TITLE: Futility and Ditch Digging AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: April 24, 2010 1:25 PM DESC: ----- BODY: First, Chuck Hoffman tweeted, The life of a code monkey is frequently depressingly futile. I had had a long week, filled with the sort of activities that can make a programmer pine for days as a code monkey, and I replied, Life in many roles is frequently depressingly futile. Thoreau was right. The ever-timely Brian Foote reminded me:
Sometimes utility feels like futility, but someone's gotta do it.
Thanks, Brian. I needed to hear that. I remember hearing an interview with musician John Mellencamp many years ago in which he talked about making the movie Falling from Grace. Th interviewer was waxing on about the creative process and how different movies were from making records, and Mellencamp said something to the effect of, "A lot of it is just ditch digging: one more shovel of dirt." Mellencamp knew about that sort of manual labor because he had done it, digging ditches and stringing wire for a telephone company before making it as an artist. And he's right: an awful lot of every kind of working is moving one more shovel of dirt. It's not romantic, but it gets the job done. -----