Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Another inconvenient truth: Yes, what we all are ...

Strange how ones mind works. In my blog 'On the fat word 'vegetarianism'. Living means killing, harming and eating' I wrote about facing the painfull truth that living means killing and eating. Thinking and puzzling about this, the next quote came into  my mind:  “Now he’s out in Hollywood, D.B., being a prostitute. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies. Don’t even mention them to me.” (J.D Salinger/ Catcher in the Rye). I allways translate this as "we're all prostitutes one way or another".

We are what? We all sell our mind, body, labor, creativity, intimacy, sex, power to understand, power to synergize or ... (?; there must be more) in exchange for money, power or whatever. Money we use for paying our bills. Money we need for our survival. You may not like it. You may not want to. You may dream of some paradise hidden in  history or in the future. Face! Face the painfull truth that we all sell our body and soul in exchange for our material comfort. Face it, don't be a phony.


  1. Jean, not being explicitly wrong doesn't automatically make right: there are many ways to make money. many bad ones. many good ones. what salinger meant was the latter, as in 'hollywood' the probability of that is very high... (i lived there for 4 years, went there for work regularly for another 6 years).
    so while you are generelly right in your observations, the conclusions are not always necessarily so -- like the statement "that living means killing and eating": but how much? and what? when? where? how often? it is more complex, more complicated, more open to debate, to interpretation, and to change.
    just as in 'hollywood', it is all about the 'how', not so much about the 'what'...
    and 'survival' does not have to equal 'selling out' or even 'prostitution', not of the body, least of the soul (that definitely not), i.e. 'paying bills' and 'power' are not in the same realm...
    in fact, i think one could argue that simplifying it like that makes the argument phoney, a cop-out for not changing anything, just excusing & solidifying the status quo...
    ;-) :-)

  2. Dirk, I do not disagree with your arguments either. "D.B" is the brother of Holden in the 'Catcher in the Rye'. He was a well paid scriptwriter by profession. According to Holden "D.B." was a "phoney". He was not literal a hooker or prostitute = someone who gets paid for having sex with. If Holden says that his brother is a "prostitute" as well it means according to me that he is selling his body and soul as well ... just like a real hooker. The bottomline in my blog is that we all do sell our selves. It's "this for that". It's work in return for money. My argument is: however sophisticated and clean our jobs is we all sell one way or another parts of us. 'Pecunia non olet'. According to me there are no good or bad ways to make money. "Being a prostitute" is a metaphor.

  3. II. Dirk, in my blog 'On the fat word vegetarianism'I was not simplifying but trying to peel of the bottomline of 'living as human being'. According to me we as individuals and as species simply can not survive if we don't kill animals, vegetables etc. We can't! For me vegetarianists are fooling themselves. Next to that I agree with you "how much? and what? when? where? how often?". According to me we in a way lost "holiness" in respect to the animals we kill. We lost gratefulness for what they give to us. They became "products" and "things" we buy and sell. They are no longer fellow animals on planet Earth.

  4. hey jean, thanks for your further thoughts -- so we're on the same page... :-)!
    btw, i'm not a vegetarian: i just try to not eat a lot of a meat (or fish) excessively.
    i remember in my childhhod, meat was a special meal, like the 'sunday roast' (and 'friday fish')... it made sense, that respect -- that has been lost...
    the same with leater, wool, etc.: you'd buy a leather jacket or a wool sweater not every season, but it was 'for life', or at least as long as it would hold up... there was a lot of sense in this...
    and work & money: one oes not have to do everything, anything, there is always a choice... that's what makes us human, we can make choices! :-)!