Fun With Anonymous

When i wrote about my new job at Fox Music the other day, one of Baxter Sez's perineal [sic] anonymi was out there lurking, waiting for yet another chance to pounce. As far as these anonymi go, if it isn't Alison's folks always lettin' her know she's a baby stabber and that god is comin' to get her in her sleep, it's my anal one that demands i maintain my socialist agenda with a consistency that matches four day old organic oatmeal. If you didn't read the comments down there, here's what old anonypuss had to say this time:

so, you are being environmentally friendly, but aiding the petite bourgeoisie and new rich in conspicuous consumption? why are you not doing something to help the suppressed workers? this work sounds like nothing more than escapism

7:15 PM

Here's an actual answer to your comment:

First off, y'all just wouldn't believe how long i've looked for a job that i could do in good conscience. In the woodworking field, which it appears i have an aptitude and an enjoyment of, this becomes even harder. If the job doesn't have the non-rewarding aspect of nail-gunning plywood boxes together all day, or simply autocad-ing what i want and emailing it to China, or spraying layer after layer of stain and finish on birch so that it looks like a patten leather version of cherry, then it almost doesn't exist.

Oh sure, i could be self-employed, have my own shop and stuff, but have you ever tried to deal with me one-on-one? I'm an ass, man. I have a hard enough time living with myself. I do not need to be in a customer service position. (Remind me to tell you about the dining room table i made for a couple south of Broad sometime.)

Anyway, here are some reasons that i have actually taken this job and can feel good about it:

1) I have the option to not pollute the crap out of the air.

2) I repair things as opposed to manufacturing things. Repairing, after all, is a form of recycling, and in this day and age of it's-probably-cheaper-to-just-replace-it, repairing is a rare thing.

3) The people to whom i give my labor:

a) treat their employees with respect
b) pay me a more than fair wage
c) actually use their business as a way to lift up the oppressed (as opposed to the "suppressed worker" that anoni mentions in the comment. i don't know what a "suppressed worker is.)

4) Most of the instruments Fox sells , as Wendell Berry so succinctly puts it, "use some form of solar power (such as that of the human body)" to operate, i.e. once a piano is built, it provides years of joy powered only by its human player.

5) The things i am repairing are in a category of what i call "non-vexing machines." They are not cellphones or automobiles, ipods or high-heeled shoes. When's the last time you became angry at a piano?

6) While some pianos do indeed play the conspicuous consumption card, it's the actual owners with the problem, not the instrument itself. In other words, a Humvee, when properly used, pretty much disrupts the peace of everyone around it. A piano just brings light and music into the world.

7) Additionally, a large portion of the repair work i do is on old pianos that are going into young student's homes as teaching instruments. Only a few are showpieces that go into the homes of the wealthy. (As a side note, i will mention that The Most consumptive aspect of this job has to do with the installation of pipe organs in churches. Churches spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on this stuff. Perhaps they could spend more for the suppressed worker and less on a set of handmade monitors for the choir?)

8) And finally, this work is very, very rewarding to me.

There's more, but i have to go to work now.


Robin said...

That sounds *fantastic*.

If you lived in Knoxville, Judson and I could've had you design our kitchen cabinets in a really cool way. Dull work, but you could've helped out some suppressed workers.

--Robin B.

Margaret said...


Kenneth said...

I've gotta work my piano chops back up.

Kevin O'Mara said...

I'mo start making a list of non-vexing machines. I like that term.

joan said...

Besides Charles Fox and his family are some of the coolest folks in town.

Anonymous said...

Your responses are truly those of petite bourgeoisie, and indicative of feeble mindedness. Read the words of the great mind of Plato:


Environmentalism is the new opium of the people. Inequality has continued to rise in the U.S. since the 2nd world war. The capitalists use environmentalism to distract from the increasingly meager earnings of the worker. The wages of the common man will decrease to bare subsistence as your environment is saved. Is a life of misery, hunger, and void of meaning not the greatest issue? True bourgeoisie will gain irrespective of whatever way the climate shifts!

You also say you enjoy your work, but how much suffering does your work truly make? True, the little children gain much from playing, but what are end results? They will fill the corporate bars with music to take away the pain of work. You fix pianos that will ultimately perpetuate the pain of thousands.

We challenge you to rise to the intellect and abilities you seem capable of. Help all workers [male and female, young and old] end the tyranny of oppression. Produce pamphlets, not pianos! End conspicuous acts like getting banned from Walmart and create worker cooperatives. When the proletariat are saved, so will the environment.

Keep the faith, and incite revolution!

Anonymous said...

Being an arse is no excuse! Anyone who seriously considers Marx should know that he remained churlish and incorrigible his entire life. If you had any real philosophical commitment to helping the poor and oppressed, you would place your skills in helping them.

Workers of the world unite, while excluding Mr. Biffle!

Quiche said...

Hey Anonymous-
There are enough anonymous condescending, arrogant, intellectual elitist big mouths out there who chose to scrutinize others and claim to have all the answers to the problems of humanity, and we can all point out the problems, but what are you doing for humanity? How are you part of the solution? You have neglected to mention that. Go to zaadz.com and see what is actively being done to change the world, globally and holistically (not just in one area)- socio-economic, environmental, political, humanitarian, positive and profound change by folks who don't just spew rhetoric. Join Zaadz and see if you are up for the challenge. And as you are fond of Plato, see Brian Johnson's (the CEO of Zaadz) “thinkarete” website. You obviously have time to waste scrutinizing someone whom you do not know, time that could be spent helping the impoverished down-trodden folks you claim to be so concerned about. You cannot gather the sum total of a person's life from a blog, all that they have dedicated their life to, all that they endeavor to achieve and have achieved, their experiences, the profound ways they have inspired or helped others, nor can you base assumptions on all of what is not mentioned about a person on a blog. Frankly, your sucky self-aggrandizing (yes, I can use big words too) attitude is not conducive to change. To change the world requires you to change your paradigm and be the change you wish to see, in that way you inspire change in others by example. How are you part of the solution? What are you doing to change the world?