In the abyss of the United States, there are seemingly infinite junkyards (most of them in New Jersey). And yet, to an outsider’s surprise–meaning someone from Europe or Canada–there are far more junkyards for the mind. These are called office buildings, and they house the ripest examples of the idiotic trivialities that allow human potential to wither and rot away to nothing more than a nondescript blob with a stench attached.
Ingmar Bergman, always a relevant source for succinctly and accurately describing the agony of human existence, might be using his main character, Tomas (Gunnar Björnstrand), in Winter Light to wield the phrase “junkyard of idiotic trivialities” as a means to break up with his post-widower attempt at a relationship. And yet, something about it just applies so much more poignantly for describing the workplace. From pens no one uses to paper clips one would rather poke her eye out with than affix documents, there is no shortage of inanities pervading the office tableau. And it is inanity that spreads like a disease to your very being, rendering you, too, a useless object creating nothing of value. That is, unless you count a buy-in to the tax and social security system to be of value to those that capitalize on the shallow collective cash pool it provides if and when you survive a youth spent in containment.