Monthly Archives: May 2013

Social media hiring tortures

Twitter Hire by Greg Limperis on Ed Tech Digest.

This guy recently was looking at social media jobs and found one on twitter.  Applicants had to “apply” using only twitter’s 140 characters, and were judged based on their internet footprint.

This sounds dreadful to me.  Couldn’t even a social media guru-for-hire have a modicum of personal privacy?  If I make Sharpie pens for a living I don’t want my employers coming to count how many I have in my house to prove I’m good for the job.

I suppose there are actually millennial who completely thrive on this sort of exposure and work-life blur, but I personally don’t know any.  Maybe it’s because my 30 and 40-something peers have been in the work world for a while and have learned from that experience.  I’m thinking this is more a huge demand from an employer for probably a mid-level job, and them taking advantage of social media boundary blurs to get more work out of you.  Let me know when you find the 20-something who loves writing e-mails at the bar at 11pm.

Why I Am The Least Amount of Excited for the World War Z Movie :: Beday 136

Why I Am The Least Amount of Excited for the World War Z Movie :: Beday 136.

I, too, saw the WWZ trailer the other day in front of Star Trek.  While I had seen most of those bits before, it just reminded me how awful the movie is going to be.  Why completely change the original source material?  Why not give it a unique name and write your own story?

I think the key here lies in what the book World War Z is: which is a well-written and fresh take on the neverending Zombie presence in pop culture.  It’s a fantastic book and concept in and of itself, but you also get some joy in seeing such stale subject material really treated in a great and exciting way.

WWZ was global: each chapter was told by someone of a different age, gender, race, or ethnicity than the person before them.  The world is telling the story.  Also, the reflective nature of the story (for those of you who haven’t read it, it’s written mirroring popular oral histories of the world wars) is humbling, frightening.  While we know there’s a “happy” ending, relatively, the book seems told without ego: humanity was thoroughly fucked.

So what do we have in movie form?  A zombie film about Brad Pitt interviewing zombies in romantic global locales to find the best way to kick zombie ass.  American style, probably.

"Before we start, can I get you some coffee?  Water?  Brains?"
“Before we start, can I get you some coffee? Water? Brains?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we can have sexy teenage gothic vampire as its own young adult book/movie category, why can’t we have an innovative zombie film?  And haven’t we learned by now that massive rewrites are usually death?

Ah well, we always knew the movie could never match the book.  But I think I may skip it altogether for a reread.

That being said.

That being said.

We all get pissed off when we’re written off or stereotyped, and we have a right to be.  It certainly makes me see red.  But. . .I laughed a lot at this Jezebel article, specifically this part:

 

“There are certain male authors who, while their works are not bad per se, they, through maybe no fault of their own, attract a male fanbase that is disproportionately douchey. If a guy is obsessed with David Foster Wallace, Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, Philip Roth, or Richard Brautigan, I consider that a red flag. Jonathan Franzen is borderline. Chuck Palahniuk is part of this group, only unlike the aforementioned, his writing is genuinely awful. (I wonder if this also works for women and female authors? If I were a guy I might not want to fuck a woman who was an obsessive fan of, I don’t know, Jane Smiley?)”

 

There is definitely a red flag book list, for better or worse.  Don’t even talk to me about Palahniuk.  

Pop Narcicissm

I love the 20/20 Experience. I probably listen to it twice a day, just out of habit. And I’m also kind of teenage girl-y obsessed with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel right now. But this song? Come on.

She’s your “mirror” showing your reflection, “I couldn’t get any bigger with anyone else beside me”? Thanks a lot.

But I’ll shut up now because I still love it.

In defense of criticism

At the very core of what I love, and what I want to write about, is a great respect for critique and criticism.  By this I do not mean negativity, elitism, or insult.  If culture, all culture, has an important part in representing who we are as a generation (nation, form of government, niche group, etc.), and literacy in the symbols and meanings of that culture is the key to understanding and controlling it, then the ability to break culture down into pieces and throw together an interpretation, and decision on its meaning and quality, is incredibly valuable.

That was a horrible sentence.  What I mean is that if culture represents us, then we need to know how to understand it.  And understanding does not come passively.  Feeling does, consumption does.  But not true understanding, and thus not the power over it and how it influences and effects us.

 

I studied art and literature in college (and yes I am gainfully employed, thank you), and the studies went hand-in-hand.  Authors and artists have similar coded vocabularies in their respective areas.  Criticism is just exciting.  So many people in America are afraid and even angered by modern art.  And I’m not saying modern art isn’t without many faults.  But I think the fear comes from a lack of understanding, from feeling lectured to by someone much smarter than you.  And the anger comes from the same place: feeling looked down upon, insulted in a language you don’t understand.  What if we taught people to read art and visual stimuli the same way we teach children to read books?

 

All this to say: people don’t really like critics too much.  Critics who take on summer blockbusters get shouted down for making serious work of a popcorn film for 13-year-old boys.  And in some ways, that’s right.  I think anyone who outright dismisses pop culture as worthless for its exciting, flashy, and popular methods isn’t doing their work.  We still need to talk about what the film is saying, who it’s saying it to, and if it’s a good message.  

I don’t hate a movie or a book if I break it apart and talk about its faults.  I actually like it more as I study it.  So I hope you won’t take offense if I want to talk about your favorite movie.  Let’s talk about it!