The final labor right is the right to not labor

Image for post
Image for post
Parenting, art — we call the most important things ‘not work’

You have the right to not work. Sounds crazy, but what are you doing right now? Not working, are you? That’s fine. This is your right.

You are not your job. You are not defined by your value to the capitalist system. Yes you have rights as a worker, but the most important right — the one we are denied — is the right to at all.

What is ?

is the most important work of all. is raising children. is caring for elders. is making art.

A rich nation is one with Zero Domestic Poverty

Image for post
Image for post
You are only rich if you have room at your table. We Live in Silence XVI, 2017 by Kudzanai Chiurai

If Jeff Bezos moved to Sri Lanka, my . Just from his white ass moving next door. But my life would be the same. It’s not like he shops at the grocery store 3 million times more. It’s not like he pays real taxes. Dude wouldn’t even loan me a cup of sugar. This is how meaningless GDP is. We average out our richest assholes and call ourselves rich.

We need to measure something else.

We need to stop measuring the rich and start measuring the poor. We need to stop measuring greed and start measuring good. …

That’s why it’s so messed up now. You’re young

Image for post
Image for post
Some white guy meeting America’s founders

Americans want to know I understand, but this is the wrong question. The most important question is when. Americans think they are 225 years old when in fact they are only 60. This is why you can’t handle your electoral alcohol. Democratically speaking, you’re children.

You’re obviously wasted. Just lie down in the bathtub and try to understand.

When am I?

American democracy was not founded in 1776. I know your mythology says this, but please think for a minute. At that time only 6% of the population could vote. Enslaving Greeks and Romans would be like 👍🏽, but those are two-thousand year old pedophiles. …

Oh God, why didn’t we learn this before

An American soldier has his throat sprayed to prevent influenza in December of 1918 at Love Field in Dallas, Texas.

I grew up in America and never learned about the 1918 flu. I learned a lot about the Oregon Trail and Ohio’s canal system but nothing about the greatest single fatality event in American history. In hindsight, this would have been useful.

Now I’ve at least read by John M. Barry. Depressingly, it often reads like the present — the denial, the absent President, the fall wave. I highly recommend reading it yourself, but as a teaser, here are eight things I learned. …

Things are bad. Why should you feel good?

Image for post
Image for post
Svetlana telling Tony Soprano how it is

Some Americans say my articles make them feel bad. I find this strange. 250,000 of you have died. You’re in the middle of a stupid coup. People are suffering all around.

This is like saying that the sound of a fire alarm stresses you out. Uh, okay. YOU’RE ON FIRE!

I am just an above-average writer from an average situation. Most people in the world have been through some shit. America is in some shit now. It’s not going to feel good. It’s not supposed to feel good. …

Sleep deprivation doesn’t help your relationship

Image for post
Image for post

they tell you. This is terrible advice. You shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while drowsy, and that includes your relationship.

For the love of God, if you’re sleepy just go to bed. The human brain is useless when tired, you need to turn it off and on again. Tell your partner you love them and go to bed. If you’re the hangry type, eat something.

Early in our marriage (when we fought more) we tried to talk everything out before bed and I’d just end up nodding off in the middle of some serious disclosure. …

We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired

Image for post
Image for post
What wave?

It feels like nobody gives a shit anymore. Nose-dragging, chin-strapping, going to bars, having birthday parties, whatever. Even the government is like, .

Pandemic fatigue is real. It’s exhausting.

The opposite of solidarity is liquidarity

People on their own, so they don’t. Where I live, Sri Lanka is having its worst wave (a few hundred cases every day) but we’re definitely not on our best behavior. People are planning New Year’s, having birthday parties, going to the gym.

Our family declines the few invitation we get with the gritted subtext of But we’re the odd ones out. …

South Korea has arrested all of its living ex-Presidents. It’s possible

Image for post
Image for post
All four of Korea’s living ex-Presidents have been arrested and convicted. This is a good thing

In the spirit of capitulation, Biden’s administration is unlikely to really prosecute Trump. This is a bad idea. Americans have seen years of obvious corruption, and they’re going to see him getting away with it. This sends a message. This changes your country. Either Trump is corrupt or America is. That’s what’s on the line.

Americans are unused to prosecuting Presidents, but it really can be done. South Korea does it all the time. Out of 12 Presidents total, four have been convicted, a full 33%. All four living ex-Presidents have been convicted. You can do this America. …

You can’t debate someone else’s existence. That’s just genocidal

Image for post
Image for post
Venus Xtravaganza (1965–1988). Feel sad even seeing this image.

I was watchingabout ballroom subculture in 1980s New York. It’s a documentary, but moreso a fairy tale. It’s a Cinderella story about young people that just want to be beautiful for a night, while the world wants them to sleep in the ashes.

The people in Paris Is Burning are so beautiful and so damned. They are so alive and yet died so young. On screen they are Cinderella, but in life they were literally called ‘faggots’. Yet at the ball they were Queens.

Of the many legendary characters in the film, Venus Xtravaganza stands out. She is a beautiful, achingly delicate young girl with such fragile young dreams. …

The question isn’t whether America will break up. It’s how to put it back together

Image for post
Image for post

What unites the United States? Most obviously, it’s the ability to go from California to New York without asking anybody. . During COVID, there are hard borders everywhere, and post-COVID is nowhere in sight. Are the states really united anymore?

People ask whether the United States will break up in Civil War, but they’re missing the point. 250,000 people have already died. The war has already been fought, and it was biological. America has broken up. Just look at the map. …


Indi Samarajiva

A writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He/him.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store