Friday, November 07, 2008

Unemployment Diary

I am unemployed, and from today's report, it seems I am in good company.

While most of my fellow non-workers are so involuntarily - layoffs, etc. I am a person cursed with the somewhat self-destructive gene that tempts fate and openly invites rambling and uncertainty. As I was rambling around downtown Milwaukee yesterday (secretly hoping to run into Bob D. who was in town for a show) I was checking out bookstores, and found this 3 story insane store that was so disorganized it was a neat freaks dream project (they said they weren't hiring). Anyway, I bought a James Whitcomb Riley hardcover anthology. He's a poet and a person I like to consider a relative. The book had a few newspaper article clippings stuck inside and even an obituary from the newspaper in like 1916. The obit said Riley literally ran away from his dad's law office as a young man and proceeded to ramble around for about 10 years as a sign painter. Yes! Woody Guthrie, my other hero, was a sign painter too, so maybe I should look into that...

My point is, I ran away. I had a job doing "advertising" for the Chicago Tribune. Sounds great, doesn't it? But it was PT, they did lay offs about every 3 months or so, and it was so repetitive it was making me crazy. Plus, when I wrote on this idea page that the idea of having a "Page 3" girl of the week feature in the Red Eye was a HORRIBLE idea, Sam Zell personally wrote back to admonish me for having a negative opinion. Yeah. And when I emailed Lee Abrams to tell him neither the Tribune or the Red Eye are reaching young, hip and informed people such as myself, and I said - Promote Greg Kot! Sound Opinions is awesome! And he writes back a little "yeah, sure, whatever." reply. And then i see a prototype of the new form where greg did a song by song analysis of a freakin' rod stewart concert in town. Wow. So yeah, I'm sorry, but I gave up hope and decided to return to my original principals that corporate media sucks.

So after a full month or so, I feel I am getting pretty good at being unemployed. Granted, I have no bills or dependents, so my situation is favorable to this lifestyle. I've learned how to sleep on a variety of couches. Drink a TON of coffee daily (sitting at a coffee shop on brady as I write). Read, read, read read -- I'm currently following a thread of knowledge started by a Grant Morrison speech (google it), and has led me to insane things involving Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley, chaos magick, etc. Basically to all those unfamiliar let me help you with a pop culture reference: the matrix is real. Or at least I'm trying as much as possible to challenge my accepted reality tunnels and push my mind further into the realm of things obscured from daily life. It's fun; you should try it. I'm also trying to lace some of these ideas into my ongoing Novel...

And of course, I've been following politics. I canvassed for Obama a bit, knocking on Milwaukee doors. The picture is of my awesome obama shirt i wore for 3 days straight. I watched the results from a bar called the nomad, and the speech from a friends house. The next day I was reeling from having to accept a more optimistic view of the future. My formative adult years have been under the reign of Bush n Co., so without surprise its embittered me to authority, made me highly skeptical of the mainstream news, and just doubtful that the "good" guys ever win out. It's like, wait a second, what if that's not true anymore? I've been bitter all this time for nothing!!
But I got back into that groove by spending all morning listening to the Alex Jones radio show, feeling at home w/ paranoia and the bleak future that still lies ahead. I tell my mom all the time we need to have a lot of food stored up for the upcoming crisis, and insisting that Mackenzie invest in gold. They won't listen. At least the prototype for me and Darcy's apocalypse farm was a success this summer.

I also spent some time on election day playing some guitar, as per usual everyday, picking out some "this land is your land" and "when the ship comes in." For my ears only, of course, but the day just wouldn't have seem complete without it. And you know what I perfected this morning? A little Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi River Blues. "Mississippi River is so deep and wide. I can see my baby standing on the other side." Yep Yep. With every song, I am unlocking more of the secrets to playing the blues. It is great fun.

So now you can see why I have no income. Reading, paranoia, and the blues are not money makers. They might actually repel money, I'm not sure yet. I've sent out dozens of stupid "To Whom It May Concern, Please hire me!" emails. Do I hear anything back? Of course not. I'd like to take this Web Design certificate program at UWM because working on this little website is the only other thing I can do besides the above that I lose myself in. But classes are expensive, and so there we are, another wall.

Oh well. "I started out with nothing and I still got most of it left."

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