If you're thinking of joining up with a co-operative, then don't. I was a member of a co-operative in Newcastle. We were supposed to co-operating to get a zine out every couple of months, but the one thing with co-operatives is, they can't co-operate. Instead, they concern themselves with writing minutes (which turn out to be hours), making petty arguments (which usually turn out to be about things they agree over), and grumbling about money that they don't get from politicians who probably shouldn't be having it in the first place.
As a matter of fact, the main thing about co-operatives is, they're uncooperative.
And the same goes for just about every other group: 'Organisations' are disorganised, 'Committees' are very rarely committed, and people in 'communes' can't communicate. In the world of politics, 'socialism' is, by and large, unsociable; 'communism' is invariably uncommunal, and 'Tolerant Liberalism' is usually extremely conservative.
So, if you belong to any group of any sort in this modern world, then you can pretty much take for granted that nothing is what it means. In older, simpler days, this would have meant that the world is full of liars; but hey, this is the modern world, get with the program, man!
In fact, the consistency with which this rule applies is such that it even extends to terms used within large groups of people. 'Managers' manage nothing; 'Administrators' administrate even less, and 'board meetings' may be full of bored people, but there is not a board in sight. If someone says to you they want to 'get to the bottom of things', then they don't; if someone else says they want to 'clarify matters', then they won't; and if someone else says they want to 'validate the productivity and efficiency gains made in the last quarter', then nobody knows what the fuck they mean, least of all themselves.
One of my favourite quotes in Pulp Fiction comes (I think) from Samuel Jackson, when he holds up a roadside diner, with the words, 'Everybody, keep calm, cooperate, and this will all be over in a minute.'
I just wonder what it would be like if Samuel Jackson tried to do this at a modern board meeting. Firstly, nobody would cooperate, and the 'minute' would probably turn into five-and-three-quarter hours (not including lunch breaks). As a matter of fact, before said people in the board meeting did anything, Samuel Jackson would probably just give up, and shoot their dumb brains out.
It's food for thought, kids. Food for thought.
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