Why Can’t Everything be Perfect Already?

By Akshat Jain

Here are a few questions that we hear around on a regular, and sometimes daily basis. Here you will also find an attempt to unravel their mystery and understand what they really mean. Sit back, read and feel free to contribute more points through comments.

‘Please tell us in 500 words or less why you think you would be the right fit for our company. You should know that we are a group of highly motivated individuals who love the work we do and we expect the same amount of enthusiasm and zeal from everyone we work with.’

I have never encountered a single application of any sort that does not ask the applicant to be inspired and motivated to perform the task they are applying to undertake. And every time I lie on one of these and tell them about how much I want to be in the shit they are inevitably going to put me through, I think about the fate of people who are unmotivated to do anything. What kinds of jobs do they get? Since there are apparently no jobs in which one gets to relax and screw up, do those people even get jobs? I guess, like me, they lie, get in and soon are thrown out as their deception is discovered. Then they go somewhere else and try again. As mediums of transport improved allowing unmotivated and uninspired men to travel and fool people in different places into giving them jobs, social media came to screw them over. Now that our harmful proclivities to shirk work are online for all future employers to see, we are hoped to perish everywhere.

‘I paid her more than minimum wage, sent her children to school, gave her clothes and even lent her money when she needed it, and the bitch, she still stole my dress. These people have no gratitude, it doesn’t pay in the world to be good, you have to be strict with them and keep them in their place or they take advantage of you.’

So money. If I want more money and a better lifestyle, I have to work well and hard and prove that I can keep accidents at bay, prove that I can get up and come to work every day, put on a smile and fight on the right side. Probably start a family and bring up a couple of children to further prove my inclination to keep order at all costs. For how will I feed the children in disorder? It speaks volumes about us that disorder is one of our greatest fears today. Any amount of disorder and we think the poor will just come raiding our homes and raping our asses. How badly do we treat the poor to elicit that response at the slightest unavailability of the policeman? The zombie proletariat, ever waiting to climb the walls and eat the flesh of the good and normal humans, the humans of progress and civilization, the humans that matter. Inhumans gorging themselves on material humans to emerge in the pages of history.

‘Why can’t they have it painted again? These people don’t know how to take care of anything, look, all the paint is peeling off, and it’s such an important historical site.’

It is amazing that the charge of incompetence is laid so often against humans whenever an accident occurs. Incompetency, one of the last refuges of the human body against its attempt at efficiency, is criticised everywhere and consistently. The lack of human competency to accomplish daily tasks that produce and reproduce our society is the one thing that everybody agrees on, no matter where they stand on other issues. 

I want to write a treatise defending human incompetence as one of the last things worth defending about the human race is its physical and visceral denial of perfectness. We still don’t want to do everything, no matter what you give us in return. The will to just chill the fuck out is one of the most deeply ingrained. The question — but why do more than the minimum required — is one of the eternal questions. Thinking, one could even venture to say, began with this question. Animals accept it unthinkingly, whereas we have the additional task of justifying it. For it seems, that, against all logic and common sense, we are embarked on a mission to make everybody actually want to be perfectly competent.

‘Oh my god, the internet is so slow. How come they can never make it work properly? It is at times like these I feel I am living in the third world.’

(An attempt to clarify what they mean by first and third world)

In the third world, things don’t work properly. Plans aren’t executed to perfection. It is accident prone, things outside the expected normal can occur here and the grim reality of the hardware that runs it is often exposed, causing trauma to the well-adjusted citizens. This can occur anywhere and that’s the real beauty of the contemporary third world. These are zones all over the globe where accidents happen all the time because no one seems to care.

In the first world, things work smoothly. All the mechanisms are in place and all the humans are attentive and error free. They love the work they do and they understand its importance. They remain invisible because they only want to be seen through their work. Things just happen as if they were always supposed to; as if no one is performing them. This is the ideal of the first world, the idea of book editors and the backstagers. Only in the third world are mistakes made such that the body upholding the performance is exposed.

However, don’t be mistaken for you can find just as much of the first world in India in a housing society called Heavenly Delight as you can find the third world in the West in a ghetto called Compton.

‘How difficult is it to put shit properly in the bag. I have told you a million times, first the juice, then the bread but no, you are a fuckin idiot, look at how squished the fuckin bread is.’

Money. That is why I should want to do things well. I can’t think of a single other reason. Some people say because we live in society, we have responsibilities. I say, fuck them. I don’t see people do anything well that doesn’t pay them in some way, that, as they say nowadays, which cannot be capitalized, whether it be goodwill, fame, or actual cash. The capitalization of goodwill was one of the great discoveries of the caste system and it is kept alive, again, by the most disparate ideologies. Like the caste system which deploys all the levels for its sustenance by offering everybody a little something; so does the capitalization of goodwill draw supporters from sworn ideological enemies. To all of them, I have to say that I don’t have to do shit because I owe something to society, I don’t owe it anything, that much is obvious. The only reason they want to inculcate gratitude in me is to enslave me, for the good of everybody and social harmony and family or nation or whatever suits their interests. Every status quo inculcates gratitude in its subjects because, without that, it cannot exist. And well, it is our obligation then to say fuck you to the gratitude and fuck you to our apparent duty towards the ‘society’.

‘This area used to be horrible, filled with slums and the riffraff. You couldn’t come here at night, especially our ladies. Now, it’s improving, with new apartment complexes, much of it has been cleared out, streetlights have been built, now it is becoming safe even at night.’

A lack of motivation makes a human unsafe. It makes him explosive, with all the connotations that a terrorist-centric culture has attached to that word. What is one supposed to do with a person who doesn’t want to improve his lot? Yet again, all sides agree that every human should always actively be trying to improve his or her lot. Rest and relaxation in the face of extreme poverty are condemned universally. How is the poor man to be kept working in his shitty conditions with his shitty pay and shitty future? Make fear and hope his ruling conditions. Fear of extermination and hope of assimilation. But till then, drive him away with the might of your mortar and bulldozers, replace his cheaply clad woman with your expensively clad woman and declare the area developed.

‘Work hard my friend for therein lies salvation.’

I would rather repeat after Bukowski, don’t try my friend even though therein lies no salvation but only misery and uncertainty. Working hard is miserable in itself. Not trying is miserable because of conditions the world creates for you; in itself, it is the most pleasurable thing a man can do. A man who doesn’t try, a man who let’s go, a man with an intense dislike to working hard, that’s the kind of man that is constantly being hounded, that’s the kind of man to unite the rest of society in its hatred of him. If one wonders how two diametrically opposed men are able to work together, their common disgust of the lazy man is the answer. Soon, one of these governments might even wage a war on laziness, or shall I say that one of these governments might become confident enough to proclaim the existence of the ongoing war against laziness. 

About the Author:

Akshat Jain is a writer living in India. He can be contacted on: akshat205@gmail.com.

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