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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

DMc points me to this Salon article about a girl who spent 10 years rewriting a Mob farce and feels like it was, maybe, not the best use of 10 years.

Oh, the pain, quoth DMc.

To which I say: bitch bitch bitch, whine whine whine. How many aspiring screenwriters would gladly sign a contract guaranteeing them a produced feature film starring Diane Keaton -- even a straight to video mob farce -- in return for spending 10 years writing it. I mean, that's not ten years solid. That's ten years doing this, that and the other thing, and by the way rewriting your silly mob farce.

Everyone in showbiz has something to whine about. David E. Kelley probably complains that they won't give guarantee him enough episodes. It's only the people who have absolutely nothing -- no credits at all -- that keep their mouths shut. After all, no one actually asked you to be in showbiz.

PS: Alexandra, the Wry Writer, writes: "The taste of something bitter, one asks?"

Actually, no. I could look at the first ten years of my showbiz career and bitch that I never caught a break. Or I could look at ten years as a development exec and part-time writer as, hey, I made a living in showbiz and learned to write. I've got nothing at all to complain about now, but I tried not to complain too much then, either, because there were a lot of people who weren't writing even part time, and didn't get to make movies for a living, who would have been happy to trade places. And there always are.

There's the old joke about the 82-year-old guy shovelling elephant crap at the circus. His kids try to get him to retire. "What?" he says, "And give up show business?"

Now that's a great attitude.


The taste of something bitter, one asks?

By Anonymous Alexandra, at 1:08 PM  

One could do a genre study of the online career bitch post (commonly seen on Salon, Slate or blogs), as they all seem to say the same things in roughly the same order. I guess they would be useful if they led more people to rethink: "Hmm, maybe if I want instant easy fame and fortune I shouldn't pursue (college teaching/ screenwriting/ other writing/ whatever)." But it seems they cause more people to have inflated self-impressions and righteous outrage about their horrible mistreatment... so they can complain about it on Salon.

It can be fun to call them on their hyperbole. There was one about adjunct teachers, that said it's "Hard to survive as an academic," and I refuted that with the image of all the history PhDs dying on street corners and the increasing malnutrition rate among creative writing MFAs.

What if, rather than giving artists and scholars and writers permission to complain about their lives, we gave them the opportunity to love their lives? Naah, who would read about THAT on Salon?

By Anonymous 'drew, at 2:07 PM  

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