The American Way (circa 2013): we kill ourselves working an ungodly amount of hours (most of which are spent watching cat videos) while we try to "compete" with Japan. Or is it China? Is Russia still in the picture? Who cares. We're all a bunch of lemmings who are conned into spending The Best Years of Our Lives
attached to a computer screen doing something a well-trained baboon could do, while we sit on our growing asses, moving in departmental herds through the maze of bleak hallways, hunting for and grazing on that day's celebratory ice-cream cake, and using up our best creativity fantasizing about the different ways to off our co-workers.
And for what? Rent money. And why? Cause a steady bunch of competitive greedy assholes are graduating from business schools all over the country ever year and see the entire world as one big Scrabble game, human lives included. And we let them!
It was leaked this morning that Yahoo!
is eliminating the option of working from home starting in June. Marissa Mayer, the famous pregnant CEO (she already popped), believes that it will inspire more creativity and productivity when employees are working in closer proximity for longer hours together. Though on paper (re: back-lit monitor) this makes sense, I can't help but think of my own pet project wherein I've been studying my personal productivity and creativity. As an artist with few resources and time (see above: The American Way) it's important for me to know the exact ideal surroundings for creativity and the exact moment when it's time to quit for the day and rest/live. You may already know the answer, but suffice it to say, a bitterly cold office with crap lighting and uniform furnishings chosen by other people - plus the requirement to stay seated and stare at a computer monitor - does not an ideal creative environment make. Now, I've done what I can to change the feel of my allotted nine sq.ft. Please see decorative picture below:
Why, yes, that is baby blue ticking stripe fabric pinned to the wall by thumbtacks and a bird lamp purchased at TJ Maxx, so sweet of you to notice...
But the one thing that is literally killing me are the long hours. My patience for pretty much anything taps out at six hours (I would've never survived the first screening of von Stroheim's Greed
- I would've stood up, slapped that fucker, thrown up on him, and walked out to the nearest bar). On Monday I left work at 2:30 to go to acupuncture. Luckily, my lovely acupuncturist always runs an hour late, so I sat in the waiting room reading about lovely things in her books and magazines, smiling at how I couldn't possibly return to work until the next day. I had a blast. I felt energized - so energized that I stopped by 23rd street on a whim to obtain a spelt bagel and read a few pages of my book. I didn't crawl home like I usually do and opt to just eat hummus for dinner cause it's easiest. I felt alive, like part of the living! I felt so good that the next day I thought for sure I could even cook something when I got home from work! Here's what actually went down: at 2:30, six hours into my daily tenure, I was ready to get up and do something else. But wait a tick, my contract requires that I stay until 5:30 because the phone may ring at any moment!
Or there could be, *gasp*, a FedEx delivery to sign for, or someone may generally need their ass wiped by the support staff (re: me). So I tried to focus and do three more hours of work. I barely pushed out one email. I managed to half-heartedly organize something. And then I dragged myself to the gym where I had to cut my workout short because I didn't have the energy. And then I went home, collapsed on the couch and ate hummus for dinner.
No amount of ticking stripe fabric can save a genuinely creative person being worked to death by The American Way. And all those people who spend 1-2 days a week working from home? They're bright people who inherently know that should they be forced to spend more than 30 hours per week with people they have no familial relation to and didn't choose to marry, then their creativity and productivity actually suffers. So, in conclusion, and on behalf of all Yahoo!
employees...dear Marissa Mayer: I have an exhausted widened ass you can kiss.
WARNING: THIS MAY BE CONSIDERED CONTROVERSIAL
Last night, I was the unfortunate witness to a Facebook bullying and criticism of my dear cousin's "lifestyle."
He's gay, people, let's just say it, he's openly gay with no regrets. Moving on.
So what happened was he posted something about Chick-fil-A on Facebook, and
another (somewhat estranged) family member started attacking him simply for being gay. This bully was attacking a family member, someone he grew up playing
with as young boys on the island of Puerto Rico.
How did we all get here? Where a family member is attacking another?! At one point, someone said to this gay-hating cousin, "How could you say these things?
You're a minority!" Thing is, he didn't see himself as a minority even though he's Puerto Rican (it's a small island). As a white, heterosexual, Christian male, he considered himself in the majority and with the power to bully "everybody else."
How fascinating. He could not see his own vulnerability and therefore was unable to develop empathy. This man exists in a bubble where he is king and what he says goes.
You usually see this kind of behavior mostly in...well, kings. Or that modern version of royalty, the 1%.
What's funny to me is the reason that the controversial 1% wins so many battles is that they have managed to convince the 99% that they are all separated into a very careful hierarchy of importance. American, white, Christian, heterosexual, male is the highest level in this hierarchy, right? Then deductions follow according to religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, skin color and sex.
But if you start adding up all the possible minorities - women (ha), Jews, Muslims, Asians, Indians, LGBT, little people, blonds, paraplegics, Irish, Atheists, etc. - you're going to find that the minorities are in the majority. And the reason they get pushed around so much is that they've bought into the "us" versus "them" model that the kings have sold us over the centuries. But instead, if we adopt the "there but for the grace of God go I" model, we become powerful and plentiful and there is no stopping any of us. We will not be bullied, we will not be harassed or marginalized. We will stand together, ALL OF US, and win the war.
This is not just a movie. This is a movement.
(Originally published on Kickstarter on June 27
I had a tough week that culminated with an entertainment industry professional requesting that I do black face.
Let me explain. I happened to be at an audition for a Spanish speaking project, a rare opportunity due to my white skin. As I sat there going over the material, the monitor approaches us, humiliated, with a small jar of bronzer and some cotton pads. He says to us, "they want you to put this on before you go in." I could tell the boy was just a messenger, and he himself was horrified at the request. Nevertheless, I looked at him like he had three heads and I was about to eat one of them. He apologized and walked away silently. The other girls and I tried to laugh it off and go back to our material.
You know how I was able to laugh it off? Because it's happened before
. I have had a manager ask if I can wear darker foundation to appear more Hispanic (by the way, there is a scene in White Alligator
comprised of this experience).
This happened after I already had a friend stare at me in shock for a few minutes after I told him I was born in San Juan, and
I heard another industry professional explain to an actor taking direction that a Hispanic character's motives for cheating on his wife were "cultural". All in a week. And this is the norm. I took the edge off by treating myself to the Klimt exhibit at the Neue Gallerie on Sunday.
I leave you with this fascinating article about a man who's lived in the US his entire life (like me) and is still trying to fit in, just like you and me. Hell, at the end of the road, we're all in the same boat...pursuing the American Dream.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/26/magazine/my-life-as-an-undocumented-immigrant.html?_r=4&ref=magazine&pagewanted=all