wood cabinets and leather couches and a woodstove and a small library and candlelight and bourbon cocktails brought to you by waitresses who are really good at their jobs, just like old times. last night we sat in the back room of the delightful french restaurant, and i took the anthology of poetry off the shelf and read this to j&j.
Granted, we die for good.
Life, then, is largely a thing
Of happens to like, not should.
And that, too, granted, why
Do I happen to like red bush,
Grey grass and green-gray sky?
What else remains? But red,
Gray, green, why those of all?
That is not what I said:
Not those of all. But those.
One likes what one happens to like.
One likes the way red grows.
It cannot matter at all.
Happens to like is one
Of the ways things happen to fall.
then we went to barcade and drank beer and played marble madness and q-bert. and we talked of yelling goats and fake tans and hamburgers, and tried to determine which of my long-committed veg/vegan friends i can someday convince to go on a date with me and order the 24-oz steak. and eat it.
Filed in autobiographical, food, health & vegetarianism, not poems | Tagged with bourgeois, brooklyn, NYC | Comment (0)
you ask the rich to pay more to help feed the poor, and the reply is akin to “let them eat cake“.
“Reduced taxes on the rich leave them with more money to influence politicians and politics. Their influence wins them further tax reductions, which gives them still more money to put to political use. When the loss of tax revenue from the rich worsens already strained government budgets, the rich press politicians to cut public services and government jobs and not even debate a return to the higher taxes the rich used to pay. So it goes – from Washington, to Wisconsin to New York City.
How do the rich justify and excuse this record? They claim that they can invest the money they save from taxes and thereby create jobs etc. But do they? In fact, cutting rich people’s taxes is often very bad for the rest of us (beyond the worsening inequality and hobbled government it produces).
Several examples show this. First, a good part of the money the rich save from taxes is then lent by them to the government (in the form of buying US Treasury securities for their personal investment portfolios). It would obviously be better for the government to tax the rich to maintain its expenditures, and thereby avoid deficits and debts. Then, the government would not need to tax the rest of us to pay interest on those debts to the rich.
Second, the richest Americans take the money they save from taxes and invest big parts of it in China, India, and elsewhere. That often produces more jobs over there, fewer jobs here, and more imports of goods produced abroad. US dollars flow out to pay for those imports and so accumulate in the hands of foreign banks and foreign governments. They, in turn, lend from that wealth to the US government because it does not tax our rich, and so we get taxed to pay for the interest Washington has to give those foreign banks and governments. The largest single recipient of such interest payments today is the People’s Republic of China.
Third, the richest Americans take the money they don’t pay in taxes and invest it in hedge funds and with stockbrokers to make profitable investments. These days, that often means speculating in oil and food, which drives up their prices, undermines economic recovery for the mass of Americans and produces acute suffering around the globe. Those hedge funds and brokers likewise use part of the money rich people save from taxes to speculate in the US stock markets. That has recently driven stock prices higher: hence, the stock market recovery. And that mostly helps – you guessed it – the richest Americans who own most of the stocks.”
the article has graphs and charts and numbers and things you should check out. but the crux of the problem is not in these summaries. where i start to lose this argument with my conservative friends comes from the controversial idea embedded in the paragraph preceding these:
In simplest terms, the richest Americans have done by far the best over the last 30 years; they are more able to pay taxes today than they have been in many decades, and they are more able to pay than other Americans by a far wider margin. At a time of national economic crisis, especially, they can and should contribute far more in taxes.
is this use of the word “should” – “At a time of national economic crisis, especially, they can and should contribute far more in taxes.” CAN. yes. SHOULD? that opens up a pandora’s box of capitalism vs. morality that i never have the energy to defend.Filed in politics and news | Tagged with bourgeois, capitalism, economics | Comment (0)
as a) a bay area blogger who b) hangs out in the mission a lot and c) keeps up on fashion and c) has a hard spot for hipsters and d) works on issues of land-use planning, zoning, redevelopment, and civic matters and e) has a general sustained interest in non-corporatization, i think it’s probably time that i make some sort of public statement about this.
in summary, for those not from around here or not paying attention or in the “who the fuck cares?” category, American Apparel, proprietor of all things bright-colored and tight and trendy and 80′s retro (gag!) (and vaguely proudly misogynist/sexist) but made in America (yes!) wanted to put a store in San Francisco’s mission district, formerly an ethnic neighborhood (latino) but more recently the home of SF’s young artist/bourgeoisie. the influx of these young white hipsters and their disposable incomes has, IN FACT, caused the neighborhood to change so much that now the original population can’t afford to live there anymore (gentrification), and now there are all kinds of local boutiques and vintage-t-shirt selling shops, but the idea of a chain store coming in was just over the line. or possibly, it’s unclear, that it was AMERICAN APPAREL that wanted to come in (instead of, say, Urban Outfitters, which sells all the kefiyyahs and skinny jeans and ironic t-shirts to said hipsters), but in any case: a chain stored wanted to move in (nevermind that others (SKETCHERS) already exist), and this new crop of local merchants and constituents didn’t like this idea, some for valid reasons, some i think just because fighting this became a trend. in 2006, SF passed Proposition G, which requires all chains a “conditional use” permit, the condition being that residents are allowed to review the store and its plans before it is permitted. so when the permit came up for review, this caused an explosion of public outcry unheard of in those parts recently, and it’s been all over the blogs and news and everywhere and ended in a final showdown at city hall last thursday, where AA was defeated and not issued the permit.
at my most optimistic, i’m happy that people are engaged with city hall and fighting about anything, whether or not it’s misguided, so let them have at it. it is also true that letting one chain-store in, whether or not they themselves have good business practices, has horrible consequences, because it sets a legal precedent that can be used by any other chain-store to challenge their right to be there and (possibly) also changes the zoning configuration. i think this fight does need to be fought, if only to have this issue at the top everyone’s minds for a while and serve as a dam against other chains who are waiting down the line. word on the street is that several of the open/empty retail spaces are empty not because there aren’t local businesses who would like to be there, but because the landlords are holding out for when the larger chains can come in and pay higher rent.
at my most jaded, i feel like this is just a token fight about something superficial (fashion), not actually about the thing itself, which most of them don’t even really understand, and representative of serious NIMBYism made obvious by the fact that a) many of the opponents acknowledged that they support AA’s business practices and they shop at AA, b) they showed up to city hall to fight AA wearing AA, they all walk around wearing clothing and accessories made overseas by giant corporations every single day, from their chucks to their huge plastic sunglasses, but they don’t want AA on their block. let AA stay at the mall, over there! not in my trendy neighborhood!
and, this only became such a big local media deal not because this fight doesn’t take place all over the bay area, all the time (see: berkeley zoning wars), but because it’s the perfect set-up: hipsters pretending to hate something trendy (AA) while remaining quintessentially trendy (protesting a chain store, despite the fact that you shop at them all the time), and so many people disdain hipsters that it became a fun way to target them. like others, i kind of think it’s sort of telling and sad that **this** is the thing that is getting people up in arms in the mission, where there are so many other problems, and wish that all this energy could be spent on something with less curb-appeal than AA. in many respects, it’s a safe, pet issue in a neighborhood plagued by more serious problems, and, some think, totally contrary to the larger problem at hand: the recession. (read this link if nothing else.) as well, as some have put it, “This only reinforces San Francisco’s reputation as America’s squeaky-wheel city. If you can get 200 people together and persuade them to show up at a meeting and raise a fuss, you can stop damn near anything in this town. At some point, someone is going to have to stand up and say we’ve had enough of government dominated by small groups of shouting people.”
somewhere in the middle though, despite the misinformation, the NIMBYism, and the utter disrespect for irony, i think it was a worthwhile and necessary fight, as noted above (and i for one am glad there is one less AA on the planet for now because my god how i hate their stupid fashions), and believe that it was the particularly distasteful crux of mission hipsters and AA that was making it hard to see the fight for what it was for and sort of confused and degraded and obfuscated the whole debate about chain stores. i also hope that maybe some people will now feel empowered to engage the other issues in that neighborhood at city hall now that they’ve got a feel for how it works with this one.
more than anything, i’m glad it’s over because i’m really tired of hearing/talking/reading about it, and that is all i have to say about that.Filed in bay area gems, fashion | Tagged with bourgeois | Comment (0)
Way back in the day, I belonged to a very rigorous political collective, which contained several Marxists. They policed everyone, as Marxists are wont to do, proclaiming themselves the keepers of Advanced Political Thought and Revolutionary Consciousness, also known as Class Consciousness. I actually bought this for awhile. I was young and stupid.
And then, I found out several of these people were rich kids. Kids of privilege. Kids who were basically slumming. I had been utterly fooled by the boho, hippie lifestyle, the fashionable thinness that I had mistaken for semi-starvation, and the gung-ho talk of overthrowing the bourgeoisie and the government. I had never met people OF the class they wanted to overthrow; it made no sense to me. I was stunned. And: Class consciousness? I asked them (during one of their interminable meetings), wasn’t it impossible for rich kids to have the proper class consciousness? Aren’t you irreparably tainted? After all, one of their heroes, Chairman Mao, thought so, and sent the grown children of the rich to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.
Rather than answer me, they kicked me out of the collective for other manifestations of political incorrectness.
Why, you ask, is she telling us this?
Because it was one of the turning points of my life, the moment I Got It: The reason these people thought they could be the Best Marxists of Them All, was because they came from families who communicated to them from the time of their birth, that they were the best, always right, the people who should be in charge. Thus, when they entered the Left, they took charge of that too, not missing a beat. Of course they did. You didn’t really expect them to let poor or working class people lead them, didya? They know best, they are educated, they can quote Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Gramsci at you. They looked down on me, rather as rich kids had always looked down on me. Of course they did.
there is a lot to think about there, without even getting into the rest of the post about feminism, particularly while i’m reflecting on some of the things brought up in the comments on this recent post about me being high-and-mighty in my anti-consumerist ways. i didn’t grow up a trustfund kid, and i’m not slumming it, but a lot of it probably still applies. i knew a lot of those kids in college (e.g. those who used summer break to follow Phish around Europe because they didn’t need to get a job), and i still do now, and yeah: it took me a while to realize that it’s easy to preach revolution when you’ve got a cushy pad to fall back on if the world crumbles.
i have recently been more aware of how my own personal wealth has affected my morality (aside: interesting article/video on morality and intention here). i have even considered that perhaps i make too much money for my own good. that i am staying with my job not because i really believe in the work or that it is the best use of my time and energy, but because leaving would almost inevitably mean a pay cut, and taking a paycut would mean giving up a lot of extra benefits that i have in my life now. things i didn’t have growing up. that if i left my job to work for a nonprofit or somesuch and took a paycut, maybe i would remember some of the things that i have been forgetting about being poor, and maybe i wouldn’t be so bold about making statements such as that the financial collapse might be good for us as a culture. but oh, then, how privileged it that, thinking that taking a paycut would be good for yourself morally?
“nothing is more bourgeois than being afraid to look bourgeois.”
jay planned a low-key evening for my birthday after work yesterday. i didn’t know where we were going or what we were doing or who was coming, so it was all a little mysterious, which was nice.
first, we went to madrone, one of my favorite bars in SF, as it also functions as a small art gallery and community space. they hold a lot of interesting social events, encourage people to hold meetings there, let you bring in your own food, and it has been a venue for a great number of our friends’ bands and we’ve even had a couple of fashion shows there. it’s small so can get really crowded on the weekend, but we got there for happy hour on a wednesday so it was empty and we had a few cheap and delicious drinks. they even have a really good non-alcoholic beverage menu.
then we went down the street to metro kathmandu (6 out of the 10 people in our party had been to kathmandu), where the food and wine was delicious and the ambiance perfect and the service good. i love nepali food!
then, we went to our dear friend whit’s house for some hottubing, including inebriated discussion about the current financial debacle. ah, the bourgeois: discussing politics whilst sitting naked in a hottub drinking champagne.
so while i didn’t find anything quirky or adventurous to do yesterday (no climbing mountains or jumping out of planes), it was a great evening and i fell asleep very grateful for my friends and my life, and especially for jay. i hear that part of growing older is learning to be happy with what you’ve got. i think i’m starting to get there.Filed in autobiographical | Tagged with bourgeois | Comments (2)
thousands of people have linked to, laughed at, and discussed Stuff White People Like. enough to get the author(s) a book deal and lots of press. most people i know take it with about a pound of salt and just laugh. and i agree. if you can get past the hypocrisy and emptiness of modern life, it’s hella funny. white people – specifically middle class white people – are america’s favorite new joke. but is it really new? television sit-coms have focused on making fun of white people since TV started, and the dorkiness of white people has been a target of black comedians for decades. i think Weird Al started the current trend of focusing on this specific group of white people with his epic White and Nerdy, which lampooned everything from suburbia to wikipedia.
most of the critics of the site i know have pointed out the obvious – SWPL targets things that bourgeois white people like, and it’s really more about class than it is about race. there’s no mention of NASCAR or Kenny Chesney or monster trucks or even regular sports like the NFL. it’s about a niche culture that exists mostly only in the white upper middle class of large urban cities like SF and NYC. it completely misses the flyover states. do white readers in Oklahoma City think this site is funny, or do they wonder what the hell is being talked about?
is it somehow inappropriate to assume that ALL white people like this stuff? is it perpetuating a stereotype, or fostering alienation of those not in the upper white middle class? i don’t think so. this stereotype of the hybrid-driving-coffee-snob has been perpetuating itself, with jest, way before the Stuff site existed. see: the berkeley food pyramid, which has coffee, the #1 thing white people like, at the top. but what about the tone and approach? is it destructive to make fun of people for recycling – a habit that should be promoted, not joked about? if you’re going to make jabs at a subculture for being hypocrites, shouldn’t it be a bit more biting and a bit less “oh, those silly white people. look at all the stupid things they do” in order to make a constructive point?
honestly, i really don’t care to consider it that deeply, and while i am usually on the side that nothing is meaningless and everything has an impact, i’m sort of with the ‘get a sense of humor’ camp on this one when i hear people start to deconstruct whether this site is ‘funny’ or not. the site targets a niche culture in which i live, i get all of the references, i see the real world examples every time i go out to get lunch in berkeley, and that’s why i think it’s funny. sure, it’s trite and oversimplified, but isn’t that what makes the humor?
more broadly, why is that seeing someone else point out patterns in things that are mundane, average, and actually not that interesting so entertaining to us? Seinfeld made millions off the everyday quirks of human nature pre dot-com ; i have seen attempts to modernize his sort of humor but they all seem to unfortunately fall flat. i think XKCD is as close as we’ve got right now (of course given that i don’t have television i could definitely be missing something, but, for example, i find The Office to be completely not funny.)
recognition of commonalities in preferences and behavior is something that has always been interesting to humans and a foundation of all forms of literature and art for centuries. i think the expose of the ultra-mundane in modern life has become increasingly attractive to humans in this totally frantic and weirdly connected world in which everything seems to be compartmentalized and isolated. forms of media and art that narrow the niches into sharp focus are sort of a throwback to small town living, where knowing that you have almost everything in common with your neighbors is a comfort. for the (sub)urban dweller or Urban Tribes type, reading a site like SWPL is kind of like a gossip circle at a small town coffee shop – you can read and talk about everything everyone in your ‘community’ likes and dislikes and what they’re up to these days. SWPL isn’t pointing out anything i don’t already know, but yet i find it engaging because i relate, and it’s in a format i understand.
outside of the niche, i think the appeal comes from the plain overall oddness and uncontrollability of human nature perspective. from genetic engineering to performance enhancing steroids to birth control to mood-altering drugs to ecosystem changes, modern culture has been working hard to change, deny and subdue nature most vehemently since the industrial revolution. i think the more computerized we get, the more odd human nature and our cultures seem to be compared to the inorganic, rational, logical functioning systems we have artificially created. that was the point of the Spock character on Star Trek – as a comparison to point out how illogical humans are in their ways. the more homogenous and uniform we try to make the world, the weirder we seem by comparison. human nature is weird, and no matter how GAPified it might seem, people are doing weird things to themselves and to eachother all the time despite our best attempts at conformity.
however, there are certainly other categories of observational or cultural humor out there that i’m sure are really funny to other people, but because i don’t relate to them, they don’t make me laugh, so it’s not a surprise that SWPL doesn’t float everyone’s boat.
so, even if it’s not the smartest thing ever written and flawed in its narrow scope, the Stuff website is blatantly calling out things that people do that are so predictable, yet at the same time odd and miscalculated, and with a good enough sense of humor that it doesn’t feel totally derogatory. for the targeted demographic, because we see ourselves in it, it’s funny, even though it’s us that’s being made fun of. if you can’t laugh at yourself, what can you laugh at?
(thx to b2 for the conversation starter)Filed in art, culture and random linkage | Tagged with bourgeois | Comment (0)
(this is related to part I: the yosemite trip report, but is separate enough in content to be its own post.)
“nothing is more bourgeois than being afraid to look bourgeois.”
comment in response to a long and very involved thread (see below) about some of the (sub)cultural issues in my little community. thread probably not interesting to much of the general public, but that quote is fabulous and pretty much dead on.
it also dovetails nicely from the recap of my weekend, as one of the things that was incredibly obvious, sitting on a patio of a campground where “tent cabins” are $100 a night in Yosemite valley, is that being “outdoorsy” is a hobby only afforded by the Affluent.
part of the reason we chose to do this trip now was not only because it was my birthday, because i’ve wanted to climb Half Dome for a while, and it was a less-crowded time to go to Yosemite, but also because jay and i needed to get the fuck out and spend a weekend doing something else, something outside, something away from internets and cities and parties and work and the world we live in most days.
the discussion that references the Warhol quote centers around cliquish behavior in this small community that is more or less based on fashion choices, some of which are only attainable with ample amounts of disposable income, and what that means or represents about the community’s values as a whole (valuing “hotness” over “goodness”, valuing doing something “artsy” over doing something “real”, etc.). this is, of course, a subject close to home for me, as someone who thinks a lot about what clothing means to our culture, it’s hard to get my head out of that specific thing and into what the greater issue is, because honestly: it’s not the fashion that the problem.
as my friend stephen pointed out, and with a lot of community comment, and as i have written before, particularly after burning man 2006, there is a lot of tension in my community (in simplest terms: the burning man community) as we all struggle against classism, white privilege, affluenza, and, i guess, one of the great weights of privilege, existential angst. i think this weighs heavily on all of us. what do we do with all this opportunity? all this time, all this money, all this freedom that we have as members of the American upper middle class, most of us without children? year after year it’s discussed in the burning man community: what is the best use of this context we were so lucky to have been born into?
while it is a privilege and a gift to be born into this and i’m sure many question “how can you worry about this when there is so much else to worry about in the world?”, as we’ve seen with many a celebrity who has lost it all via excess and has been culturally documented in hundreds of Great Gatsby/Less Than Zero type pieces of modern art and literature, wealth does not mean happiness, and often, it brings a great amount of stress and weight (which often also leads to apathy/ennui) to those who are conflicted about what to do with it. many a rich kid has gone down the path of excess to the point of no return, and many a person of disposable income in my community is severly conflicted about what to do with it. do you spend your hard earned dollars on hedonistic adventures like burning man, fancy clothing and travel because you deserve it? or should you be doing something else for the world, and if so, OMG – WHAT?
it’s a heavy question, and we then start to quibble and judge each other on the choices made in this context: judging those who choose to spend all this time and money on their own personal art and leisure (calling them vain and hedonistic) vs. spending it on, say, working for or developing a non-profit that services those outside of your own circle of artists/dancers/musicians. and then those who invest in art and leisure and not public service defend themselves with the (valid) argument that art is important to humanity and if it were not for art, life would be incredibly utilitarian and boring and so much beauty would be lost – and beauty does indeed have great value in this world.
these tensions start to show up in the sort of conversations that happened there – many pointed out, and on some levels i agree, that even HAVING such a lengthy discussion about such a subject as “the cool kids aren’t being nice to the not-as-cool kids on the dancefloor” is sort of silly on the surface, but stephen’s point was that the way we are treating each other within our community is symptomatic of how we treat those outside our community, outside our class, outside our culture, and that it is not good.
i’m gonna leave the discussion of that subject at that right now, but how this all ties back into our trip to yosemite is that when we were looking at photos of Half Dome earlier this summer, it looked like a frickin’ REI convention. everyone is dressed the same in the ubiquitous hiker uniform: khaki shorts, North Face fleece, hiking boots, sun hat….and often with lots of hiking-specific gear and gadgets attached to them. i realize that much of that is due to functionality, but does it have to be so predictable? isn’t there just as much of a wardrobe cult among the outdoor-gear heads as there is among the trustafarian peacocks? sitting in Yosemite Valley on Saturday afternoon watching the crowds of mostly white families herd through the campgrounds, i was hard pressed to find ANYONE who wasn’t wearing the Hiker Uniform and everyone looked Upper Middle Class. before we left, jay and i had repeatedly half-joked that we were going to wear some of our more outrageous but still entirely functional disco-camping gear to the top of half dome out of rebellion against this conformity and throw a little mini-rave when we got to the top. because the weather was so cold when we did the ascent, i wasn’t able to fully put on the outfit i had packed for that occasion, but was wearing my furry fleece hat and the bottom part of an outfit by Bad Unkl Sista. on the hike down that afternoon, i was able to wear more of a non-traditional hiking outfit, but due to wearing my backpack wasn’t able to fully buck the Hiker Uniform then either.
why so much resistance to this? why so much resistance to the “mainstream”? as i get older, as many other people can also attest, you get more and more pressure to “conform”. maintain a regular job. buy a house. get married. have kids. look normal. i guess i’m feeling that pressure more and more, not from any particular source, but just….from society…and the more i feel the pressure and am not conforming to it, the harder it is to make choices about things without feeling conflicted, especially when it ties back into this idea of the privilege/responsibility of my class. is spending our time,energy and money doing the things we’re doing just a juvenile sort of rebellion without any real impact on the real problems of the world, or is being part of a counterculture contributing to the world in a meaningful sort of way? (interesting side-link: The Rebel Sell: Why the culture can’t be jammed)
when i got back and read that quote by warhol it really struck me: is my fear of appearing to be one of the American Bourgeois – whether it’s the version that is the hikers on Half Dome or version that is the Feathered Hat Mafia at burning man – just a huge sign that i AM part of the bourgeois, and that brings so much weight i can’t deal? (this reminds me: after having a similar discussion to all of this at a campout with this subculture earlier this summer (Raindance), we had (jokingly) assigned two complementary essay topics to some of our campmates: Part I: “What is Real?” and Part II: “What’s Your Damage?”)
being out in the wilderness did nothing to resolve this for me, by the way, as i more or less opted not to think about anything much while i was out there except how beautiful it was. ah, the luxury of escapism. something else the white and privileged are really good at.Filed in art, autobiographical, burning man, culture and random linkage, fashion, friends | Tagged with affluenza, bourgeois, trustafarian, warhol, yosemite | Comments (2)
remember the thing about G’rups, which determined that Gen X/Yers are refusing to grow up due to various changes in cultural expectations and influences? and then there was the conversation i had about how adolescent the club scene is, despite the majority of clubbers being well into adulthood, and THEN there was the article on memory that concluded “wasted youth” is no longer such a bad thing because regret is held onto long after indulgence guilt has long faded away in your mind.
so now there’s this: “…to so many peers I encounter, work is worse than a four-letter word: it is psychologically troubling, a squirming emotional sore spot they live in denial of and avoid discussing. With unsettling frequency, I find that my generation can only identify and embrace success if it stems from self-expression, to such an extent that people are numbing and abusing themselves through drink and drugs to suppress frustration and a crushing sense of failure for having a job.” — full (~via)
his theory is that the baby boomer generation was the last to have to work real hard for a living, and they were on the cusp of seeing that the World 2.0 was going to offer opportunities to NOT WORK – IF you were smart enough and had the right opportunities. formerly a privilige only for “old money” and royalty, now anyone who did the right things could work for themselves or not really work at all. think the rise of pyramid schemes and Amway in the 80s. they themselves were born a little to early to take advantage of this globalization benefit, and so from the time our generation was born, we were taught to believe that if you’re special enough and smart enough, you can find a way to get out of having a job. and, of course, all parents believe their children are special. so now that Gen X is nearing middle age, there’s this expectation that if you’re still working for The Man, you missed a turn or something. you should be working for yourself by now, either as a proprieter or an artist or by playing the stock market on the internet. working a 9-2-5 is for suckers!
in many ways, i agree. i just had a conversation the other day about how so many of our friends are self-employed, and how amazing it is. and inspiring. and, if you’re not one of them, a little depressing.
in addition to this theory of baby boomers rearing their children with these expectations, along with every American’s feeling of entitlement, i think there are definitely other factors in play in determining how the younger generations feel about working. for example, on NPR yesterday they were talking about Ford buying out over half their US workers in order to become profitable. like many blue collar union workers, these employees began working for Ford with the expectation that they’d be working there for 30 years, and then taken care of for the rest of their LIVES with big fat pensions. now, many of them, middle aged and with limited skills sets, are out of jobs and have to find new careers. my uncle worked for a factory in indiana for the past 20 some years and was recently forced into early retirement. now, despite a bad back, he’s painting houses to help pay the bills as his pension doesn’t cover his costs of living.
so, in yesteryear, going to work for The Man paid off. it meant a solid future. it meant healthcare and not having to worry about what to do when you got too old or sick to work. now, no one has that security anymore. US employers are outsourcing to asia and laying off people all the time. no one i know goes into a job thinking it’s going to be their lifelong gig. so why should we be expected to commit to working for corporations when really there’s not a whole lot of reason to anymore? why not see if you can work for yourself? if you can’t depend on a corporation to pay your pension when you’re old, why give them your youth?
so many of my friends are making their living as independent photo[url=http://www.alexanderwarnow.com/]graphers[/url], clothiers, web designers, hoopers, jewelers, massage therapists, writers, and all other kinds of trades. while i agree with a lot of what mr. ott wrote on his blog there about a shift in how we view work, and perhaps i also agree somewhat with why, i have to disagree that it’s taking the easy way out or some kind of spoiled-brat, trust-fund, bobo privilege. most of my friends work their asses off, and while i technically work for someone else, i help to run a small business, and it’s no easy feat keeping it afloat. i have to disagree with his statement that says “Ultimately, our parents’ drive to deliver a better childhood is proving a mistake, if a well-intentioned one. We are a generation embarrassed to have day jobs, embarrassed to work for a living. Embarrassed not to be kings and queens.” i think it’s just the opposite. seeing all the long years our parents and grandparents put in at factories and offices and in fields so that one day we could work less than 40 hours a week for a living, and then seeing how that turned out for them has made us realize it’s not worth it. it’s not that we are “embarassed to work for a living”. we’re embarassed to work for companies and employers that don’t care about us, that don’t care about our futures. instead, we’re taking that into our own hands, and to me, that seems pretty damned grown up.Filed in culture and random linkage | Tagged with affluenza, bourgeois | Comments (3)
i’ve been feeling half-sick for about 10 days. not *quite* a cold, but a bit stuffed up, some heaviness in chest, serious lack of energy. i thought maybe i had developed some allergies but i don’t have itchy eyes or throat etc. i think i just caught a mild cold as well as just being plain exhausted from life. work has been pretty hectic due to a series of events that can make working for a small (6 person) firm difficult, and though i’ve not been working overtime or anything, the time i am here has been much more stressful. so pile that onto the half-sick + PMS, and i’ve not been much of a happy camper. i keep telling myself to pull back& take it easy, but it’s really not as simple as it sounds.
i knew saturday was going to be a long day, so friday night i stayed in and reagan came over and we watched the worst johnny depp movie ever, “Libertine”. don’t see it. it’s terrible. it was good to stay in though, and we had lots of time for girl talk (more on that later) because jay was out working his ass off helping to set up Synergensis (see below).
after reagan left i laid in bed reading and didn’t go to sleep until 1:30 or so, and then jay came home around 2:00a. 6 hours later we woke up and jay needed to go back to SF to be at Synergenesis all day long, and so i went and dropped him off around 9:30. it was shaping up to be a gorgeous sunny day in SF, and even though i was tired and feeling a bit weak and definitely needed more sleep, i couldn’t bear the thought of going back to our dark, chilly loft and wasting the day in bed. i don’t get outside during the daytime much, and also i felt like getting my body moving around would do me some good. so, despite creaky body, stuffy head, rumbling stomach and need for sleep, instead of going home to oakland and going to bed like a good girl, i went shopping. well, window shopping. walking is my favorite way to get exercise, and i especially like walking around neighborhoods and just checking everything out. thus, my long chain of saturday events started.Filed in art, autobiographical, fashion, personal favorites | Tagged with bohemian, bourgeois, capitalism, false profit, mirandacaroligne | Comments (2)