“Yeah, we only want a dream we conform to…”

This line is a borrowed smidgen of brilliance (Blue October, ‘Inner Glow’) and, an ironic one, if you’re a longtime fan who’s seen a recent concert, but, I’ll leave it at that. Do you ever find yourself wondering, as you watch TV; “how, in the hell, do these people get paid?”?

I know I do.

For me, there are two professions who prompt this query, more than any other. Football players and staff writers for our “favorite” shows. It seems, most of America is on a different page than I, where popular television is concerned. As far as the football players, I think what bothers me most is the issue of utterly wasted funds. Although I have a full grasp on the basic economics of Capitalism and prefer it to all the other ‘ism’s, it still pisses me off to see a guy who gets paid millions of dollars to catch a ball, dare complain, refuse to go to work, siting references to Slavery, as an excuse to not want to come out and play, today. Meanwhile, the dedicated people who teach our children, live paycheck to paycheck and buy supplies that enhance our kids’ lives in a permanent way, out of their very limited pockets; slaves to the system.

In the vein of whoring words (and I’m mostly talking media arts, here, because real books are slowly being replaced with the cheap, easy, and quick, McDonald’s version of literary) I’m starting to lose my ideals, as the belief creeps in that, to get ahead, you’ve gotta know someone who already is. We’ve all got a story, and the bimbos blowing the set directors have got to be good, because the plots I’m seeing, these days are paper-thin and obscenely predictable.

To see this third-grade science project, shoebox diorama of  supposed plot, headed up by a team of professional wordsluts irks me, to my core.  I loathe writers’ dialogue (it bothers me, more than anything; no one talks like we do, people. Wise up and Huckspeak, for christ’s sake). It’s worse than contrived; it’s both that and condescending. When I’m writing dialogue, I take into consideration my characters, not the people who demand a thoroughly “epic” moron to lead them through the lives they can’t fathom because, well, they don’t have the attention span. Bullphooey, I say. For writers who are paid to appeal to a certain demographic, all they think about is that idiot audience, thereby leaving their art behind, in favor of the dull, green paper, which seems to rule so many lives.

Ahhh; the sell-outs…

I’m not a veterinarian, or astronaut, or theoretical physicist, so, I’ve already sold out, in a way. I love my job, as a day care teacher, because those kids teach me as much as I may (I hope) teach them, but it wasn’t that idealistic, romantic, fantasy job of my youth. Writer: that was my ultimate goal, to get paid to do what I love above anything but, my daughter. Most of the population has had to sacrifice their childhood dreams and idealistic notions to be what we are…to pay the bills.

To land your dream job and, subsequently, sacrifice that last love of purity and art, to appeal to the masses? Atrocious. To sit there and write a story about one sister who gets a face implant to look like the other sister and conspire to steal that sister’s boyfriend, just to make a buck? Retarded.

These people (I hesitate to call them writers) are getting paid to be morons on paper. And we sit here, the meandering handful, plugging away, chasing a dream we can’t sell, all the while, wondering…

“How the hell, do these assholes get paid?”…with the subsequent question: “Do I really want to, too (get paid for it, that is)?”

I don’t know about you, fellow Writer/Reader, but I can’t plug my words into some sad, straight, generic Hollywood formula for what I should like and write and feel, but I don’t want to. I prefer to sound out, across the ties that bind us to the inanely polite, can’t live with myself, but I have to, society in which we find ourselves, to make you think; really think; about whom, and why, and what, you are.

-J-

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