Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Work is for Queers and Immigrants

I just got a temp job with one of the bajillion companies within the VIACOM world-owning conglomerate. Turns out these bastards own Comedy Central, although I believe AOL TIME WARNER the universe-owning conglomerate, but with a less threatening name, used to. Fancy that!

My temp job is with Nick Records, which deals with the releases of all the crappy tie-in albums that result from all the kakadoody shows they produce for their fifty-million different networks. They're apparently also responsible for DVD set production and sales, because I hear a lot of that bullnonsense getting discussed as well.

I'm only doing this job for four days and I'm at it right now so clearly they aren't exactly piling stuff on me, but I hate working, and I already more or less hate this. I'm not going nuts here or anything, I am putting up with it of course, but it just serves to make me think what a load of horse butt product working in an office is.

Working here makes me think now about how everything has a crappy, boring, menial background behind it. For example, one of the Nickelodeon's major properties is Spongebob Squarepants. If you've actually seen the show, it's really pretty decent. It's silly enough for kids, but it's pretty smart at times too. Basically, at the head of it there's clearly a pretty cool guy who came up with the idea and a team of people who are, to some degree, conforming to a standard for VIACOM, but are more or less just doing their best to make an entertaining, creative show. I can't say this for all Nick shows, obviously, because most of what they produce is dreck, but Spongebob is one instance of decency.

Well, at Nick Records I see none of that creativity. I see financial figures and I see marketing. I see the boring soullessness that has to go into inevitably getting the show (and it's keychains and lunchboxes) to me. When you watch the show, you're not thinking about anything other than how it's entertaining you and making you laugh. You're invested in the plot and the (voice) acting, not the packaging and how it's manufactured to specifically appeal to children and when you know about these things, it kind of diminishes the "magic" of the creative process.

Obviously it's a necessary evil. You'd never get any of the stuff you like if there wasn't some huge conglomerate shipping it all around the country and making it accessible. But I can't stop thinking about the fact that, although once in awhile a company like VIACOM makes good use of a creative product, mostly it's dedicated to churning out money-making garbage, usually in a decidely unwholesome way.

I happen to have two ads next to me where I'm sitting for tie-in albums for some chick named Emma Roberts and a show called Zoey 101. The girls are maybe fifteen years old, if that, and whenever there's a lull in my worktime (happens a lot!) I find myself looking over at them because they're so goddamned hot. I know they're young, but they put them in these skirts and do up their makeup and hair; the Emma Roberts album cover has her lying on her side in a somewhat suggestively seductive (ALLITERATION ACTION!) position.

The sexualizing of minors is just one of the many offending things one finds on the business side of media, but the whole premise of it more or less bugs me. Just the notion that a creative property is always at some level handled in an assembly-line, money-making manner is kind of offensive; that the creative side of these productions degenerates to just another branch of a gigantic cash generating behemoth. Right alongside "marketing" and "corporate," we have "creative," a one-word term to make an office run more efficiently.

Additionally, there's the fact that tons of people are crammed into boring office settings to fuss over figures, numbers, and minor discrepencies in poster ads that will make them more appealing to the younger generation. Again, I understand this is a needed service in many cases, but the mass-production of creativity (along with the marketing of subtle pedophilia) strikes me as pretty depressing, even moreso the fact that there are people whose lives and livelihood are spent principally dealing with these issues. It occurs to me now that I'm much happier only seeing finished products. The nuts and bolts are dull and packed full of sorrow.


I apologize for the title of this blog. It is mostly there to offend needlessly and has hardly any bearing on the actual content of the blog. Next time I will think up a more politically correct, yet appealing title for the younger generation!!!


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