Dammit, Time!

(it can suck sometimes)

I know that yesterday’s post was a cop-out, but today I have been occupied with finishing my 11,000-word King Lear study guide and seeing a very good production of Hamlet at the Guildhall School of Music. Also, I have no Internet connection, and won’t be home until about ten, so I’m having to tap this out on an iPod, so I apologise for brain fart-worthy typos and bits of autocorrect idiocy. However, I would like to offer you some ideas today, specifically related to this lack of time I am suffering from.

I feel a lot of us scapegoat time, using it as a means to justify our own failings: you failed that exam because you ran out of time, not because you were insufficiently prepared to write that essay in the given time. Even I do this, as this post is titled in offence of time, not the fact that I spent half an hour this morning playing Football Manager during my break, not writing this post.

And this is obviously flawed, as time is both passive and unchangeable: it does not act, and certainly does not act with intention, and so cannot be blamed; furthermore, it can never be changed by us mortals, and do blaming it offers no scope for improvement which, I’d argue, is the very point of criticism.

Also, time is entirely arbitrary, as it is a hunan means of us breaking up the infinity of existence into pay-cheque distributingly convenient segments, like an orange made of money. Therefore, in blaming time, we are blaming something superficial, that was created by humans to solve problems of logistics and agriculture in the first place – if we are to blame time, are we going against the very convenience as usefulness of time itself?

We also manipulate time, which is strange due to its passivity, as we use it to measure and judge ourselves; we run against clocks and stopwatches to measure ourselves. This is quite effective though, despite it’s illogicality, as it means that we cannot blame time for these mistakes, as it is unquestionable. It’s strange that we blame time for our mistakes, when there is a countdown, such as time running out in exams, but we accept the judgments of time when it counts up.

Perhaps this is because we feel more relaxed when time is counted upwards, as we cannot outright fail like we can in an exam with a time limit, and so time is not a force fighting against us, but a means of measuring improvement and progress: your 5k time might suck one day, but unless you’re ultra-competitive, this is just a bad day, not a failed day.

Those are a few ideas on time, but they are by no means comprehensive or even that coherent, so sorry about that – real life comes first. Despite my desire to write more ‘intelligent’ pieces during these holidays, as I’ll theoretically have more free time to write better posts, in practice I have had no free time; there’ll be a post tomorrow, but I can’t guarantee its intelligence or coherency.

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4 thoughts on “Dammit, Time!

  1. In one of my classes last semester we talked about cultural metaphors. One of the main ones we focused on was the Western idea that time is a commodity. It was a really interesting discussion, and I have begun to rethink my idea of time since then.

        1. Maybe we don’t trade time, but trade our uses of it – you can’t give a professor your evening, but you can give them the essay you write in that evening.

          Also, that argument does put us in control of our own time, which is interesting given our lives are temporary, and we spend at least half our days refuelling or recharging for the next day. We’re like really inefficient electric cars.

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