Eating Words

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This is for FilipinoVoices.com’s blog carnival.  I’d like to dwell in the more human aspect a bit… I find myself really, really depressed.  Sorry, Nick, this is unusually half-assed.  – Marck

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I literally eat my words.

My job as a writer for a company in Ortigas Center means that the phrase “eat my words” takes a whole different meaning for me. Writing pays for my rent, for my food, for my transportation needs, for my weekly laundry, for my cigarettes, and for just about everything else. I am not a writer by virtue of a pretentious self-ascription on the “Occupation” field in a Friendster account: I write for a living.

Do I consider myself part of the “working class?” Hell no. I have been writing for as long as I can remember that I don’t even look at what I do as “work.” Work – in a physical sense – is all about locomotion. If my bosses are physicists, they would pay me only for bathroom breaks, cigarette breaks, and lunch breaks where I actually move out of my cubicle to go somewhere.

This Labor Day, I would not even dare take my place among workers who were once exhorted by Karl Marx to unite and lose their chains. I am not a laborer. If there’s anything I learned, “employment” and “labor” are two very different things. “Employee” is not synonymous with “laborer.” If you work from a cubicle in an air conditioned office for eight hours a day breaking a creative sweat, you are nowhere in the same league as a street sweeper who works for eight hours a day breaking real sweat.

I could bore you with unemployment statistics, the rates of wages, the injustices of the capitalist system, and so on. Pardon the archaic Latin: you don’t shit in your own yard. Capitalism – the juggernaut in the funeral procession of global economics that it is – puts food on tables. It would border on hypocrisy if I spoke out against “imperialist capitalism” if I am employed because of capitalism. Conversely, it would be defeated principle if I spoke for capitalism just like Ayn Rand referred to it as “the virtue of selfishness.”

I guess that I’m defeated on this one. You don’t shit in your own yard.

2 comments on “Eating Words”

  1. Pingback: Talkin ’bout Company Laborers » Blog Archive » Quick Roundup

  2. Pingback: Blog Carnival: The Philippine Job Market and The Filipino Worker | Filipino Voices

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