Labor’s vulgarity

April 27, 2007

Let me sketch a stigmatized metaphor by installing a tiny loom next to your toilet – a loom, perhaps, mounted to the wall with hinges such that it can swing out over your lap when you sit.

Then, at some later date, as you do your duties to self and society, think back to this entry and the matter I give you to chew on. Think, for example, of the similarity between the mindless working of your fingers and the tiny vaginations of your intestine which propel your waste to its final end. These are examples of pure process – method rotely applied without regard to your identities or cogitations. Compare these activities with the common habit of bathroom reading, which seeks to enrich the mind as possession, even as the body unmistakably declares its allegiance to the material and the impossibility of your possessing it.

Weave, perhaps over the course of several weeks, a trivet which has emerged from you as passively as an egg from a chicken, and just as anonymously. Notice how your closest observation of this trivet’s weaving only makes it more difficult to weave; for the trivet cannot take any bit of you with it as it supports the weight of a steaming stew or risotto.

But if you cannot install a recognizable sample of yourself in this trivet, you can accomplish a recognition of your type in that trivet if, say, you choose one pattern of colors over another. Then you could at least say that your tastes are of a certain sort, just as 19th century Germans would classify the qualities of their bowel movements to glean facts about their health.

More than any of this, though, treat yourself by being sullied completely. Do not attempt to retain your dignity in the face of this work. The markets wait for your trivets.


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