Tuesday, January 22, 2008

random round-up

My insurance agent has posters on the wall that I imagine are intended to inspire.

The poster nearest me features a photograph of sunbeams filtering through several tall evergreen trees in the mid-ground. Your eye starts at the sun and follows its beams down to the foreground, where there is a flag stuck in a golf hole. Then you notice that the green is covered with silvery frost, and there are green footprints like random stamps. The footprints concentrate around the flag.

Underneath the photo is the word SUCCESS in all caps, followed by a message in smaller type: “Some people dream of success… while others wake up and work hard at it.”

I’m struggling to connect the image and the words, to decipher how the image represents success, and working hard at it. I guess it’s a morning scene, with the light frost and lowish sun. But a golf course? I’ve heard of the cliché that all major decisions and negotiations are made on the golf course, but it’s really a leisure activity in my books, and an exclusive one at that. I don’t like golf, and I don’t like the amount of water and chemicals required to maintain a pristine green. It seems like an awfully good way to ruin the planet. But that’s besides the point, I guess. Are the footprints meant to represent the people "working" while the rest of sleep, away from this hive of productivity?

It occurs to me that this poster is not so much to inspire as to placate those already conventionally successful, to comfort: don’t feel bad about being rich when so many are much, much poorer, because poor people just haven’t worked as hard as you.

The other poster, over the agent’s computer shows a photograph of a misty morning farm scene; maybe there was snow. The details are foggy, literally in the photograph, and figuratively in my memory. The caption is in a cursive sort of font: “Without dreams there is no need to work. Without work there is no need to dream.”

I can sort of get the first sentence, because when I dreamed as a teenager about competing as an equestrian in the Olympics, I still had to shovel shit. But the second sentence? Seems wrong and depressing to me. Still, I suppose there are a lot of people out there doing soulless jobs to pay the bills and their dreams are what keep them plodding away and sane (and hey, both Sugar D and I have been there and done that). But must work always be something that requires escape, even if its only in your dreams? I suppose so… I’ve said it in this very space before that if I became independently wealthy somehow, I’d drop my job in a heartbeat…

What is up with this insurance agency and its hardcore work ethic? What stake does an insurance agency have in people working hard?

***

Is it normal for a two-year-old to have insomnia? Swee'pea just laid awake in bed for hours last night, sometimes chewing his soother, or stroking the wall, or poking and kicking me. It was very annoying and a little distressing to wonder what keeps a two-year-old awake at night when he hasn't had chocolate or sugar or caffeine of any kind.

***

In happier news, I'm one of the five finalists in the Best Photo/Art blog category of the Canadian Blog Awards!! Hurrah! I really didn't expect to make it... but I've checked out a lot of the other blogs and it seems I've been pimping A LOT more than anyone else in the category. Round Two of voting starts tomorrow. I think it's the same as Round One, except there are only five blogs to choose from now. So if I could trouble you a bit more, I'd love it if you could vote for me again starting tomorrow.

In the Best Family Blog category, the category that nearly killed me with so many of my favourite reads and only two votes to spread between them (one at work and one at home), I'm pleased to see that Dani and Beck have both made it into the finals. I'm very sad that Bubandpie and Mad and Bon did not.

14 comments:

Fibo said...

NICE Blog :)

Mad Hatter said...

There used to be a great website that mocked those posted but I can't remember the name of it now.

Congrats on making the finals. When it comes to pimping, I feel that I am the one who pimped you out totally.

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh Mad, you DID do a whole lotta pimping! And of course the the whole nomination thing too. Many, many thanks!

Suz said...

Yay and congratulations for the finals. I have three computers to vote on...which means I can vote for all three of you :-)

cinnamon gurl said...

Suz, I think you get one vote per category, so actually you could vote for me THREE times and then split three votes somehow between Beck and Dani... just sayin'...

bubandpie said...

The thing is, golf is not actually a fun activity. It's an addictive activity because the only reason to do it is to get better at it. So perhaps in that sense golf represents goal-oriented work in the purest sense: you're not enjoying yourself, you're not accomplishing anything, you're simply improving for improvement's sake.

Beck said...

Golf is horrible. I once got sunstroke going golfing with some HORRIBLE guy I was on a date with.
I DO think that hard work is necessary to achieve anything in life, but without the right combination of other factors, it won't get you anywhere other than worn out, sadly.

Beck said...

Oh, and CONGRATULATIONS on being a finalist - I'm so thrilled for you and you totally have my vote!

ewe are here said...

I've seen a lot of very amusing 'inspirational posters'... perhaps you should offer them some proper photographic artwork. ;-)


And our 2 year old will often lie awake in bed, talking to himself, to his bunnies, singing, etc.... it's how they process their days sometimes.

Aliki2006 said...

Alas, I think it IS normal for a two-year old to have insomnia...who knows why, but it happens.

Ans congrats on being a finalist--woo hoo!

Mimi said...

That work / dream sentence pair? That structure is called 'antimetabole' and the its a rhetorical device. Brains really like symmetry, and the structure is symmetrical. Even if, in this case, it's nonsensical.

I hate those posters, btw. I find them smug and trite, and very conservative, as you note, despite all their 'it's all about you' boosterism. Boo.

Janet said...

"Without work there is no need to dream.”

I don't get it either. It seems logical that the insurance agencies would want us to relax more so we don't die of stress-related causes, triggering someone to collect on our insurance policies.

Congrats on making the finals. I'm off to vote again!

nomotherearth said...

over to vote...

b*babbler said...

Very late on this one... but thought you might enjoy this website, in light of the insurance company posters.

http://www.despair.com/