Holidays

So, there I was in Tenerife.

A few days away is no bad thing. I’ve seen people talk about burnout — hell, I’ve seen people burn out — and I could feel myself wandering close to that line. It’s been a stressful couple of months.

So I came to Tenerife. Sun, sea, sand.

It’s surprising, here. Although perhaps only for me. Hands up if you’ve read the Inspector Morse books? One of the things that you’ll notice is that book Morse is not TV Morse. Book Morse, in addition to his superhuman Mary Sue ability to attract women, is explicitly a mixture of the cultured and the coarse. That’s a pretty good description of how my head works.

I mentioned to a few people that I was going to Tenerife. And there was scorn on the responses. Not always obvious, but it was there. The idea of sun all day and then dreadful clubs full of chavs all night aroused feelings of hatred in some.

Well, you know what? Fuck those people. I like the idea of reading in a hot beachside bar all day and then continuing to drink all evening. And that’s precisely what I’ve been up to. Today my entire day was eating a full English breakfast and then re-reading the first two Dresden Files books. Stand there and tell me that you think that that’s a bad thing to do.

Well, I thought about Rachel too. But I’ll talk more about her later. She’s wonderful. But later.

Anyway, it put in perspective the idea that suffering is noble. That if you fought hard to get your 90% solution that it must have been worth the effort. That deliberately rejecting the world in order to do something free but useless should in itself deserve applause.

This place is freewheeling. It’s happy. That’s not a bad thing.

There are people who would say that easy happiness is a bad thing. That suffering is needed to prove a point. That using software that doesn’t do what you want is virtuous if that software is Free. That it’s more important to do things the right way than to actually do what you wanted.

Like me. I used to think that. Then I bought an iPhone. And I learned that a reasonable subset of my audience believes that I should be deprived of niceness and instead substitute the righteous feeling I get from using Free software instead. As if it doesn’t matter whether I have a thing that does what I want: if I had a thing that involved free software instead then I could ignore that I can’t do what I care about and instead feel happy that at least I wasn’t doing what I wanted in a Free way.

Suffering earns no points. That you made your own life miserable because of your beliefs is not a way that you score points over people who didn’t. You are not somehow more virtuous because you suffered for your ability to connect to wifi or create documents. You aren’t a better person because you did that. Your opponents are not morally inferior. All you’ve done is make your own life hard because you think that there are landmines on the easy path. Maybe you’re right. But that you suffered is not in itself a reason why we should listen to you.

I’m sure there are tensions under the surface here in Tenerife that I’m unaware of. But I never see them. Take a tip from the Canarians. Being easy is not a crime. Being deliberately difficult is not virtuous. And if you think differently, maybe you should go on holiday.

I can recommend O’Neills in Playa de las Americas. Two pints for five euros.

More in the discussion (powered by webmentions)

  • (no mentions, yet.)