The Week of Aug 14

notesWith modern live moving at such a fast pace, the span of a week often moves things along rapidly (even when one has deliberately taken the rat race off-ramp). My personal life doesn’t change much (’cause of that whole off-ramp thing), but the world at large careens along in its usual Zippy way

But as I continue the summer project of converting my long-time storage room into an office-library (as intended when I moved in back in 2003), I do unearth long-lost personal archeology finds that take me back. A few bits go back to high school, but a lot of it is from college.

One significant find is from a few years after…

Immediately after college, for three years, I worked in my dad’s two-man shop (one of the men being me). He’d started as a small job shop, but grew it into a graphic design and vanity book publishing business.

Not a hugely successful one, as it turned out, but we did publish some books for people and produced lots of brochures, fliers, and business stationery.

After three years, I wanted to move on and began seeking job interviews in various technology fields as well as in Hollywood. Earlier this week I found a note I wrote in January of 1980, either the day of, or the day after, a certain job interview…

Have I done the right thing? If I had gone to the interviews yesterday, and were still open-minded, then this morning I would have talked with [D.S.] and his referral and maybe have a job in SPFX.

And two other good interviews for exciting jobs. There is some doubt to D.S.’s and the Drake personnel jobs, but Lanier sounded positive and “probably offer you more” (but no company car!).

Instead I took the opportunity to jeopardize my new job and close the door. This is bad, but there are things to do, and a chance to prepare (and be home). Plus the T.C. (and the Lanier) [job] involves being outside, and the T.C. has the car. Lanier would have been more technological — I think.

Some of it, after all these years, is a little hard to parse. I’m not sure what “new job” I was jeopardizing, possibly a strong offer from someone?

In any event, I’d just had an interview with T.C. and they had offered me a job on the spot. An offer I took. That’s what “open-minded” means (I’m pretty sure) — open to taking another job.

The thing is… I ended up working for T.C. for 34 years, just retiring in 2013. It did represent a bit of a change of direction for me, corporate life, no art involved, but I did end up designing software, which is my other love, so it worked out.

§

Meanwhile, in the modern world, I try to keep my sanity (and temper) in a world with values I just can’t get behind. The dissonance gives rise to all sorts of thoughts…

¶ Olympic Distraction

What happens when USAnians no longer have the obsessive distraction of the Olympics and the only other show in town is the antics of the Orange One? Is it possible the positive, inspirational rush most get from the Summer Games will set his ugliness in sharper contrast?

For someone who complains the USA doesn’t win anymore, he’s been awfully silent about all the USA wins in Brazil.

¶ Justice Served?

While we’re on the topic of that candy corn-colored bag of Republican chickens come home to roost, I thought it would be so fitting if the final straw that ended his grip was delivered by an Muslim-American immigrant. How perfect would that be?

And the GOP’s National Embarrassment continues to demonstrate the truth of what Mr. Khizr Khan said: He’s either never read the Constitution, or he didn’t understand it if he did. Or maybe he just doesn’t buy into it. Ya think?

¶ When did we become so afraid of the other person’s point?

When did we become so insecure about our own points of view that we grew afraid — and it is fear — of discussing, or even hearing, an opposing point of view? When did we become so unwilling to challenge our own thinking?

Is it from insecurity about the knowledge that grounds our beliefs? (Or, in some cases, the internal recognition that one’s beliefs don’t fit physical fact? How anyone pulls that off without their head exploding is beyond me, though.)

Is it insecurity about the ability to articulate one’s beliefs in a way that makes one seem reasonable and sane?

Just where does all this polarization and bubble compartmentalization come from? Were we always this insular but now the interweb forces us into too close contact?

Seriously. What the fuck?

¶ Tyranny of the Majority

An article I read got me pondering the combination of our growing sense of hyper-democracy and what it implies for the future. People are increasingly able to publicly voice their opinions in a way that sways business, art, and politics.

This had has interesting consequences for filmmakers, especially those making superhero series. The sense of fan ownership combined with the ease of making their voices heard forces a choice on artists: Ignore social media or suffer its slings and arrows.

We’ve seen one major consequence of crowd stupidity: Brexit. We’ve seen another: The rise of the Orange Demon.

When I consider what seems to fascinate the world: Pokemon Go; another Harry Potter book; endless sequels and remakes of, let’s face it, kiddie movies; empty, silly video games; and all of the other undemanding preoccupations people dull their minds with…

Well, Brexit and Trump and all the rest make a sort of awful sense.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

4 responses to “The Week of Aug 14

  • rung2diotimasladder

    Well you know what I think of Trump, etc. Pokemon Go…I..just..don’t..get..it. What is so fun about it? It looks so tedious.

    Same with reality shows. They are so boring. How do people find them interesting? There’s also a big interest in night goggles for some reason—creepy glowing eyes and people whispering utter snoozing gibberish into the camera. What’s that about?

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Personally, I don’t get computer games, in general. I played them a lot in the early days, but even then I only got into a very few. (Mostly games where you flew around. Never cared for first-person shooters.)

      As for reality shows, no thanks. Those are just voyeurism, which I find despicable.

      It’s really all about how people choose to spend their discretionary time. I’ve been thinking about that recently. Free time can be idled away with no reward of any kind, or it can be spent trying to fulfill some aspect of oneself (could be anything: being a better harmonica player, for example).

      I find that the people I most respect are those who spend a noticeable fraction of their free time doing something that “expands” them in some way. A better cook, a better runner, a better banjo player, whatever.

      So much of what I see these days clearly falls into the category of: utter waste of time. Not that wasting time is bad; everyone should relax and waste time sometimes. I do wonder about people who never spend any of their free time growing themselves.

      • rung2diotimasladder

        I know exactly what you mean. I have a great deal of free time so maybe I have no right to judge, but even when I’m wasting time I get upset if that time wasting doesn’t feel in some way enhancing. Just last night I watched the final episode of “The Night Of” and afterwards discussed it with my husband. That was such a great show. TV watching can be a mind-numbing waste of time, but that was both entertaining and enriching.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Anything that exercises the mind or body has some value. To the extent it can improve other aspects of your life, all the better.

        I’m an interesting example in how a beloved hobby (computer programming) became my actual career when the intended one (making movies) never left the terminal (never mind reaching the runway, let alone getting off the ground).

        Most free-time pursuits maybe aren’t as potent job-wise, but exercise of any kind has value. A big reason I enjoy a good debate or discussion is that it exercises the mind. (I enjoy math for similar reasons.) And shows or books that make you think; also good!

        Or anything that expands you in some way. Those reality shows based on cooking can do that; so can the fashion-based ones. Just knowing more about the world around you

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