Amateur activism, or, classless broadcast

Fellow majors, I address you directly: the time has come for our last official reading. And what a ride it’s been! I know more about the workforce I’ll (hopefully) soon enter than I ever thought possible. This still may not prepare me for a career, but we can dream. Anyhow. The chapters we’re focusing on […]

Right to revolt: or, classism’s part in the Writers’ Strike

The Writers’ Guild of America Strike was, in general, successful. While they didn’t get deals they could have secured with short-term bargaining from executives, they got what they desired in the long run: a new cut of the cash from digital distribution and residuals. These, argued writers, are necessary income for the nature of their […]

Zest for work, zest for life: or, how to get yourself into a real pickle when you like your job

Ross’ intriguing case studies at Razorfish and 360hiphop in his book No-Collar: The Humane Workplace and Its Hidden Costs essentially explore the ethos in the Tumblr-fied image above. If you’ve been able to carve a life for yourself in which you do something you like and are good at, you should be happy, right? Maybe not. […]

Norwalk, Connecticut: or, On the Water, On the Move

I would like to play sociologist for the day; I imagine there’s no toy hard hat or child-sized lab coat I can put on to costume myself for this career. I’ll put on my thinking cap, and that will have to do. On a Thursday morning in March of 1994 I made my first visit […]

Escaping Dilbert Syndrome: or, No Freelancing Woman Is an Island

Office humor is a genre in itself — closely related to Dad Jokes, but a little more routine. We see it in Office Space, The Office (both British and American), Dilbert, and in about 50% of cartoons from The New Yorker. It’s what many people who were consuming popular culture could relate to. This sense of camaraderie pervades every […]

“No stars, just talent:” or, how the Indie Film was won by Hollywood and changed its identity

There’s a scene about halfway through Robert Altman’s The Player in which studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is listening to the pitch of two idealist screenwriters. The story is compelling, but the screenwriters are adamant that the film not contain any stars, and that it not resolve itself. In a comment that’s a little on the […]

Roses have thorns: or, how to fall from grace in Hollywood

Hortense Powdermaker knew herself to be an anthropologist. Her study of the film industry during her time provides a comprehensive image — capturing the zeitgeist of the Golden Age by providing details and examples of the people and places. According to Wikipedia (for which I suspend my disbelief), her Hollywood: the Dream Factory is “the only […]