excerpt from working for the weekend
"Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do."
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I used to work in advertising where I did a lot of copywriting and social media nonsense. One of the big rules of social media, and indeed the world of putting stuff out there in general, be it news, a press release, a new show on NBC, whatever, is that Friday night is a time when no one’s gonna see any anything, as everyone’s busy waxing up their assholes to go get live on the weekend.
This is why when the government or corporate colonialists have to announce something that makes them look bad, they utilize what’s known as the Friday Night Dump. The idea is “hey, I gotta tell the public that I just okayed Monsanto putting hemlock in the water supply, but if I do it on Friday night, no one will really notice and by Monday most of the people will have forgotten, and those who still care will be dead due to said hemlock in the water supply,” and so forth.
At its worst, the Friday night dump is an insidious move, but most of the time, the important thing to remember is just that if you’re, say, sending out an issue of your newsletter, for example, that Friday night is simply not an ideal time to do so if you want people to read it.
So, as I type this, it’s Friday night and I’m wondering the following: during lockdown is the Friday night dead zone still a thing? It seems to me that if no one is going out, perhaps Friday night is suddenly a remarkably good time to post shit? People are home and they’re all tired of each other and maybe it’s just time to sit down and read the most mindless drivel that you can find on the internet and turn off for a while before you order some Thai food, look at your phone while a movie plays on TV and then pass out under the weight of your own depression.
Maybe COVID has destroyed the metrics and best practices surrounding the best times to post online. MAYBE we can do literally anything now (except go anywhere). That being said, I’ll probably be editing this for days, and therefore putting this out there on other equally dead zone-esque times with such exciting names as “Saturday” or “Sunday.” Sheesh. You get the idea.
This is my life. I am, for better or worse, someone who now knows a few things about when to announce things, when to launch things, how long shit is supposed to be based on what said shit is, what the difference should be between a Facebook post, an Instagram post and a twitter post (hiccuping Simpsons guy voice: kill me), and all that shit. This is my life. This is what I do. But there was a time when I used to think I could do anything.
This is, I would posit, true for most little kids. When you’re a kid, literally every door is at least theoretically open to you. As an infant, you’re completely on the path to being the president of the United States or the greatest baseball player of all time or the greatest musician to ever live or a guy that can communicate with the apes or a priest or a parkour expert or whatever other dumb shit sounds exciting to you.
However, things start to fall off fast, right? Like, if you’re looking to be, oh I dunno, a world class olympic swimmer and suddenly you’re six and you still haven’t ever gotten in the pool, chances are good it’s a little too late for that already. If you decide you want to be a child star, by about 15, that dream is dead if you haven’t been under lights getting poked and prodded by weird leathery men yet, innit?
As you get older, more and more doors close and unless you’re the kind of sweet misguided soul that believes in past lives and bullshit of that nature, time and time again door after door gonna done close forever. Next thing you know, everything has passed you by except for the Barney Guarding Job.
As I briefly mentioned earlier, like all kids, I literally thought I’d have every job in the world at some point, but some I was definitely more sure I was gonna have than others. I feel like this is kind of how you develop the basic building blocks of empathy: you look at a guy bagging groceries or a cop or a senator on TV or a football player and you just KNOW in your little six year old brain that someday that’s gonna be you. Then as you get older and the doors all close you realize that actually your last chance is at best just being the understudy for the grocery bagger if you somehow get lucky….sigh.
That hopefully gets you an identity that understands that people aren’t their jobs and that everyone is just trying their best in this eternal shit landslide that actively discourages people who are just trying to do their best. This particular understanding, with a little luck, will make you a decent and empathetic person. Hopefully.
To tangentialize again, I have a close friend who spends his days cooking and caring for his infirm parents. By all metrics that our culture measures the worth of a person by, he’s a complete loser. He lives with his parents and has no job.
However, he takes care of the people who gave him life and is giving them the comfort they gave to him when he was young and similarly unable to care for himself. Meanwhile, there’s an asshole trying to figure out how to get more KFC and Mountain Dew into the mouths and livers of the male 18-35 demographic and coming up with some dumb ass campaign (don’t be a chicken! eat a chicken! or something equally stupid) and because he makes six figures for this absolute nonsense actively-makes-the-world-worse excuse for a job, he’s considered to be a paragon of society. Cool.
I hope I don’t have to point out how fucking ass backwards this is. But I’m digressing.
This is a long winded way of saying YES MOTHER, I’m posting this on the weekend in a direct insubordination to the “rules” which, as a punk, I find to be “wack.” Let’s burn it all down. Okay, here are a few of the jobs I knew I’d have some day:
I don’t mean to lump these two together, because one is obviously a crucial steward of public safety and the other is a dangerous blight on our “functional society” report card, but like many little boys, I always just kinda assumed that someday I’d be wearing the uniform of the first responder. I seem to recall that thought of myself as more of a future Starsky and Hutch type cop, like a detective, rather than a workaday blueshirt pig, but maybe that’s just grownup me trying…..
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