After all, when was the last time you met an employed philosopher? Such earthly matters are beneath the philosopher class – Satre, Russell, Aristotle, Socrates: none of these ever held anything approximating a 9-5 clock in, clock out job.
Me. In this article. Read it.
Written an era ago, when work was young.
It wasn’t the first pay cheque or the signing the contract – it was when beggars could suddenly tell that I’m the sort that can afford more than a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. Suddenly I was employed and officially a rat in the rat race. Thoughts? Not many, because it happened so easily – as if I had been born into it. And in a way I have. The end goal of all this education is nominally to create pliable tax-paying citizens to keep the imaginary wheels of the economy rolling. To teach you how to make accumulate dough without baking any bread. And there lies the crux of my philosophical anxiety. Forty to sixty years more now – should I live that long – I will cease to work and then what will say of those decades. That I achieved something? Even now I can tell money is just not enough and anyone whose life goal is to be rich is setting their sights low – very low. I’m not saying money does not have its place, but its a means to an end not the the end itself.
People who don’t understand this go stir crazy when they hit it rich and are often seen buying things like purple Benzes and pink Hummers. So if not for money, then for what…? And here I turned to the philosophers, who to my disappointment had no answers. After all, when was the last time you met an employed philosopher? Such earthly matters are beneath the philosopher class – Satre, Russell, Aristotle, Socrates: none of these ever held anything approximating a 9-5 clock in, clock out job. If Socrates were alive today he’d be an emo unemployed hipster looking for something to kill himself over. The more I looked the more I realised that philosophy the study and philosophy the practice of living the examined life are divorced from each other.
And then, just as I was settling in to the idea that this was pointless, I came across the teachings of an exceptional mind. One who lives in a pineapple under the sea. One who is at once absorbent, yellow and as porous as can be.
Yes I speak only of Spongebob Squarepants – the working mans philosopher. Before you discount my train of thought consider this – Spongebob flips burgers for a living BUT he is insanely happy. Almost to the point of delirium. How is it that a Sponge employed at a job many consider to be menial and empty can be so happy? Is this the writers attempt to show that only the delirious can find happiness and contentment in employment? How are we to find such exuberant happiness without resorting to drugs? These questions plagued me, but I felt I was on to something. After countless viewings of Spongebob’s body of work I believe I’ve come to an understanding of his philosophy. Here is a brief summary on Spongebob’s beliefs as regards work: