Reminiscent of Zoyd Wheeler, a California stoner who dives through plate-glass windows in order to keep qualifying for government mental disability benefits in Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland, a 47-year-old man in Sweden is on the dole for his addiction to heavy metal.
“I’m still addicted,” said Hässleholm resident Roger Tullgren, according to The Local. His addiction, which is seen as a mental disability, allows him to receive benefits to supplement his income because he listens to too much metal to hold down a full-time job.
Since we all know that jobs are jails, and 75% of what goes on in offices is redundant and could be eliminated, it seems a positive trade. After all, he’s receiving only the equivalent of $150 per month, and spends much of his time with his band. The whole thing might just be a promotional stunt.
But this brings us the broader question: we are Hessians united by a culture and a vision. Our cultural belief includes the attitude that jobs should be done efficiently so people can go on to do more interesting things with their lives. Why are we still sending everyone to kill eight hours a day at jobs? One explanation is that people simply don’t know what to do with themselves otherwise.
Another view is that we could do this, but then people would need to find something compelling to fill that time slot. They’d need to find a purpose, or meaning in life. At least Roger Tullgren has found his, even if many people think he’s committing himself to Satan as a result. And what’s wrong with that?