Life without a desk is hardly worth living

My makeshift desk at AmmutsØn Craft Beer Dive, Vienna. Corpus Christi holiday, 8th June 2023. 

While immersing myself in Viennese culture and history as part of my ongoing cross-country comparative studies into transport, telecommunications, and energy policy, I find it frustrating that my hotel has no desks in any of its rooms. 

Jaz in the City is one of many trendy concept hotels that emerged in the pre-COVID era. The hotel and the staff are great, but there aren't any desks. It is now my sixth day and I have finally found a location with good Wi-Fi and a power point and space where I can plug in all of my USB devices from my laptop. I can also write up my journal which has been hit and miss over the last few days.

The idea of not having a desk in a hotel is foreign to me. Almost every hotel has a desk (with hotel stationery) where one can write letters or set up one's laptop. But for some reason, Jaz has none and almost nowhere to sit at a comfortable level to type and write.

It has been an enlightening experience to think about emerging trends and thoughts about society. We met a young Australian waiter at an historic cafe who stated that he escaped Melbourne's lockdowns and that, unlike Australia, he could at least afford a place to live in Austria. 

But the top tax rate in Austria is the third highest in the OECD after Denmark and France. To compare Australia and Austria (there is an interesting t-shirt here that reads "There are no kangaroos in Austria"), Australia's total tax revenue as a percentage of GDP is 29.6%.

Austria, on the other hand, has total tax revenue of 43.5 per cent of GDP. The top marginal tax rate in Austria is 55% compared with Australia at 45%.

My young friend is no doubt taking advantage of other people's money when it comes to living in Austria. Couple that with many academics who are now pushing for government-funded housing in Australia and lamenting Australians' reluctance to rent for life rather than own a house, and I can see where this foreign culture comes from.

It was most noticeable today in the Leopold Museum where certain artworks were tilted at 5 and 6 degrees to demonstrate how unsettling climate change might be if the earth's climate were to increase by "a few degrees more". But the Leopold Museum was a case of "Art imitating Woke" and I was surprised that a serious art gallery would have so readily jumped on board with the latest "the end is nigh" nutters.

Courbet would be aghast at the establishment using his works to propagate climate anxiety!

My favourite satirist, Rowan Dean, has pointed out how current approaches that align with The Voice are intent on undoing Sir Robert Menzies' dream of all Australians owning their own home. 

The socialisation of private property is a key goal of climate change-oriented designers. I noticed how socialist ideology permeates all aspects of art and design in Austria. The 10 Commandments for the 21st Century were one of many installations in the lower bowels of the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK):

It is interesting, too, that the upper floors of the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) were devoted to Austria's embracing of the Arts and Crafts movement, most notably of the Englishman William Morris, in the rush towards modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The "Austrian" style that emerged is more appropriately referred to as the "Vienna" style. I am yet to determine whether Austria has copied yet another global movement, in this case, "climate anxiety", or whether this time around they are leading the cause.

But what is clear to me is that, like Marxist ideals and other socialist variations that have occurred since the revolution of 1848 in Austria and in various other socially-engineered experiments outside of the Soviet or Communist states, have all failed after a short period of time. 

Human nature is notoriously fluid and escapes any attempt to pin it down.

Recent news in Australia today has pointed to the Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, and Katy Gallagher, as both being complicit in dodgy behaviour relating to the Brittany Higgins settlement. At the same time, the ABC's audience figures are collapsing along with support for The Voice as idealism is smashed against the harsh reality of politics.

I have been struggling to see the point of my recent journalistic writing as mere ephemera. Like Aristotle said:
Time crumbles things; everything grows old under the power of Time and is forgotten through the lapse of Time. The young are permanently in a state resembling intoxication. Remember that time slurs over everything, let all deeds fade, blurs all writings and kills all memories.
With such a perspective, everything is ephemeral. My ephemera has enabled me to develop thoughts and ideas that can be applied to other things, It is not just the output of a single piece of work, as my experience of Vienna's galleries has provided. 

I was able to have a few clear thoughts with my pop-up desk today.

But without a desk, nothing happens it seems.