated from normative financial figures. Of course the bankers noticed it long before that, they are like the yellow canaries in a black coal mine, which is when they put the squeeze on.

Why am I telling you this, gabriel?, since it seems so far from the concerns that you voice - maybe because they are so far, yet near at the same time. As one gets older, ones needs evolve, one has a family to feed, and the friction of life becomes so much greater, and wears down one's efforts, ones ability, to do things outside the money earning box.

So being young is the ideal time to be one's own bench test. University (at least a good one) is a wonderful place to be in contact with other creative spirits.

I have learnt that one must be careful about matching one's projects to one's solutions. Starting a company seemed the best way to assure the control of my creative destiny. But in a cut-throat market world in shitty economic times, one spends more time on management, commercial issues, keeping the money-mongers satisfied.

Personally, I would love to "throw it all away", the bother of business and the wasted hours, just do my art and my activism, but this is not realistic.

[new] Inbetween (Avg. Score: none / Raters: 0) (#1)
by Anonymous Stranger on Sat Nov 29th, 2003 at 08:31:58 PM EURODISCORDIA TIME

Your thoughts are maybe not so specific to your age.
Also later these considerations of "domestication" reoccur-- the desire for "alternative lifestyles." There is no one easy answer of course and to study will be a good thing also when focusing on a life style inbetween chairs. To avoid being too comfortable in the university you need to have that choice first of all, which comes with education, and in most contexts requires that damn stamp of the "time stealing institution". A freelance lifestyle gives you time but it comes with lots of time-robbing insecurity, and energy sucking money concerns....

What's to be Been... Mr? | 3 comments

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