The time has come for all of us who have spent our academic year engrossed in academics, to realize that we have, in fact grossly misspent our time at Yale. What we SHOULD have been doing, we now learn, is looking for work for the coming summer. If Yale had any decent academic advising system, our advisers might have told us to start researching our Summer 2002 plans…last September.
Now it’s April and the summer, it seems, has already begun. It began some time in November, when all the juicy, interesting, well-paying positions were given to the sons and daughters of the people who invented those positions. Summer proper, i.e. the season, has yet to begin, but as far as anyone in the private sector is concerned, summer has come and gone. And I’m left looking for summer work in what, I suppose, is the business year equivalent of next fall.
I’m cleaning up after the elephant, and I didn’t even get a chance to see the parade. I would have settled for a glimpse of the pachiderm’s ass, but it’s already left town. I guess it’s in Iceland, now — or somewhere like that — where summer begins in October, lasts approximately thirty seconds, and is recognizable by torrential rains of knives.
Where WAS I?
I guess things could be worse, but not by much. At least I have a job. And it’s not in Iceland.
In any other context, my job offer would be ludicrous. The plan is this — a summer working in Los Angeles (where the only thing that costs more money than making a big, awful movie is gasoline). I’m working in the film industry, fetching lattes for cut-rate Spielbergs, and receiving no money. Then there’s rent, which will hover anywhere from $1000 to $1500. Then there’s food, which…I don’t know. How much does food cost? Twenty, thirty thousand dollars? PLUS gas, PLUS my six drug habits two full-blown addictions, four just hobbies, really)…we’re talking a net LOSS of roughly…okay…carry the one…$65,000,000.
I’m taking the job.
I’m taking the job, because when you’re in college, it’s the EXPERIENCE that counts. It’s not so much about how much we make. It’s not so much about whether we can support ourselves at all. It’s not so much about our gaining financial independence or stability. It’s all about having a good time. If you think, as I apparently do, that a good time is defined by waxing the bird shit off of the hood of the car of the guy who directed “Thirteen Ghosts.”
Just as we do every summer, right now the youth of America is settling for bad work because someone has told us that it is the experience that counts. Someone told us that these are the years we must fill with “fun,” because later on down the line it’s going to be OUR turn to run the big businesses and gain indiscriminately by hiring hapless college kids to do our work for free.
For now, though, it’s our job to get paid shit to do shit-work.
The fact is, the institution of “the summer job” has been created by adults to keep youth youthful. And to keep us poor.
If anything, shouldn’t young people be using their youth to their advantage? We should be using our limberness of mind and spirit to GAIN power RIGHT NOW. If that means making money, so be it. So what if our experiences aren’t “rich?” We’ll have plenty of time for experiences later. We’ll have a nice view sitting on the bags and bags of money we earned in our younger, abler, smarter days.
How come everyone assumes that those most qualified to run the world are the elders? The older you get, the duller you get. Most of our elders can’t even hold erections without medication. What is mother earth trying to tell us? Their day has come and gone, but they’re still in the daddy chair. It’s a “survival of the fittest” kind of world, and they are no longer the fittest. Something is wrong.
Look at your elders. They’re afraid of you. And they should be. You’re stronger than they are in every way, erections included. If you wanted their jobs, you’d have them. The only reason YOU’RE not the CEO of the Fox Corporation, is that you’re too busy getting educated, because someone told you that this was the time to do that.
And do you know who that “someone” is? Your elders! Coincidence?
I don’t know you, but I know that you would make better television than Rupert Murdoch. This is the guy who thinks that “Greg the Bunny” is edgy.
Forget education. You don’t need to be smart to have power. Look at the President. Worry about your “experiences” later. Educate yourself AFTER you’ve got enough money to do whatever the hell you want.
The power structure of this world is based upon the assumption that youth must spend their most vital years locked away in school, or distracted by college (like me). Either way, the innate power of youth is wasted. Why not spend THESE years as adults spend their adult years, getting rich, getting powerful, and then spend our adult years having fun, running the world?
If I were following my own advice, heeding my own rant, I would turn down this job offer in Los Angeles. I would go into business for myself, selling tube-socks over the internet…or something equally as lucrative. I would drop out, buy a suit, and get a head-start.
But I’m taking the job. Because I’m twenty-years old, I need a tan, I think about girls every five seconds, and it sounds like fun.
Greg Yolen is a sophomore in Pierson College, and can knock one of these bullshit columns off in twenty minutes.