Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
I’ve made a decision. I’m not looking for a job anymore. I’m planning to join the ranks of the people that unemployment analysts refer to as “discouraged” just as soon as I figure out how the discouraged survive.
My money making options are limited and the best of them are illegal, which isn’t a problem in and of itself: it’s ineptitude and not righteousness that keeps me from a life of crime. My obsession with Breaking Bad has considerably upped my potential to prosper selling meth, but yo: I lack the acuity and discipline to deal, bitch. My only hope of success as a prostitute is slim, given the relatively small pool of chubby chasers, and, turnabout being fair play, blackmail is out of the question. I’m too delicate for violence — any kind of gangsterhood is far-fetched — and white collar crime won’t work, given that it requires access to white collars.
I’m perplexed as to what to do next, although I know what I’m not going to do: spend any more mornings on entertainmentcareers.com or LinkedIn, feigning enthusiasm for multi-platform integrated marketing initiatives or attempting to manage my contempt for employers who use phrases like “rock star” “ninja” and “consumer-facing” in their job postings. I’m done with emailing everyone I’ve ever known or worked with; instead of being grateful for the people who respond, I focus on the people who don’t, cultivating a set of fierce resentments and plotting extravagant revenge. (Hey, Luke Burland! You are seriously gonna regret ignoring me one of these days.)
For a while I thought it would help if I rewrote my resume, downplaying my experience in the music industry and emphasizing my background in public relations. San Francisco employers may not be interested in my early involvement with the Replacements or my ability to tell the difference between Big Sean and Lil Boosie, but I thought that the skills involved in creating a compelling press release based entirely on the phrase “remastered by” would translate. And, while that may be accurate, there’s the rancid economy to consider, and I neglected to factor in the competition. There are roving bands of 20somethings so eager to work in PR that they’ll gladly work as unpaid interns for companies who use phrases like “rockstar” “ninja” and “consumer-facing.”
I know I’m not alone. I have a ton of friends who spent their lives working in music, only to find themselves without jobs after decades of distinguished careers. They figured out that the music business was dead ten years ago; they got their real estate licenses, became teachers, or reinvented themselves as digital marketing executives. Not me: I spent a few months looking for a job after I got laid off, and then I did the sensible thing. Rather than accept that the music business I knew no longer existed and force myself to move on, I moved to Australia. (That’s another story, and it’s old news: it was two years ago today.)
I’m not without work. I’m a master propagandist, and thanks to my friends who still work at labels and magazines, I’ve got bios, ads and press releases to write. Next weekend I’m covering Outside Lands for EW.com, and I have a book in the works. But still, I’m declaring myself discouraged. It’s empowering. Unlike unemployment, discouragement is a choice.