Dear Mudge, I’m a Martyr

Dear Mudge,

Only years later did I understand my mother’s words when she told me—all throughout my childhood, “You’d cut off your nose to spite your face.”


Oh, you mean I’m a self-righteous fool who would rather fall on his sword than give you the benefit of a false victory over this obvious injustice? Well, yeah, pretty much.

I mentioned a while back about certain challenging circumstances at work. Let’s just say there’s this person, we’ll call him Prick, who was hired about the same time as I, but, for whatever reason, (certainly not his technical skills) hired two company levels above me. Prick and I never got along, still don’t; we never say good morning; never even allow our eyes to meet during uncomfortable juxtaposing hallway encounters. Prick gets twice my salary, and can’t even deign to acknowledge one of the company’s critical software developers? Maybe it’s my strong opinions contradicting his own? Maybe its the fact that he forced a number of good people to leave, people with whom I worked and valued.

So, in the secrecy of night I… No, no that’s not what I meant to tell you.

Last week the whole IT department was rearranged, by Prick and others, regarding seating. You know the drill: this cube vs that one, that office vs this one, who has to sit close to to the noisy printer, who gets a view out the windows into the attractive grounds around the building—petty shit like that that represents the pecking order of a corporate office. The software team was reorganized as well, all except me. The other six programmers were nested together in a cube row while I, who has maintained the same Amsterdam whore-on-display seat since I started, gets to remain where I am. (I’ve petitioned to be moved and have been quashed at every attempt.)

So be it, Prick.

A great place for deep mental activity like programming.


I’m not sure where this capacity to endure discomfort came from. I will say that I tend to gravitate toward isolation, attracting scorn and self-deprecation. Why? I truly don’t know. My mother recognized it early on. It may be hubris but I’m certain I can identify injustice more often than most.  But to intentionally endure an injustice, perhaps in an attempt to call it out, hoping *someone* might acknowledge the situation and correct it? That’s one strange behavior.


Regarding the attempt to leximize “leximize” and the recent realized recognition of your bizarre feat of digital flagellation, aka Notes from the Avalon, I have to point out that both seem to be indications of the need to leave a mark on the world.

I Exist and Here is Evidence.

I submit that such endeavors are ever more evidence that DNA controls our destiny. For in such a world as ours, social notoriety is culture cash. This admission chaffs at my purposefully distant and haughty sensibilities, but you have to agree, receiving those NFTA emails and notifications felt pretty good, no?

The more we delve into this Absurd Universe the more absurd it becomes.

Chin held firmly up, nose directed into the shit-smelling breeze,

17 thoughts on “Dear Mudge, I’m a Martyr

  1. I’m not sure if my deductions are correct, but it seems like your spot might be the one with the most foot traffic. People walking to the printer, going to the bathroom, etc. I was in your spot once. People would meet right by where I sat and they would yap about anything and everything. All I wanted was some peace and quiet, but nooooo. Finally, they moved out 95% of the floor. We were to move, too. I was excited to get a better spot but plans changed and we remained. For now. But at least with all these people gone, I am able to have SOME peace and quiet.


  2. My problem was always having a fully loaded and cocked middle finger, raise hell over perceived injustices, tell the coach to go fuck himself, accomplishing his goal of getting rid of me and me getting to tell anyone who would listen what a fuck stick he was. Coulda just kept my mouth shut, carried on, worn the dunce cap, eaten the shit. But no. The other side, as my mother said as well “you’d cut off your nose to spite your face.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. If it was me, I would decorate the f*ck out of my cubicle–stuffed animal collection, Chuck Norris poster, huge gay pride banner across the top–if you have to be an Amsterdam whore-on-display, make the display something fabulous, and annoy the hell out of the Prick!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like minds…
      I’ve considered using my location, with large greaseboard present, as a sounding board. George F. pinned it however, aging developers like me have a hard time finding work; risking this one would jeopardize my livelihood. However, I am using it to promote a writer’s workshop I’m organizing—innocuous yet subtly subversive.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I only meant to say, that there is not just one way to look at absurdity. There is the one folks normally think about from the likes of Camus, Sartre, Marcus Aurelius, etc. (the anti-absolutists or the relativists). From what I have picked up from your dialogs, you tend toward that kind of definition. In the face of some terrible reality, relative absurdist thinking has little meaning and there is much to believe that there is a moral imperative and that absurdist relativism is just a bunch of hot air. People affected by war, for example, often are moved to action by absolutes. In fact, what I am offering is that many, many people believe and are willing to sacrifice their lives for the idea that there is absolute injustice in the world. Nothing is absurd about the killing of a million kids. That word would be an insult for them. It would be too mild. So, for me, there appears to be a dividing line between the philosophy of absurdism and the brunt felt by a person who is on the receiving end of some absolutely unjust action. You might argue Hitler was absurd in his thinking, but Jews in concentration camps were operating on a totally different level as they lived and died. On a related topic, I once got into it with a psychiatrist about categories of socio- and psychopathic syndromes and how they had no application to people involved in war or concentration camps. Those kinds of standards have no validity in the settings I am talking about and I told him he had to remember that at any given time on the planet we might be talking about millions of people in those situations. The main psychological schools of thought are peacetime theories, when we have the time and environment to contemplate them. So it is with absurdity. The concept of absurdity as I have understood you to be using, is totally without meaning for people who are under fearful stress and in fact, if they were able to, would reject most forms of relativism, be it philosophic or political. They need absolutes to hang onto in order to give their totally fucked up lives meaning. Again, absurdism is a weak word for them and, as I say, they would probably find it offensive. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes. Indeed. We, sitting in the comfortable dark, screens aglow, can prattle on about the Absurd Universe, knowing nothing about the depths of depravity or extent of savagery capable of humans.

      Such a context as theirs (your suffering examples) would have little room to play at philosophies. And, I’ll admit, that is all I’m really doing, playing at these ideas; affecting little in the way of change or solace. Perhaps to do so, one should earn the right to speak of such in-graspable absolutes as the end of all things. Though, I would say that for anyone in a life and death situation, philosophy is an unaffordable luxury.

      Your point and intent is taken with the solemnity and seriousness with which you delivered it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi A. Mole,

        I think it was Clausawitz (maybe he was quoting Napolean) who said something like, I’d trade all the philosophy in the world for a single battery of artillery. This is the nub of the issue, the great tragedy of our world. Thanks. Duke

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Dave …pls send email, mine is messed up and program lost yours. I wanted you to have this. It somehow fits, at least in my world. Thanks. Duke


  5. Hi A.Mole,

    Absurdity is one of my favorites. I’m reminded of the idea that one person’s absurdity is another person’s five-alarm plan. I think absurdity as a real live thing is a lot like any other subjective idea, which is to say everything, in that it depends upon the observer and more to the point, the speed and position of the observer. In one sense, we are all bound by relativism. Will you allow me that? Probably not. The problem with absurdity is like the old Woody Allen joke, “it wasn’t the cheese burgers per se, it was we weren’t eating enough cheese burgers”. On the other hand, if you are in a village that is being gassed, relativism has little value. People tend to apply moral imperatives to some actions. The relativism given to things like Nazi, Turkish, French, American, Chinese, Japanese, etc. state policy when it comes to wiping out entire populations (destroy the village in order to save the village) are seen as unjustifiable and termed as crimes against humanity. Two points should be made: if we are in front of a log fire on a cold night drinking single malt, then by all means absurdity is philosophically relative. I’d argue that until the sun came up, however, if we are defending family from an evil empire, then the actions of our enemy are absolutely wrong and to be physically attacked. Getting back to the Allen joke, maybe the problem will be that we didn’t cut off enough noses to spite ourselves, maybe a few more million would have led to world peace and the cancellation of relative scarcity. But then again, I’m talking absurdities and everybody can just go fuck themselves. See how that works. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > In one sense, we are all bound by relativism. Will you allow me that? Probably not.

      Why would you say that? Of course I would. Everything within a context; contexts within contexts.
      Injustice in an Absurd Universe? How foolish am I to propose such a thing? But, within my microcosm of a context, perhaps forgivable?

      Liked by 1 person

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