I understand, better than most, that grad students have a certain standard of living that some might call “eccentric” or “squalid.” It was acceptable to eat on a table of old manuscripts with only paper plates and plastic utensils while I was in school. Now that I’ve graduated, it’s not. I basically get that.
But I spent seven years crafting a treatise on Autonomist Marxism and I’m not about to see all that effort undermined by having a cleaning service come by my apartment once a month.
Who was it that said, “there’s no problem too big for the Marxist Dialectic”? Habermas? That sounds like something Habermas would say.
But the conclusion is unavoidable: after railing against the plutocrats for years, I’m the bourgeois asshole demanding a fine upstanding member of the proletariat clean my shitty one-bedroom apartment.
This one time, I saw her taking a picture of this huge spider web. So, I demanded to know which agency was surveilling me. She said they get extra points if they find things that the last person missed. Do I want to support a company that pits workers against each other in a points system? Hell no! But that spider web could entangle a dachshund and I slept next to it, for weeks, without noticing. Clearly, I’m not qualified to do this myself.
But couldn’t this be like when I borrowed money from Mom for the 4K TV? “It’s just to watch art cinema and documentaries that further the cause!” But honestly, it’s hard to see how getting high and watching Sesame Street furthers the cause.
I work hard, though. I teach four classes at three colleges. When the hell am I supposed to clean?
The even take care of Trotsky’s litter box!
And if anything compromised my authority on Marxist theory, it was doing shots with the sales-bros at Brie’s company Christmas party. They even had a professional photographer so the evidence undermining my ideals looks great.
That raises a good question: What if someone finds out? And they write a takedown piece? It ends up on Fox News, the alt-right blogs, and Trump calls me a loser. But my citations would have to go up. At least there’s that.
I never know what to call them either. They usually address me as “Mr.” even though I’ve introduced myself by my first name repeatedly. What does that mean? Ostensibly, it’s a sign of respect. But I’ve done nothing to earn the respect of, well, anyone. Maybe it’s because of the norm for addressing elders as Mr. This or Mrs. That. But if I’m older at all, it’s only by a couple of years. No, the salutation is an indicator of class domination. They cannot possibly think I’m higher class, though. They’ve seen my apartment. They simply don’t understand the power structure that’s trapped them. Boom! Book idea!
Didn’t she say once that she was a singer? Or a musician maybe? I guess I’m supporting the arts then.
I’m a patron of the arts!
Oh fuck. “I’m a patron of the arts,” Says the man that once told an art student that art lost its power when it’s paid for. Now that I have some distance, I get why she didn’t want a second date. There’s still an argument for that somewhere in my journals.
Finding that journal is another issue. Do cleaners ever organize three dozen identical Moleskine notebooks by overall Library of Congress category? If they did, this wouldn’t be an issue.
So what if I cancel the service? First, I’ll die when the walls of stacked, half read books caves in, trapping me in an obscurant tomb amidst the records of the Socialist International. If the cat doesn’t eat me, the meowing will alert the neighbors. They’ll break in, discover my body, and be glad I died before I became the clinical hoarder next door.
But without supporting this local business, I might contribute to one of the cleaners losing their job. Then Trump could still come after me for being so committed to my theoretical framework that I’m willing to let someone’s children starve because I’m too proud to pay someone else to mop my kitchen.
You know, actually, this isn’t a bad paper topic. I’ll have one of those pampered pricks in my intro class figure this shit out for me. Working this out for my sole benefit will really drive home the alienation felt by the workers.