“It’s all very well planning what you will do in six months, what you will do in a year, but it’s no good at all if you don’t have a plan for tomorrow.”—Thomas “GTD” Cromwell inWolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Do it because her Lieutenant Governor choice is Tim Wu, another law professor who coined the term (and fought for) “net neutrality.” And thanks to New York State electoral rules, even if (when) Teachout doesn’t beat Cuomo, Wu could still beat Cuomo’s running mate Kathy Hochul.
The last two words are killer. You think to yourself “I swear I had a balance on this card”….
Subway card math.
New Yorkers! I finally got an automatically refilling MTA card and you should do it too. Do it right now. It takes less time than two at-station refills. And then you are set for life you have a key to the city you are a golden child. You will walk Broadway barefoot slurping coffee from your Big Hug Mug and you will greet every resident of this city by name.
“While there are academic studies on the subject of girls screaming at concerts there are less than 10 total results on the Internet for people wondering about why men scream [at sporting events].”—Aja Romano, The teens on Tumblr are all right | The Kernel
I always have mixed feelings about these takes on Takes (because that’s what these are, too; “Internet media is exploitative, writers are underpaid, under-edited and get no feedback, and aggregation often sucks” is neither breaking nor news). On the one hand, not a word is inaccurate — with these pieces they never are. And this piece, in particular works harder than most to exonerate the kids whose job it is to write lots of Takes — possibly because Pareene is someone whose job was at one point to write lots of Takes. And yet there’s that same void at the end: “welp, you kids basically suck, and you’ll keep sucking until Facebook gets you fired and then you’ll suck for free.” I keep waiting for a piece that tells young writers what they can do — or if they can’t do anything, one that tells the people who can.
But hey, it’s not like I have the solution either.
As a former young Take writer who now writes Takes and comedy for a living, I have some good news for young writers:
Writing shitty Takes is still writing. It’s still practice, and at all but the most dismal publications, you’re working some muscles that you actually need for good writing.
Your Takes may clog up the internet, but if you can manage not to write an opinion that you find morally repugnant, you’re not really damaging the world on a scale that matters. Don’t stress out, even when people like me complain about your Takes. But if you can’t tolerate those complaints, or if you have to respond to every one, you can’t write for a living. Oh god this is becoming a list of advice
When you are young and have enough time for, I don’t know, video games? USE THAT TIME FOR WRITING. Write stupid video ideas like I did for years (but actually make them). Write a Tumblr. Write a secret novel. Write something that doesn’t need to work for any audience at all. When you are older, you will regret not writing more of your favorite kind of writing.
All the usual writing-advice shit: Find other young people writing things you like. Don’t get lazy. Hold study-halls with other writers.
Try to get published on a site that you enjoy reading. Try to get published there again instead of ending up one of those freelancers with a single credit at every site.
You are NOT required to match the internet’s dominant breezy/catty/know-it-all styles. I mean, maybe at your current job you are. But you don’t have to sacrifice quality to succeed. Look at the Awl network. Look at the Toast. Look at my favorite web show, Nirvana the Band the Show, which a few guys made while working day jobs before making a movie while still working day jobs, until that movie got picked up by Kevin Smith and now they have careers.
You will probably not make money with your favorite writing for the first few years. (If you do, realize that you are very fucking lucky, and work very fucking hard not to lose or waste that privilege.) But if you keep improving at your favorite kind of writing, you will outstrip your competitors until you can get paid. Maybe not a lot. But if you develop a specialty, that makes you more valuable than an easily replaced cog at (name your least-favorite mainstream site).
If your favorite kind of writing happens to be comedy, email me some of your work and I will give you what advice I can give, just as one often-funny person.
I’m not some “expert” I’m just a person who writes and makes funny videos for a living, I hope this was useful oh god
“The Internet media is exploitative and unkind to its greenest employees. Most of the Takes are written by 20-somethings making a (comparative) pittance. The Take is barely, if at all, edited. The young Take-producer is given no time to learn to report, or to read anything other than Everyone Else’s Takes. Dozens of aspiring journalists now have clips files that consist of hundreds of these awful aggregated units of completely disposable Content. Here’s 80 words on something James Franco did. Here’s 100 words on ISIS. This is my link to a Daily Mail story about long-lost twins who married each other.”—
“/b/ is a realm pervaded by something called ‘shock posts’ — graphic scenes of violence or sex. A realm where ‘completely anonymous — no login, no username — people try to shock, entertain and coax free porn from one another,’ wrote Gawker’s Nick Douglas. He said it’s otherwise known as the ‘a–hole of the internet.’”—
“Men say, ‘I can’t endure it when women cry’—just as people say, ‘I can’t endure this wet weather.’ As if it were nothing to do with the men at all, the crying. Just one of those things that happen.”—Elizabeth Wykys in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall
“The trouble with England, he thinks, is that it’s so poor in gesture. We shall have to develop a hand signal for ‘Back off, our prince is fucking this man’s daughter.’ He is surprised that the Italians have not done it. Though perhaps they have, and he just never caught on.”—Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
“Think about how a typical English class works: You read a ‘great work’ by a famous author, discussing what the messages are, and how the author uses language, structure, and imagery to convey them. You memorize particularly pithy quotes to be regurgitated on the exam, and perhaps later on second dates. Students are rarely encouraged to peek at early drafts of those works. All they see is the final product, lovingly polished by both writer and editor to a very high shine. When the teacher asks ‘What is the author saying here?’ no one ever suggests that the answer might be ‘He didn’t quite know’ or ‘That sentence was part of a key scene in an earlier draft, and he forgot to take it out in revision.’”—Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - Megan McArdle, The Atlantic
I am looking for part-time or full-time work in writing or comedy or blogging or acting or video making or social media marketing, and my email is email@example.com, and I can send you my resume and links to my best work.
And it’s a little embarrassing to just put this here, but hey, I got my last job through this blog, and I loved it and it lasted three years.
We started with $30K, 300 Big Blinds. Plenty of M. “It’s all about M,” Coach had told me during our initial training session, and it was one of the ﬁrst things I came to understand, slowly, the hard way, during my AC runs, the secret narrative as I passed through levels. M is how much life you have in you, how much you can take. To calculate M, you add the Big Blind, the Small Blind, and all the antes you have to pay into the pot each round, and the sum is how much it costs to play one orbit ‘round the table. M, for Paul Magriel, who first articulated it, but also M for the Wave of Mutilation.
Above 20M, twenty rounds, you can play your fancy-move poker. But once you dip below that, your spirit is draining away each round, and you have to start playing more aggressively, play a wider range of cards, swipe some blinds, so that you are not erased from existence. Existence, because this is life we’re talking about here, how much can you take before you break. Dear reader, I hope you’re operating at a big M most of the time, I really do. Things are easier that way. But then sometimes things go wrong—you lose your job, get some sort of health issue named after a foreigner, the kid won’t say why he doesn’t want you at the wedding, and the angry voices in your head are now using Auto-Tune. You take a tumble in a thousand ways, big and small: This the Wave of Mutilation, gobbling up your reality. Replay the hand—is there something you could have done differently to keep things the way they were, something you should have said to keep them from walking away? It doesn’t matter, the dealer’s shufﬂing again. You dwindle to 6M and 3M and 2M and you can’t pay the rent next month, nobody’s retuming your e-mails. Things are desperate. This is death. You don’t know how you’re going to survive. And the truth is, you’re not going to. Next level, the blinds will go up, and up, and up.