Month: October 2011

No One Reads This

                I am a classist.  Aren’t you?  There’s no use in denying it, we are all some kind of –ist, if only a little.  I admit it.  I stand before you and admit that I am classist.  If I said anything else I would be a liar, and I am nothing if not honest.

                I am a firm believer in equality.  I would love for everyone to be treated equally but unfortunately our world won’t allow for such a utopia.  We are each encased in our own separate social bubbles: working class, middle class, upper class and with those distinctions come expectations.  Don’t sit there and pretend that you haven’t looked at someone else and judged them for their place in this society.  Have you ever pitied someone else because they are less fortunate?  Have you ever envied someone because they have an easier life?  There, you judged them.   You know nothing about them other than what you see on the outside but you have placed them in another bubble.  We can’t possibly easily transition from bubble to bubble, can we?  The damn things would pop and the world would drown in a matter of minutes.  Right?  That’s why the rich refuse to make concessions and allow the possibility of movement.  Those “less fortunate” people will remain less fortunate and the privileged will remain floating above the rest of us until someone starts popping some damn bubbles.

I come from a middle-class family and thanks to my current period of unemployment, the transition from feeling secure to feeling helpless has not been easy.  It has made it easier for me to relate to those of the working class; those whom in the past I may have pitied.  My apologies for my abhorrent disregard for your troubles.  I have always respected those who live paycheck to paycheck; who work two or three jobs just to get by but it wasn’t until now that I truly understood what it meant.  The “land of opportunity” has been opportune for very few as of late.  It is time to fight for the cause.

                The “Occupy” protesters have begun the fight, but I worry.  I worry that their message falls upon deaf ears.  I can hear it, and those of us in those low floating bubbles can hear it, but the people who live in those bubbles high above us have their heads too far up their asses to hear a damn thing.  All they hear is “It’s your fault I don’t have a job.  I’m too lazy to find work.  You’re hoarding all the money.  You suck.  This shit is fucking bullshit.”  Let’s stop for a moment and see if we can stop placing blame and just make a valid point, shall we?

 Unemployment is at an all-time high in this country.  There must be a reason for that, right?  The country, as a whole, did not just decide to get lazy and stop working.  College-educated men and women can’t find work because everywhere you turn companies are cutting back.  Those who are hiring don’t want to hire educated people, because a degree means a higher salary, and the need for a higher salary makes you undesirable.  I am a recent college graduate with only a year of professional experience, and yet after numerous interviews I have been told that I am overqualified.  Overqualified?  My one year of experience was too much for you?  That really translates to: “You’re too expensive and we just can’t afford you.”  Thanks for the compliment?

Then there are those of us who do not come yielding a degree.  Is it any easier for them to find a job?  Nope.  The excuse they hear after an interview is, “We’re sorry but you’re just not what we’re looking for.”  This translates to: “We’re just going to give Bob over here more work for the same money so, we don’t need you anymore.”  There will always be an excuse because this is an employer’s economy.   With so many people out of work, employers have free range to take advantage of current employees and to hire new, much cheaper labor.  Just one more way to make the rich a little richer and the poor a little poorer.

I don’t pretend to know much about politics.  I cannot and do not intend to propose a solution.  I write to you as the regular-old-Jane that I am.  I am a recent college graduate, with one year’s experience, who left a morally bankrupt company for the hope of a fulfilling life.  You might say that it’s my own fault that I am now unemployed and I would not argue that fact but I find it no different than leaving an abusive relationship.  Had I stayed, I would have been beaten down to within an inch of my sanity.  I will not stand to be taken advantage of.  I took with me my pride and it remains with me until this day.  Agree or disagree, I will stand by my unemployed brethren and with them I say, I am the 99%.

 

She’s a Bitch

-Hey Marie, meet the real world.

::Slap::

–What the hell?  The real world just slapped me in the face!

-Yep.  She’s kind of bitch.  Proceed with caution.

Yeah, yeah, it’s another one of those articles.  When I started this blog I set out with the intention of writing random pieces but as of late I know that I’ve been returning frequently to post-graduate life and the hell that is our economy at the moment.  Write what you know, right?  Don’t worry, eventually I’ll go back to writing about the other stuff I know about like…men and physics.  Just kidding!  I understand neither of those things.

Tonight’s gripe is fear.  Have you ever been in  a situation where you know what it is that you really want but you’re paralyzed by fear?  You can’t really move forward but you can’t go back so you’re basically just stuck in neutral.  Now, I’m not much of a car expert but I do know that neutral works best when your shitty ass car breaks down and you need to bribe some guy to physically push your car up the hill for you.  That’s how it works, right?  So who do I have to bribe to get me moving again?

Unemployment was the bump in the road that broke me down.  Almost three months with no income due to the inefficiencies of the system has left me in hard times.  It has just made it that much more difficult to “pursue my dreams” but I haven’t let the dream die just yet.  I had hoped to use this as an opportunity to make a bold career change but paralyzed by the fear of making any mistakes in a failing economy, I have remained stationary.  Friends and family insist that I plan long-term and set realistic goals.  Therein lies the problem!  I’ve never been great with reality.

Delusions of grandeur have plagued me since childhood.  First, I wanted to become a doctor because I liked playing with stethoscopes when I was young.  Later, I wanted to become a lawyer because my father wanted me to be one.  Then, I took a drama class in highschool and the shit hit the fan.  Ever since then I’ve wanted to be in entertainment.  First, I wanted to act because I love attention.  Then, I wanted to direct because being the boss sounded pretty cool and ironically, it wasn’t until later that I realized writing was probably my strong point.  Theater was never my ultimate goal, even though I studied it for four years and hold a deep love of the art.  It was always film.  It will always be film.  But film isn’t realistic!  How am I supposed to make any money as an artist, let alone an artist in an economic depression?  But the truth is, writing movies, making movies, performing in movies- those are the only things that can give me a sense of satisfaction.  At the risk of sounding cliché, everything else just leaves me empty.  So do I make a bold jump and get my masters in film?  Do I spend money that I don’t have to enter a very risky business or do I play it safe and forever regret not taking the chance?  Did I just answer my own question?  Am I asking too many questions?!

Life is a bitch.  She will slap you and beat you down every chance she gets.  Obstacles abound and no choice will ever be easy.  All we can do is pick our asses up again when she inevitably knocks us down.

Maybe bob and weave along the way.

Reviewing “50/50”

Damn you, Dine-In theater and your villainous combination of tequila and movies!  You have led me to yet another drunken blog post!  But that’s ok, I will forgive due to your wonderful combination of tequila and movies!

This post may not be that long because I may very well pass out while writing it.  No, I’m not that drunk…I just get very sleepy after a few margaritas… or one.  (I have painfully pitiful tolerance).  Anyway, I wanted to sit (lay) down and write a quick blog about my thoughts on “50/50,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.

My thoughts:  Pleasantly surprised.

Ok, end of blog now.  Night night!!

Just kidding.  I would highly recommend this movie to anyone interested in seeing a true reflection of life.  Many people can’t sit in a theater and watch a movie that’s “just too real”, myself being one of them but this movie does a brilliant job of keeping you alert and laughing even when dealing with the all-too-real reality of Cancer.  Cancer is difficult for those struggling with the disease and for family and friends who travel that path with them but not every moment is drenched in sadness.  “50/50” allows its audience a small glimpse into the life of one man afflicted with this awful disease and just how he was able to cope through humor.

I won’t pretend to know what it is like to live this struggle and those who have lived it may disagree with me.  As a matter of fact, I would be interested to know their thoughts.  Yet as an outsider, I truly enjoyed every moment of this film.  I laughed; I cried and I didn’t come out of the theater saying “Why did I spend money on this piece of shit?”  That last part is big, man.  Freakin’ huge.  Do you know how many times I feel like I have been personally robbed after going to the movies?  The fact that I didn’t walk out of the theater feeling like the victim of a brutal mugging this time only helps prove my point.

Side-yet very important-note:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic actor and always does a good job of portraying troubled characters.  Huge crush.  Huge.  Love him.  (Oops… in vino veritas?)

Adding one more star to its rating, (assuming I was using some kind of a rating system) is the fact that this movie ties into my latest fixation quite well.  As my last post would suggest, Steve Jobs and the idea of using death as a form of motivation have become something of an obsession.  Watching this man come to terms with his own mortality has pushed me even further in the direction of following my dreams.  A movie that doubles as inspiration?  Score!  I don’t mean to imply that the movie will have this same effect on all who watch it but I wouldn’t rule it out either.  I stand by my recommendation and I hope that this movie can do for you what it has done for me, or at the very least, I hope you don’t feel that you wasted $15 for another bomb.

Best wishes!  And again, apologies for any incoherency due to inebriation.  I’m hittin’ the sack.  Good night!

Thank you, Steve Jobs.

Today has been an exceptionally hard day, what with my own personal troubles and then the untimely death of Steve Jobs.  It has been emotionally draining.  Sarcasm aside, this man’s death really has affected me.  I knew very little about him.  I hadn’t followed his success or paid much attention to him before today, honestly.  I didn’t know that he had died until the numerous posts on Facebook alerted me to the situation.  My initial reaction was sorrow for his family and friends who have lost a good man but other than that, he was just a celebrity passing; until I read this in a friend’s status:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

This one little quote brought tears to my eyes.  As one of many caught in this post-college, economic collapse, I have been feeling uninspired and hopeless as of late.  This one quote inspired me at a level that I have not felt in a long time.  It comes from a speech given by Jobs at the Stanford Commencement in 2005.  Had I only attended Standford instead of Rutgers and graduated a mere four years earlier, I would have been present for what I believe to be a truly amazing and heartfelt speech.  Perhaps then I would have followed my dreams instead of accepting positions out of fear rather than love.

I am now two years removed from college and as I have stated in previous posts, post-graduate life is not what I had expected it to be.  Hosting; waitressing; sitting behind a desk, lying to people for a living.  Not one of these things gave me an ounce of respect.  As a matter of fact, they were slowly draining me of any pride I may have had lingering after receiving the almighty diploma.  But in the three-second window that it took me to read that quote from Steve Jobs, I immediately felt hope again; a fleeting thought, but there it was.  Still inside me somewhere!  Thank the lord!  And thank you, Steve Jobs for re-igniting a spark in me that has been dormant for far too long.

After some further Facebook stalking, I found the quote that preceded the one above; which led me to cry a bit more.  Actually, let’s face it, I haven’t been honest.  I didn’t cry.  I sobbed.  Profusely.  I have never read something so jarring and yet wonderfully eloquent.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you w…ill gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.”- Steve Jobs

God bless you, Steve Jobs for coming out and saying what so many cannot admit.  “Even people who want to go to heaven, don’t want to die to get there.”  Who does not fear death?  But to use it as a fuel, to push yourself further in this life?  Now, that is genius.  I know the old adage, “Live every day as if it were your last.”  Yes, I have heard it and I will not give Steve Jobs credit for yet another novel idea; Apple and Pixar are accomplishments enough.  BUT it was not until I read it the way Steve Jobs had explained, that the saying truly held meaning for me.  Blame my naiveté or my unwillingness to see it until now, but the fact remains that for me, Steve Jobs gave that statement meaning.  I hope to live my life by these sentiments.

In the future, I hope to be as bold and as daring as the man who changed the world.  The world will only be changed by those with the courage to get up and do something about it.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, do NOT settle for less than you are worth.  Do NOT settle for a life that leaves you unhappy.  Fight for what you deserve!  If your job isn’t paying you enough, get off your ass and do something about it.  Find a new job, maybe one that makes you happier.  Demand a raise.  Lead a strike.  Do whatever it takes to make yourself heard.  There are so many protests going on in this country, for numerous different reasons: end the famine, restore the economy, stop the war.  Join a cause or start your own but please don’t let yourself become stagnant.  Don’t permit the problems in this world to bring you down.  I’ve allowed it, hell I still allow it but after taking fifteen minutes to watch the Stanford Commencement speech, I no longer want to be the girl who never stood up for her rights; the girl who let the world pass her by.

Thank you, Steve Jobs for helping me find this moment of clarity.  Your legacy will live on for years to come.  May your family find comfort in the lives that you were able to change in your short time on this earth.  May you rest in peace, sir.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking foward.  You can only connect them looking backwards.  So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.  You have to trust in something; your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.  Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.”- Steve Jobs