Monday, July 30, 2012


Everything is owned. Every. Thing. With the exception of "trash", which can best be thought of as anti-property: not worth owning. So I'll adjust:

Everything worth owning is owned. But, it's easy to see that many things that are worth owning — to somebody, somewhere — are nevertheless tossed away as trash, and this is owed, rather simply, to convenience. Craigslist Free and the like create a new convenience (in which someone else — worse off than you, ostensibly) comes and takes your trash, shrinking the trash pile a bit, but still the trash piles and piles.

When the moments feels right, I tell youngens that they live in a world where absolutely everything is owned, and if not owned in the traditional sense of "that is mine, take your grubbies off", then regulated. I ask for counterexamples, "tell me I'm missing something", I'll request, "tell me there are some things that aren't "owned".

The air. I get that a lot. Obviously, that is both regulated and owned based on where that air happens to be. Next...

Me! I'm not owned! 

Ahem... I wouldn't be quite so sure... please reference your parents. school. and eventually (and quite sadly, if you're lucky) an employer. 

I enjoy the definition of employ:

The most common — give work to someone and pay them for it — isn't terribly enjoyable, but push a little further...

To keep occupied Or make use of. What an adjustment to a conversation. "Does someone/thing make use of you?" to replace, "what do you do?" and "are you employed?" That's very nice. A nice undermining, indeed.

Go back a bit more, and we find those straight-shootin' Latins whose implicari is allegedly the root of employ. Implicari is to be involved with or attached to. Attached to. In a world where everything is owned, the vast majority of us born debtors, being attached to a creditor is a winning strategy. The Land of the Free, some say.

Finally, this dictionary steers me to a 16th/17th sense of the word employ, a feeling which employees inherently commiserate: entanglement. To be employed is to be entangled. Twisted into a net. Involved in complicated circumstances that are difficult to understand or escape. This idea, a base quality of everyday life, something that I suppose is too jarring to easily accept: our very ability to obtain the necessities of life requires becoming entangled — caught! And put to work for money. 

I'm ready for a promotion. 

1 comment:

  1. Very nice.

    I also think 'consumed' has a similar applicability to everything.