Production Duty–It Sure Beats Walking

3 weeks at the high life channel. I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that survival here means not allowing myself to deconstruct what I’m doing (at least not while I’m doing it), and not to question the ideas we present and represent. So Dylan and I got here just in time for the big trade launch, which for us meant a couple of weeks of playing minions; a couple of weeks of being subjected to the channel’s notion of the “hip modern day urbanites” whom we were supposed to bait in order for the channel to be a success.

Our target market is no younger than 21 and no older than 54, which pretty much implies a lack of growth in the 33 year period between those two ages. We are targeting the hip modern day urbanite. There’s something for everyone here, that is if everyone wants the same things.
The “hip, modern day (?!) urbanite” can easily navigate his or her way around a world with very little visible sky. The hip modern day urbanite bleeds overpriced coffee. The hip modern day urbanite does not climb, in spite of the fact that the whole foundation of a cityscape and its residents is built on climbing: the stairs, riding the elevator, and social and corporate ladders alike. We spend hours hiking, lifting, and we run marathons–that’s what gym memberships are for.
We thrive on the language of sale. Everybody’s out to sell us something, to which we willingly oblige. When no one’s trying to sell us anything it leaves a void, which soon fills with our own suspicions of what we could be lacking and how much of it we’re lacking. It’s always about wanting and when there’s nothing to want it becomes a problem. If you’re up at 4 am you might want to trawl eBay or better yet, flip over to our shopping network and maybe the lack of sleep will make you want to buy some stupid crap you don’t need.

I write scripts selling movies and shows about beautiful people whose problems we could just as easily be going through. These problems usually involve shoes, weight gain, small penises, other beautiful people etc. but what it all boils down to is wanting in an environment where there’s too much to want and not enough ways to actually have.Yet we’re trying to represent the audience for our channel as those who’ve reached a point that allows them to swear by brands, by products, places, and the language of the city. It is in our vocabulary to say we’re tired (easily curable with coffee) but not to say we’re jaded. We recognize centralization but not what we push to the fringes in the process. We see the progress but ignore the blight with eyes turned heavenward at all there is to want and buy.

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Guilty Cubicles

When I was little I loved accompanying my dad to the office. He was a lawyer, and from this I gathered that lawyers were very privileged people, not because of the work they did, but because they were the kinds of people who got to have 6-foot-tall massage chairs in their parlor sized suites and refrigerators with relatively constant supplies of candy and beer. My dad saw it another way. I whiled the day away at his office pestering the secretaries, making tissue loogies in the bathroom, and depleting the candy supply in the office pantry. He always claimed to having spent the day staring out the window. At least his partners were generous enough to let him have a room with a window.

It’s only now that I realized how that is possible because I chose to spend this summer at work. In a setting that’s simultaneously alien and yet familiar, comfortable even. Next to department stores, offices are probably the most homogenized places in the modern world. Any representation of an office is instantly recognizable as such, with the endless cubicles and masses of nameless office drones. I have never had more trouble remembering people’s names. For the first couple of weeks, all I knew was the anonymous office mass.

I’ll be the first to admit to choosing an office setting to spend my last decent summer vacation in because it guaranteed money and a much needed ego boost for my resume. This is not another entry where I relentlessly bitch about office life. Yes, I’m bored out of my mind and it’s only been three weeks. I already couldn’t care less about what happens to me here because I already knows that in a few weeks it will all be over anyway. The thing is I already can’t wait for it to end so that I can swear it off. Forever. This will hopefully be the first and last time I spend my days as an office lackey. I know I’m lucky to have a paying job and even luckier to have gotten a paying job before even paying my dues as an intern, let alone a graduate. But the fact is (at the risk of sounding spoiled) I don’t have the patience or the resiliency to make it in this kind of setting. The fact is the only thing I learned from this experience is that I never want to repeat it.