Sunday, 8 November 2009

Tell Me Why (I Don't Like Sundays)

Ah, Sunday morning, and here I am up way before the sun getting ready for work. I have to get up stupid early because I need to make sure to get the bus into work at the right time. The bus I need to get only runs once an hour on Sunday in off-peak time, and this is definitely off-peak time.

You have to hand it to the kyriarchy (Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza's more nuanced term for the dark forces who would rule this planet - go read the link, it's important), it played a blinder when it convinced us that allowing shops to trade on sunday would give us all more freedom. Of course it hasn't. But it oppresses us in different ways, and we only think that some of those ways are freedom.

It oppresses me because I have to get up this goddam early. It oppresses me because so much of my time is spent trying to find a way around the crappiness of the Sunday morning bus schedules so I can get my ass into work without being late and without being so bloody early it hurts. It oppresses the bus driver who has to be there in that bus driving my sorry arse into work in the morning, and the guys at McDonalds who have to be in there even earlier than I do to give us other Sunday-working mofos our coffee while we wait for the managers to arrive and open up the shops we work in. The only people who think they're liberated by this system are the people who don't have to work on Sunday, the middle class folks who get to spend Sunday morning nice and comfy in their beds before they go out shopping.

But here's the news from those below: if you're taking your ass out shopping on a Sunday, then your ass is not liberated. Because you have accepted the idea that your role as a passive consumer, as a cog in the neo-'liberal' capitalist economic machine, can know no bounds. You are accepting that there is no space, no time in your life which cannot be commercialised. I don't agree with the Christians on a lot of grounds, but one area where I do agree with them is that, when we decided to treat Sunday as basically just another shopping day, we lost something. We lost the idea that there might be one day a week when Mammon didn't reign supreme.

This Sunday, readers, don't go shopping. Don't necessarily go to church, either, but do something different. Start a little project at home - something you can get started on without going out and buying materials for it. Visit a museum (do not go to the gift shop). Go for a walk in the woods, go running, take a trip to the seaside. Read that book you haven't got around to. Listen to some music. Visit a friend. Step out of the machinery, start focusing on the idea that maybe there ought to be more commerce-free areas of life. And stop submitting to the collective hypnosis that tells you you are free because you can buy useless consumer tchotchkes on a Sunday, and which oppresses us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment