After months of wasting tree on futile applications I’ve decided to begin a spot of volunteering. I’d hoped for a job – not because I see value in labour but because I wanted to go abroad and *sniff* find myself. Unfortunately, my CV is no more impressive than a foetus’s and so I wouldn’t have been favoured over Biff Loman. A bit of charitable work won’t entail the same demeaning servitude of a career, will have some worthwhile results and might prevent me from lazing around, slurping diet coke, watching ECW clips and, er – blogging.
Contra Richard Seymour, though, I’m not volunteering out of “social solidarity“. Daveybloke‘s “big society” “plan” is a rhetorical plaster on the wounds being left by public service cuts. We’re advised to maintain institutions that directly benefit ourselves and our communities – not inherently unfair; I’m really interested in voluntarism. At the same time, however, we’re obliged to endure demeaning, exploitative and alienating work, much of which is then cashed in on by philistinic, elitist and domineering schmucks, who care more for their pretensions than our society. We’re asked to serve communities they show scant interest in and condition us to ignore. It’s a bit like – in principle not overall harm, fact fans – Mugabe claiming he’ll foster human rights within Zimbabwe by allowing people the odd day off to beat farmers. Right words. Wrong interpretations.