Dogs and Work

August 31, 2014 at 12:50 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Where does the expression work like a dog come from?

I’ve had a little bit of a break from work, but am heading back in a couple of days.  Whenever I move from not working to working, that old Smiths refrain jangles through my head:

I was looking for a job and then I found a job
and Heaven knows I’m miserable now

As fate would have it, I was browsing though a volume called Guy Debord and the Situationist International, a collection of texts and articles from an expanded issue of October magazine. Among the pieces is a 1983 interview with Henri Lefebvre. In the interview, Lefebvre discusses the notion of work, and refers to City, a 1950s science fiction collection by Cliff Simak:

[in the book] work is performed by robots. Humans can’t stand the situation; they die because they are so used to working. They die, and the dogs that are left take advantage of the situation. The robots work for them, feed them, and so forth. And the dogs are perfectly happy because they aren’t deformed by the work habit.

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t die if I didn’t have a job, but I do like the notion that  dogs would have a seamless transition. Based on my own observations of my dog, I think he’d be pretty happy. Something for us then.



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