Telling the people in control they're right
I was at a residency a few years ago and there were these two writers in their early 20s who were lamenting that they’d been let go from newspapers or journals because there’s just not enough money in journalism, writing, etc. It made me so sad that they’d internalized and accepted this, especially when over the next few months people like Matt Lauer and Bill O’Reilly (please fact-check me) got severance payouts of tens of millions of dollars after allegations of chronic sexual assault/harrassment. There are resources in abundance; they’re just being hoarded by a teensy percentage of the population. And I don’t truly know what to do about it, either. Except to keep connecting with the people working for a better world and reminding us of the beauty and reality all around us. Thanks for doing that, Chris (and AHP too) 💗
Yes yes yes. The longer I'm away from the fast-paced, capitalist-driven nonprofit job (which should be an oxymoron in and of itself) the more I feel like I can't do the mental math necessary to go back. A big part of me wants to find a way to scrape by and get my MFA and take freelance gigs and odd jobs. I've been staying with friends in Washington--their house on 10 wooded acres and that simple routine of coffee, morning walk with the dogs, writing and reading and household projects, then cooking dinner together has felt worlds better than I ever did in the "before" times even though we're all broke. It's just unconscionable that the way our country is set up makes it so damn hard to live a life like that. It seems like your friend's housing plight is becoming the norm more and more and it's unconscionable.
Our jobs own us, our bills control our generosity. I've been thinking about this all evening, pondering what makes us feel insecure, why the very rich are often so arrogant and tightfisted, why people who read the New Testament believe in the prosperity gospel, why American voters continue to support those who declaim that prosperity will trickle down from the capitalists, as the Wobblies used to sing, like "pie in the sky." Sigh. As Antonia writes below, there are resources in abundance but so much hoarding.
I was looking forward to reading this, having had enough of the “election news”, and stressing over vacationing relatives possibly bringing COVID home for thanksgiving when I felt you grab me by the front of my shirt, give me a good shake, and show me some OTHER stuff to think about!!! 😁😁😁. Thanks for the distraction and for the slap back to reality. Yes, we’re all getting screwed, almost all of the time. I’m thankful every single goddamned day that I’m out of the job market. I wish I had been wise enough to say no to shit jobs because I put up with too many of them in my day. Hang in there, Chris, we all need your perspective.
Thank you for putting you on the "page" for us to read, Chris.
I'm someone who subscribed recently after reading your interview with Anne Helen Petersen. I'm very glad to be reading your work! Thank you for writing as you do.
I love your writings. As soon as I see "An Irritable Metis" in my inbox, I put everything else on hold. Thank you!
Can I steal your ideal living daydream? It sounds heavenly.
Love all of this, keep it up!
Scott Carrier was in Missoula a couple of years ago -- we talked for well more than an hour, and, thankfully, only 5 or 10 seconds of my voice made the podcast. Under 5, I think. We met in my office, which is basically 100 feet from Fact & Fiction, for a story that you've written about as well (albeit later). In the movie version of your life, this'll look like a pretty close almost meet.
AHP sent me your way and I'm glad she did!
Hear, hear, to all of this.
(And I hope your friend finds a suitable hole in the wall for a fair price. )
Good stuff! Will watch the Bowden interview. Love the "perfect living situation." Have been there in my head and close to it in real life a time or two. That really is all some of us need.
Tucson, eh? I have a ton of personal Tucson history (seriously). Would hardly know where to start. I mean, you have better things to do, but drop in at JHFARR.COM and hunt up "Tucson" in any of the search boxes, ye gods. My sister @Farrout_Mary lives there now. A nephew, too.
So, when you find that community, let me know... This is a lovely piece, Chris.