Ok, so it’s only 2:12AM on July 4th, and you would think summer has just begun, right? wrong! Or at least not for me, my sumemr is over, or my Norwegian sumemr at least. It’s actually not before tonight that I realized that this is my last night in Norway, as I’ll be taking the bus to Copenhagen tomorrow night.
I’m going to stay with my grandmother there during Bush’s visit (5th+6th), before I head down to the Danish/German borderland for a few days. I haven’t been there since december, and I really ought to see my grandmother again and it’s my mother’s birthday on the 11th. Then around the 15th, they are heading up to their summer house in Western Zealand and I’ll go with them and then continue on back to Oslo… but I really also would want to be at the main aprty conference of the PDS in Berlin on the 17th and then on the 23rd-30th at the FI summer camp in France. I have already promised to be at the Solid summer camp in Schleswig-Holstein on the 30th-7th amongst other things because I have invited the Danish minority party to speak about progressive politics concerning minorities.
Now altogether, this just seems like a _lot_ of stress to me. I really think I ought to just hang around Oslo, and I thought that was what I was planning, but then sudenly allt his “you must be doing this” and “you ought to be doing that” started popping up in my head. Part of it has of course to do with the fact that I will be turning 25 (shock!) on the 21st of July. Or in other words: I am getting old. Yesterday I even noticed the first hair that had turned white (it eventually turned out to be paint orginating from a paint job I was doing for a friend, but the shock was there nevertheless). And you know, in today’s society, at lest in a certain strata of the population to which I happen to belong, there is this long list of things one needs to have done at any age. A friend of mine found such a list with all the items defined entirely in a Danish men’s magazine, and followed the list of “100 things one needs to have done before one turns into a man” (or something like that)” pedantically. Now that is unusual, but probably much more common is the idea of such a list that is constantly changing, dynamically, with the ups and downs and the rapid speed of technological and social transformation that capitalism presents us with. And althought he items on it are changing with an enormous speed, they still seem to be quite universally accepted, if not amongst all members of the same age group within one “nation state” then at least amongst one out of just a handfull of different sub cultures, that span much wider the small confiens of the national identity, although most members of these groups usually still see their national identity as their primary quality. Now in my sub group of udner 30 year old urban students without children, there is a norm saying you have to have travelled absolutely everywhere and you have to travel in every free second of your life. And of course, the kind of travelling is defined quite narrowly; backpacking is cool, while charter holidays are not. (To be quite honest, I think the norms are followed much stricter by Danish minority youth that are much more concerned about being defined as tourists and much more aware how the importance of and ways of merging in to the local world than are Norwegians that usually have not reflected on such things as taking a plane to a country where that is considered a luxury out of reach for normal people. But probably Norwegians are on the top as well compared to world wide standards.) Now I love travelling, and I think I have done it extensively so far, but I also want to retain the moal right of not having to travel or have other similarly “productive” tasks at hand.
And that is actually my point for tonight: it seems as if our “production mentality” has expanded way outside of the part of life that we really need to work in order to survive in terms of food and housing. On one level, there is lots of crap being produced where the menagement coordinates everything as if productvity was a goal (productivity in the weapons sector is actually negative for the rest of society and therefor enot productive at all, if you think about it), while on another level, people seem to be using the same measurements of productivity at work in their own private life.
Now has it always been like that? I don’t know, as I’m too young, but it seems to me that it’s a new thing. And given that it is, one can ask: What caused the change? Although one really need to look at the matetr in more detail, my first suspect is the whole new trend of “school for life”. Capitalism is moving so fast these days that it’s not noguh for people to go throgh high scholl and then directly go into a job and never having to see any school from the inside again. Instead we’re all constantly relearning and restudying. That means that school, and the award system connected with it much close to people through out there entire life, and so it becomes a much more “natural” way of doing things.