Back at Work and It's a Fucker

I'm not sure how I feel about being back at work. I guess that means I feel nothing. Maybe they'll contract me out to Indonesia, where my labor might be of some real significance. But as it stands I'm sitting here, ready for action that seems primed to hit, as the movie marketing frenzy enters its bleak winter, silver linings of awards shows intermittent, but ultimately focus dwells on the prospects of fresh spring box office returns, which will buy time until the summer Blowout, the biggest summer ever, as far as I'm concerned, because after Summer 2005 goes down in flames I'll be out, I'll say my goodbyes and commemorate the very lack of a mark I made on this industry by turning my back on it once and for all. After a year, the only impact the entertainment industry has made on me is one of increased cynicism, awareness of the tricks it tries to play. The successes pass my blind eyes while effectively duping the masses. I no longer hear whispered sweet nothings; meanwhile they prey on unconscious ears. Today's audiences passively snatch the bait, sit and munch and watch. The advantage has been taken. It cannot be returned, because that moment in the theater, those precious two hours are irretrievable, can't be returned, no money back. If the movie is shit you feel cheated, put upon, but you place the blame on yourself. You should have known better than to have wasted heard-earned cash on a screening of a moving picture production that cost $10 million to cast the star, $5 million for its fancy but worthless special effects extravaganza, $2 million for that shitty script they knew would totally sell to 18-35 men with no problem (movie are greenlit on marketing strength and anyone who doesn't know should know before stepping up to the box office plate. This is consumer advocacy, people, I'm the fucking pre-spoiler Ralph Nader of the movie business) and an additional $5-15 million to market (depending on the trends), to brainwash you via TV, internet, faux critical praise, saying this movie is monumental...until you find out otherwise! It's wild ride that will take us places we've all been before, yawn, places we know we like, with a hero and a villain and a dilemma and a love interest. Complicate the twists, but not too much that your average 10-year-old (who has his older sister buy the tickets) can’t understand what’s happening when out hero turns in an uninspired performance that ultimately leaves us staring at the credits very glad it’s over, but somehow we know that the hero, despite how big the paycheck, was forever grateful to get off camera, off the screen in front of us. He might as well be walking out of the theater among us, infuriated by the continuously inflating cost of theater snacks, frustrated by the suspension of disbelief that allowed us to actually drive to the theater, pay 10 bucks, sit down, and endure 20 minutes of advertisements for “Wanta Fanta?” fluorescent starving stick girls, M & Ms, Hollywood heavyweights cashing in on children’s cancer for good taste, and then yawning and groaning through 30 minutes of trailers, each one almost identical in style and substance. And in the back of your mind you know you’ll probably end up back at the theater this summer stuck uncomfortably watching one of these coming attractions, because even thought you’re completely aware of the marketing forces at play, you’re nevertheless attracted and swindled by the inevitableness of it, bridled by want. And at this instant you’re the toast of the industry, you’re the prize that didn’t resist the temptation, that didn’t know any better, that continues to encourage the current production order of big-budget over style, of formula and sequel over risk and originality, of stars and celebrity over amazing nobody method actors. Because you’ve got to make yourself somebody if you want to make it here, even (well, especially) behind the scenes. Look at me, I’m cynical, jaded, faded from too much washing to stick around and shrink-wrap my services to this corpo-anti-creative regime. And as I become more jaded and faded, I smile more often, the result of reading more, writing more, educating myself, keeping dancing edgy thoughts alive in a deadening environment of inactivity, where independent ideas are subdued by obedience on company time. And so I wait. You’ve got to hang on for the paycheck, for the benefits, and so you expertly act the part. You’re not bored; you’re not disillusioned. You’re not remotely interested in leaving anytime soon to embark on a career to which your strengths are frankly better suited. Don’t you agree? It’s kind of like my proposed help in Indonesia. It would be tremendously more valued, and hell, I would even do it for free, because at least it would mean something there. At least it would help someone. At least it would be of some significance, make some small impact on lives for the better. It’s wasteful, sitting in this comfortable chair, waiting for the call, a finite, tangible amount of time, so I can bow out of here like a gifted performer, oblivious to the lack of applause, because, thank god, I’m off to a better fucking place.

Good riddance to me, and to all a good night!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home