Oh, yeah, I’m ‘working’ right now

NY Times columnist David Brooks casually mentioned that he was cheering for Duke in the men’s college basketball final last week, and that Duke beat the smaller, working class team not because it was rich, but because talented people get rich through hard work (I’m paraphrasing, you can read the original dialogue). Matt Taibbi wrote today’s best read in response. As an “idea pusher” like Brooks and Taibbi I, too, feel a little sheepish calling what I do work when I think about what others I know do for a living. Here’s a highlight from Taibbi’s column:

Only a person who has never actually held a real job could say something like this. There is, of course, a huge difference between working 80 hours a week in a profession that you love and which promises you vast financial rewards, and working 80 hours a week digging ditches for a septic-tank company …

Most of the work in this world completely sucks balls and the only reward most people get for their work is just barely enough money to survive, if that. The 95% of people out there who spend all day long shoveling the dogshit of life for subsistence wages are basically keeping things running just well enough so that David Brooks, me and the rest of that lucky 5% of mostly college-educated yuppies can live embarrassingly rewarding and interesting lives in which society throws gobs of money at us for pushing ideas around on paper (frequently, not even good ideas) and taking mutual-admiration-society business lunches in London and Paris and Las Vegas with our overpaid peers.

Read the whole thing. Taibbi’s a fun guy to follow.


  1. I’ve been a huge fan of Taibbi for years, I keep a Rolling Stone subscription only for his occasional article. If you didn’t catch the article where he came unglued on the Obama Sellout, then check that out for sure. His writing style makes career office worker, wannabe writer with minimal talent, pipe dreamer types like me very jealous. Hunter S. Thompson was another great one…

  2. Oh, forgot too mention I am working real hard in my cubicle, using an android based phone to make comments on posts from my google reader feed. Life is rough, corporate technology eavesdropped on my web habits, so I had to buy a smartphone as a work around. I should be so lucky as to have a job digging holes for septic systems 😉

  3. Ha! Funny you say that. I read the Taibbi column on my iPod Touch after letting my college class out early after a chapter quiz. Sad, sad, sad.

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