Thinking about the absurd

absurd

I am an absurdist

As a way of communicating my view of the world, I take things that others have rationalized into being normal and elevate them to their natural and absurd, extreme. People come to a sort of conclusion; if enough of their peers are doing or saying something, then that thing is acceptable and not absurd. It is only when one really observes human behavior from a non-biased viewpoint that the absurdity of what we do becomes obvious.

Some time ago I posted something. It was the below picture and the phrase “Tip your whores.”. Someone was offended.

Sex

A titty bar with the caption "Sex work is real work"


This is absurd on many levels. On the surface, this picture is absurd because of the content. We are conditioned to accept that a woman isn’t working, when she has a man’s face stuffed into her crotch . This is
recreational activity in the minds of most; hence not work.

Work, work, work

Next, when we think about “work”, we tend to think in terms of some sort of labor that must be completed; but really what constitutes real work? Is it
“real work” to be a professional athlete ? How is a job you earn money with not work? Does the definition of work flex with the legality of the work? For instance, is the manufacture of alcohol work? Did it stop being work after prohibition?

Marchers holding a banner that reads SEX WORKERS DEMAND: ACKNOWLEDGE SEX WORK AS WORK!

Thirdly, is the issue of how we tend to look at phrases such as “Sex work is real work” This phrase conjures images like this. Again, this image of women marching for civil rights is very much at odds with a picture of some girl with a man’s face in her crotch.

Politics, politics, politics,

Finally, there is the absurdity of the internal politics of sex working. While sex workers might present a united front to those outside the industry, internally the politics are very different. ‘At least I’m not a _______.’;
The entire sex industry is built on this principle. Those in the industry tend to define themselves on what they don’t do for work. For sex workers, their virtue comes, in general, from not engaging, directly, in penetration for money.

Why? What exactly is wrong with penetration and what is wrong with getting paid for it? I will venture a guess that we resent the idea of the most valuable thing in existence being sold. The right to sex is very closely tied to the right to reproduce. Reproduction is a sort of meritocracy with women as the judges of who gets to reproduce and on what merits. Who is likely to resent access to purchased sex? Virtually anyone who receives access to sex based on their merits. Also those who control access to sex and reproduction by rejecting those judged to be without significant merit.

If one talks to someone in the industry and asks them about how they feel about their job, In general, they will say anything to elevate themselves above prostitution. The prostitute is the janitor of the sex industry. Even prostitutes differentiate themselves from other prostitutes. They use phrases like “I get paid for my time and sex is sometimes a part of that.”. They don’t use phrases like “I get paid to put a man’s penis in my mouth and stroke it until he ejaculates.”.

Other absurd beliefs

Religion

This is a big one. How does this work? As far as I can tell religion mostly consists of people with absurd beliefs, telling other people with absurd beliefs, that their beliefs are absurd. What could be more absurd than that?

Religion is an excellent example of how if you have enough peers around you telling you that what you believe is true, you simply won’t question it. Take a Christian criticizing a Scientologist for believing in aliens. If you ask a Christian if they believe in extraterrestrials they will likely say ‘no’. But then if you ask them if God is from earth they will also say ‘no’. Still they will have a very difficult time dealing with the fact that they do in fact believe in an extraterrestrial super being. The clear reason for this that almost every person that you will meet believes at least something that is absurd while simultaneously believing that it is not okay to believe in the absurd. 

Finally

As large part of the human condition, we as people go about our lives in bubbles of belief. Inside these bubbles all things are rational and make sense. These bubbles form a sort Venn diagram where they intersect the beliefs of others.



Concepts Within our bubbles are not seen as absurd.  The areas of overlap are jointly not seen as absurd. It can be said that one of the things that bind people together are jointly held ideas or concepts that others, whose bubbles do not intersect theirs, would find absurd. 

The most absurd of all things is that people in general walk around seeing themselves as rational while viewing others as absurd. While those others do precisely the same for the same reason. The system of behavior that allows this to carry on throughout all of human history would border on the surreal were it not so very much part of our existence. Here people are, walking around in their bubbles of absurdity mocking others because they are absurd. One must be careful when one chooses to laugh at the whole arrangement lest one be judged inappropriate. Isn’t that absurd? 

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