Just finally watched that Chris Ott video. Oh man.
-As a budding libcom, I find the idea that it’s possible to avoid being a “sell out” under the wage system adolescent and absurd. Unless you’re part of a worker owned cooperative, someone is extracting your surplus value and making a profit off of your hard work. Even the better, nicer, fairer kinds of bosses. That’s just the way it’s set up. If you don’t like it, you might consider getting off your ass and agitating to change things.
-Like most members of the 99%, I can’t afford to not have a job.
-Given this fact, I’d rather have a job I mostly enjoy (writing) than a job I mostly don’t (making coffee for $9/hour, taking my clothes off for guys I meet on ModelMayhem.com). In a perfect world, my love of writing would be de-coupled from my need to survive, but that’s a topic for another day.
-I do not want to write “in my spare time” (which is what Ott seems to want me to do) when I could do the same amount of writing “in my work time” and use my spare time to volunteer, bake pies, go to parties, and watch The Wire with my boyfriend. The writing I do for money probably differs somewhat from the writing I would do if money were abolished, but not to the degree that it makes it an unappealing career path.
-The benefit of mentorship from established and knowledgeable editors is also something it’s difficult to attain while working outside the system. This is especially important for someone who is constantly plagued by crippling indecision and self-doubt, i.e. most writers.
-So I get paid to write about things I’m excited about, for readers who might not have as much time as I do to go to every show at 285 Kent or read blogs all day or whatever. Their eyeballs are then sold to advertisers, which I tolerate because that’s the way shit gets paid for nowadays. Is this ideal? No, of course not. But given the choice, I would rather my job exist than not exist. I also like having things to read. And bands like getting paid.
-And you know what? If x or y’s cynical marketing strategies have the side effect of promoting alternatives to mainstream culture (which is fine, but shouldn’t be the only thing out there) or introducing people to artists they love or just helping some punk rock kids buy pizza, then good. The Habsburgs were despotic aristocrats but they served an important function in society. That didn’t justify their existence, but at least there was an upside. I don’t see how this is any different.
-Of course I would rather live in an anarcho-syndicalist utopia where everyone pulls together to do the 10 hours of work a week they each need to do to keep society running and then gets to do whatever the fuck they want the rest of the time. But until we achieve that (i.e. for the foreseeable future and maybe forever), it seems sort of self-defeating to point the finger at powerless, well-intentioned young people for propping up a system that they don’t have a choice about participating in.
-Liz Pelly was probably the worst example he could’ve picked of someone who is “fooling herself” or “in it for the wrong reasons” or whatever. I can’t tell if he’s trolling here or just so wrong that it seems like trolling.