Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Careers to Pursue When Yours Disappear

by Michael Dare

Some people lose their jobs because they always show up late and leave early. Some people lose their jobs because they called their boss an asshole. But there's a special category of people who lost their jobs because the job itself doesn't really exist any more. It just disappears, like those buggy whip manufacturers at the advent of the Model T, they produce a product that's no longer needed by any but the loyal few. They still sell buggy whips, just not as many. The masses have moved elsewhere. Here's a guide to other careers to pursue if you lost your job in such a manner.


Considering how much free porn there is on the net, it's surprising the professional porn industry survives at all. If you're a porn star laid off because Harry Putz and the Prisoner of Asskaban laid an egg, there are surely a plethora of other ways to put your talent to use. You could virtually blow everyone on my Facebook FRIEND list, but that would only get you further friends, not further income. You might think about downsizing to a smaller audience and doing private porn films for a select clientele. Put the following ad in CraigsList: "Star in your own porn film. Select from our luscious collection of actors. We will come to your house and film you fucking them."


Considering how much free music there is on the net, it's surprising there's a single musician making a living. If you had a hit in the 90s, way back when people actually played CDs, you might have noticed you're not getting any royalties from the constant stream of downloads - at Limewire, Frostwire, and Pirate Bay - of your one-hit-wonder. You could follow the RIAA's example and sue your own fans, but I suggest the opposite. Make a YouTube video offering a buck to everyone who can prove they downloaded your song for free. Since that's virtually impossible, you won't have to actually pay anyone anything, and the resulting free publicity might get you a shot at being the opening act on a Vanilla Ice reunion tour.


The manufacturers of pay phones didn't sue the manufacturers of cell phones for putting them out of business because the manufacturers of pay phones WERE the manufacturers of cell phones. Let this be a role model for everyone put out of business by some new technology. Don't fight it. In the future, you'll just look like a jerk, and you don't look so hot now.


We don't need you any more. We can make copies ourselves, thank you, no need to pay someone else to do it. Man, if you make money making copies of ANYTHING, toodle-ooh, the Free Barrier has been broken and those sonic booms you hear are your industry going bye-bye. Once I can receive MP3s and AVIs of music and movies directly from their creators, downloaded in minutes, what the hell do I need Netflix for? Waste of time and energy. I could be doing jumping jacks instead of running to the mailbox. But that's just home distribution, which once didn't exist, then became 50% of profits, and now is going to barely exist again. The future really is those big opening weekends, sitting in a crowd at a mammoth screen, where simple images take your breath away and you enjoy yourself whether you liked it or not. In order to make money, film and music have got to get you off your butt and away from the computer to an actual theatrical experience where you pay to get in. Everything else is public domain.


You used to crank it out for a paycheck. Now you just crank it out. No more editors telling you what to do, only readers and other writers, who are notoriously cranky too. Logic tells us if you want to support a writer, buy a physical copy of his book or magazine or newspaper or leaflet, stopping right short of Blog Post, where money never changes hands. Whenever you accept a compliment, accept the fact that compliments are pay, and thank you for reading this. If you pass it on, I get 10%.


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