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    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
     (10289.41)
    Right now, crime seems like a rational career move. Police funding is being cut and detection rates at a massive low and the government is firmly against fair redistribution of wealth. Politicians and corporations have no respect for the law, actual representative democracy or fair and due process. I have tried to become an entrepreneur but tradition means of raising funds to start business ventures are closed off. There isn't even any common land upon which I could raise animals.

    I consider it to be a moral and objective decision to go into the crime business, with the proviso that it never be violent. If those in positions of power do not regard the law as important and do not hold the population's best interests in high regard, I shall not obey them.
  1.  (10289.42)
    Quite a bitter lot, that, and ready to spread the bitterness.


    The problem with "bitter experience" is that people keep ignoring the "experience" part because the bitterness is a real bummer.

    There is a third option, mind you... Assuming being pragmatic or being an asshole is distasteful... And that's selling their soul to a bank or credit card company, and living their life as a debt slave so they can at least look like they're not the debt slave they are.

    (Okay, the fourth option I've seen far too often is to marry/shack-up-with some idiot who will put up with their spouse grasping at brass rings while they break their back putting food on the table. But I wouldn't recommend that one since it's astoundingly selfish.)
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
     (10289.43)
    @Trini, I agree exactly with what you said. As kids we're told that the only way to get ahead in life in a respectable manner to get a college degree. Now, I had a great time in college, mind you, but there are times where I wonder if I could already be doing something with myself if I had gone to a trade school or something. And really, it isn't anything to be ashamed of. I also hate that society looks down on janitors, garbage people, bus drivers, etc. etc. Why? It's an honest living, and without them, a lot the things we'd need done wouldn't get done. How many researchers out there want to spend their time cleaning up the bathrooms in the building because they have no janitor? None. No one does. All these "unrespectable" jobs, they're necessary, and frankly I wish the people who took those jobs got more respect and better pay and benefits. No one wants those jobs because everyone makes them out to be jobs for people who were failures, and all it really is is honest labor.
    •  
      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited
     (10289.44)
    ...and yet people can still work day jobs and use the money to work on something they enjoy doing. Would they prefer if it were different? Sure, but it's something and it doesn't paint as grim a picture as William seems to be living/feeling.

    William, I think why I disagree with your comments so much is that it sounds like just the type of poisonous thinking my father was told when he was a kid by his parents and school teachers. If he followed their advice he wouldn't be a successful music journalist, but probably at a factory somewhere. So sorry, calling bullshit on your "your dreams are bullshit" comment. And as far as jobs go, yeah, I think in some contexts you should look on a job as below you. How else are you going to get a job at your level or even above you that might be more satisfying?
    •  
      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited
     (10289.45)
    William:

    It has jack shit to do with experience. They did exactly what you said: they had dreams, were told that they were bullshit and abandoned them completely, instead concentrating on having a "proper life" with proper job etc. and not complaining. "Real people are never writers or explorers or rock stars." You could see those people being eaten up when they saw other people realize their dreams, with no better starting point than they had - just more courage and less ear for crab bucket people.

    Don't abandon your dreams, they are not bullshit. People who realize their dreams are most often not privileged, they are just determined. Put your dreams in your back pocket when needed and get pragmatic when life requires it, but take the dreams out for a spin now and then, and think of the choices you'll make: is buying a house or getting kids or whatever standing in the way of what you really want to do? Then maybe, just maybe you shouldn't do it, even though it's the "proper" thing to do.
  2.  (10289.46)
    Sorry guys. Even in a booming economy, there can only be so many rock stars in the world. And before long (like say, by the time you're thirty... which is a number I've just now arbitrarily chosen) you need to accept that you are not going to be the next Jimi Page and you need to put your guitar in the closet and go get a job because you, probably, have responsibilities. Like kids you need to feed. (Man, I can't tell you how much I want to throttle some geek with kids every time I've come across one who decides his dreams of drawing the next Penny Arcade is more important than his responsibility towards them. It's happened more times than I'm happy with.)

    Responsibilities are shit because they do not give a fuck about your dreams. Your weekend bar band isn't putting your kid through college (which is why everyone becomes debt slaves, so they can keep their childhood into their adulthood). You may not like it, I sure as hell don't like it, but the world does not give a shit about you, your hopes, and your dreams. And if it doesn't actively work against you, (Remember those assholes I mentioned up above? That's why you have to be one yourself if you're chasing goals. If you don't other assholes will stop you dead.) it sure won't step up to help you either. You should be pragmatic all the time because life always requires it. That you don't think so, shows that you are coming from a position of entitlement and privilege even if you're not part of the 1%.

    I'll give you this, though: If you're young, and/or living off of someone else's teat, and/or your only responsibility is not puking your booze all over the sidewalk on your way home from the pub, then yes, chase those dreams. This is your chance, baby!

    But being a job-holder and not being a burden on the social safety net/ your friends and family when you don't have to be? That's not poisonous. That's being an adult.

    No one wants those jobs because everyone makes them out to be jobs for people who were failures, and all it really is is honest labor.


    Right. They're only shit jobs when you wrongly assume the world owes you better. And no doubt the janitor has dreams too. But he/she put them aside because they had to get a roof over their head.

    And that, my children, is how you live in a world like the one we have, and the one we'll be enjoying more and more as we stumble our way through peak oil and climate change over the next century. Protect yourself, and keep your wits about you, because it's not going to get better.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited
     (10289.47)
    The thing is you don't have to resign yourself to a job that you hate, at least not for your entire career. That's torture, and it's slavery. Stay a janitor your entire life if that's what is available, but brighten your day by chatting with people on the job, smiling to people, maybe even flirting a bit, and simply take pride in polishing that damned floor. Be a really good, awesome janitor. Maybe let the floor get dirty for a few days to make people notice how nice it is when it shines again. It's still a shitty job, but you can learn how to make the best of it.

    Remember those assholes I mentioned up above? That's why you have to be one yourself if you're chasing goals. If you don't other assholes will stop you dead.


    Is that your new version of the Golden Rule? "Be an asshole because everybody else is?"
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited
     (10289.48)
    @William George -

    Speaking as a job-holding American...I'm fucking sick of that attitude.

    When did being poor and jobless mean that one became a pariah, again? At least back in the 1600's when the poor-houses were first implemented, they HAD AN IDEA for what to do with the poor and jobless - SPEND GOVERNMENT MONEY to give them make-work.

    I'm sooooo sick of the terms of this debate being so heavily weighted towards the capitalists. Go out and get a job or you're shit! Nevermind the cold hard facts that we can put on a graph about how jobs have been depressed, salaries have been depressed, unions are on the decline, and those of us in the pot called "Labor" are generally being deprecated and denied for the last 30-40 years in the West.

    Never mind all that. Just go pull your socks up and get a job!

    Or. We could shoot capitalists in the head and take their stuff. Go to hell with your condescending "my children" attitude, "my friend."
  3.  (10289.49)
    Has anyone here gone through the bankruptcy process? I've been out of work for 7 months this year now, and the only reason bills are getting paid is because my mother has helped with them, and now because my mother in law is letting us live in her house rent free. If I could get rid of the debt which is like less than 15,000 my partner and I could have our own apartment, and we'd be fine just on her paychecks until I actually got work.

    But I was raised that you always have to pay your bills or DEATH. And that bankruptcy was death. But I was wondering if anyone here has done it before, and if it's as bad as people say--and whether it would be worth looking into.
    • CommentAuthorDarkest
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
     (10289.50)
    I don't think I ever felt spoilt with the attitude but the scope of things was enormous and now when I think of the future I see a sea of grey shapelessness ready to be formed.

    I went to university and did a degree in philosophy which is sort of useful in so far as giving me a number of mental tools but more importantly it showed me that I can live on my own.

    Now I'm back living at my parents' but I was fortunate that I have some savings and they are all going in to Niche Comics, my comic book and gaming shop and I'm praying to Zeus, Cthulhu and Ellis that I can keep it open because I don't really know what I'd do otherwise. Some incidents when I was younger knocked my confidence a bit and who I am makes it very difficult to impossible for me to get employed by someone else.

    I am happy where I am sort of the goal for me has always been to get a degree of independence and sufficiency. I'm hoping that I won't have to live in my parents home forever and I would like to see a bit more of the world. Mostly because I have always wanted to experience as much as I can but I always let introversion get in the way.

    I'm very much interested in where this will take me because I have had a lot of interest from people and I'm nearer the US bases than Forbidden Planet is. I think I have a unique opportunity to be a part of a community and be able to make things available that I didn't know existed when I was growing up.

    But to return to the original topic at the last moment what I've seen change is access to a lot more info than I remember (Granted I'm only nearly 24 but still...) I find it very difficult to be un-optimistic but I do feel really bad that the govt. is axeing many useful organizations such as business link and the like. It was pretty ridiculous trying to get employed after university and the brief time I spent unemployed officially was kind of unhelpful and tedious.

    Bleh I should sleep. I hope this is on topic enough to not get deleted.
  4.  (10289.51)
    Verus- I'd rather you not become an asshole, if at all possible.

    But don't lie to yourself by thinking you can be a success (in the traditional sense) without fucking over someone else on your way to the top of whatever your dream you hold.

    Finagle- I won't call you a child again. Even a child can open a history book and see Communism didn't work. Or they can at least grok Animal Farm. (My condencending attitude depends upon the position you present.)

    Now, socialism? Strong government oversight for businesses? Proper tax rates for the rich? People joining their local unions?

    That's some pragmatic shit right there, my dear non-child.
  5.  (10289.52)
    Bankruptcy can sound tempting... so tempting... but here's what scares me about it: even though a bankruptcy will eventually drop off your credit history after a number of years, employers and landlords often ask if you've EVER filed for bankruptcy. At any time in the past. Unless you're staring down the barrel of a losing-your-house shotgun (or your debts are so overwhelming that you find yourself contemplating ending your life over it), I would think very very hard before putting that mark in your permanent life-history unless you absolutely have to.
    •  
      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011 edited
     (10289.53)
    Firstly, "give up your dreams and be an asshole or consign yourself to a life of misery" is not pragmatic advice, it is cynical rhetoric. Secondly, that whole bitter (and I'm sure very experience-based) diatribe seemed to stem from the idea of the goal being "becoming a rock star". That's not the goal here, and never was.

    My personal background: I'm 37 now and I've been working in the field of translation/localisation for the past 15 years or so, and (like Vornaskotti) came of age after the last big recession over here in Finland. I took on a rather menial job in the IT localisation industry as a minimum wage software tester, and a year later I was doing actual software localisation. From there I went on to project management, and then into working as a self-emplyoyed translator (with a few minor detours).

    Right now I'm faced with a forced change of occupation, as not just my job but rather my entire primary field of expertise (patent translations, which I've been doing for the past 7 years or so) will end in Finland in about a month. I have been mentioning this around to some folks, and fortunately it looks like I may be in a rather good position for other translation work.

    Now, part of this is certainly due to that whole 15 year stretch of experience, but even more than that, I'd like to point out that those toes we were adviced to step on, up there, are attached to the rest of the person. I don't know how big an industry y'all are trying to get into, but chances are the number of people in the field will be rather small and word gets around, believe me. Nice people (I'm a bit of a doormat myself) may not get ahead by default, but rest assured: assholes have bigger problems.

    Pragmatic advice:
    - do small but notable favours; again: word gets around
    - cultivate personal relationships with your colleagues, competitors and customers
    - DO NOT cultivate a personal relationship with your job, more specifically DO NOT fall into the hole of equating your personal self-worth from how much you work/earn
    - be friendly, be reasonable, be professional
    - DO NOT reward assholes
    - and yes, join a union
    •  
      CommentAuthorFishelle
    • CommentTimeOct 21st 2011
     (10289.54)
    Secondly, that whole bitter (and I'm sure very experience-based) diatribe seemed to stem from the idea of the goal beaing "becoming a rock star". That's not the goal here, and never was.


    This.

    My dream (as far as occupation goes) is to teach printmaking at a small college. Or to at least teach some printmaking workshops when I have a studio of my own. I'd say that's perfectly reasonable. Plausible, even.

    Regarding school: I would not know what my dream was, or have any chance of ever reaching it, without going to college. Of course, I have managed to go so far debt free, and that makes a difference. But even if I had to go into debt for it, it would be worth it for me. I would agree that looking down on community colleges and trade schools is silly. I went to a 2 year cheap school to start, and I honestly liked the program there better than my current fancy accredited program.
  6.  (10289.55)
    Firstly, "give up your dreams and be an asshole or consign yourself to a life of misery" ...


    The buzzer sounds.

    To restate: Your choices in a crap economy are 1) Be pragmatic and do what you need to get by.. Like go get a job you may not love so you can feed your kids.

    Seeing this option as either a failure or a life of torture or some other negative is more about you than it is about the option itself.

    Or 2) Become an asshole because you need to because other assholes are reaching for that same dream you are and there isn't room enough at the top for you both. Guess what? The 1% don't have more problems than you do. You are their cattle. But as nice as you are they are not going to think twice of putting your head on the chopping block.

    Nor are they going to feel bad enough about you standing out in the rain that they're going to stop being assholes. You want to play their game, you have to follow their rules. Rule One: Be an asshole.

    And like I said, you can also become a drain on the people around you or allow yourself to become a debt slave. Both of which I see as far worse than being practical or being an asshole. Your mileage may vary.

    Okay... There is the option of killing everyone and taking their money like suggested up above. Let me know when you guys try that one so I can be out of town that day.

    And there's also impotent raging on the Internet as well.

    Hey, you know what? Turns out there are a lot of options for life in a bad economy after all! You've all convinced me. Good stuff!
    •  
      CommentAuthortaphead
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011
     (10289.56)
    I think I'm going to step away from the urethra maggots here.
    •  
      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011
     (10289.57)
    Yeah, it's time to lock this shit. You kids can't play nice.
    •  
      CommentAuthorVornaskotti
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011 edited
     (10289.58)
    Yeah, I don't think I want to continue this any further either. Just one thing left to say - I'll try to be constructive but I'm afraid this signs the locking of the thread.

    When I was like 15-16, we got an assignment from the school to write a composition about what kind of life we would like to have. I wrote it, and showed it to a woman of our parents generation. "Oh damn that was naive, that's so stupid. I thought you were smarter than that, you are totally a naive child, now get realistic" was the reply I got about it. Thank fuck I didn't take it to heart.

    Now, at the age of 36, I've done everything but one thing from that little composition and much more I couldn't even imagine then, and that one little thing is on the cusp of being realized.

    I haven't been on the dole since I pulled myself out of the last recession in the late 90's, and all the money I've got from my social networks have been small loans, repaid in full. I have paid in taxes more than I cost during the years of forced unemployed in the 90's, so on that account my net worth to the society is on the black.

    I'm not rich, but I've had a damn good life, pursuing and catching my dreams, although there would've been easier ways to go. Life is full of choices. I'm sorry William, that you don't seem to like the ones you've made, but don't spread the bitter.

    But yeah, this is me signing out.
  7.  (10289.59)
    @William: It's possible to be successful (i.e. doing what you love for a moderate living) by being good at something, cooperating with people, and letting that combo make things happen for you. It's never worked for me, maybe because I'm unlucky and maybe because I'm an asshole and probably both, but I've known people that it's worked for, so I'm afraid you need to expand your worldview a little.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeOct 22nd 2011
     (10289.60)
    The problem with your statement, William is that you're claiming to know for certain that each and every person in the world who has attained some level of succes is an asshole...which is very unlikely, it just seems hyperbole.

    I'm assuming you're talking about succes from a financial point of view...which is a rather restricted definition of succes, but even then I don't believe it. Having a good businessplan and succeeding isn't being an asshole. Writing a great book which sells well isn't being an asshole. Being a great scientist and getting a research position or a teaching job at a great university isn't being an asshole, etc etc etc...

    So I disagree with what you're saying personally, but I don't really have a big problem with it. I'm assuming it stems from some disappointments in life, which made you adopt this cynical outlook on things.

    But succes is relative term to begin with. if expectations aren't unreasonably high to begin with, succes is much easier to come by.