Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thoughts in the mind of my back

I've been spending a lot of time prone lately as my back slowly gets better, which has given me time to think. Never a good thing.

What struck me today is that the crappy design of the human back dictates many of the castes in our society. Think about it. Bending over a lot sucks because the physiology of our backs makes it tiring and painful. Therefore, any job that requires a lot of crouching and stooping is delegated to the lower rungs of our workforce. Picking crops for example. Much of the agriculture in the country is borne on the backs of immigrants -- literally -- because they're willing to assume the postures that Americans won't. When a job involves wretchedly difficult labor, one doesn't say "foot-breaking" or "nostril-breaking" or "earlobe-breaking" -- it's "back-breaking" and for good reason. Back pain is easy to come by and it totally, totally sucks. If our backs were such that bending over constantly made one feel really great, only the rich would be allowed to bow all day, I guarantee it.

I've also realized that humans have designed their indoor spaces stupidly. Taking something out of the oven, loading and unloading a dishwasher/washer/dryer, fetching or putting away one's cleaning supplies, sweeping the floor -- all involve contorting into uncomfortable positions, and, not coincidentally in my opinion, are jobs done by low wage earners. We should design our spaces so that everything is above knee height. Granted, we'd have to give up some window space, but it'd be worth it! Only chiropractors could be against such a sensible plan! Well, them and conservative Republicans, who WANT to see their laborers suffer.

The only good thing about the universality of back pain is that Argotnaut has frequently dealt with it herself, so she's been a sweetie as the house has gotten progressively more disgusting. She knows the only way to get better is to rest. But if my back doesn't get better soon, there will be only one solution: call some illegal immigrants to come clean our house! But I'd be sure to tip them well.


Tavia Rowan said...

Poor guy. Maybe if people learned to use their thigh muscles...... there's a reason they're so big.
When I worked at the weaving studio, I noticed that I was the only new employee who wasn't miserable from bending over the loom. I never did figure out why, except maybe I've always had bad posture, so my back was used to it by then. Or, tight stomach muscles?
My sympathies are with you, bro. And about the house, it'll keep.

liz said...

Completely off-topic, but--happy birthday!

Hope you did something fun.