Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Articles of the hot and humid day

-Apparently that thing I'd always had a sneaking suspicion about - that making it in the writing world is easier if your friends happen to be writers - is true.

-I think the technical, journalistic classification for the following link is wut.

-The scientist village where I live is not open to the public, I think, who knows. But there are always tourists coming by to look at it, photograph it, and... I can't quite figure out what they hope to see. Einstein doesn't work here anymore. The scholars who do are on their computers or at their notebooks in their offices. There's nothing to see, and tourists aren't allowed inside the buildings to see it. That doesn't stop them from trying. Sometimes, walking my dog in the area, I feel as if I'm part of some kind of real-life Big Bang Theory fantasy tour, in which I play the disheveled brunette Penny.

But that's nothing! As Shulem Deen explains, the Hasids of Williamsburg have become a tourist attraction. And the poor tourists are disappointed when the anthropological exhibition they've come to observe fails to greet them with the appropriate small-town friendliness. As Deen notes, the tourist whining about this happens to be a middle-aged man, who was trying to make eye contact with women and, more disturbingly, little girls. That they were squicked out and avoided him seems very much unrelated to their being Hasids, and very much about them being sensible female city-dwellers. Deen also notes that there are plenty of legitimate criticisms of the Hasidic community, but that the failure of their eight-year-old girls to smile at male tourists isn't one of them.

2 comments:

Miss Self-Important said...

But isn't it inevitable that in the process of becoming a writer, you will make more and more writer friends, so that you too will soon appear to some newly-graduated-from-college and not-yet-well-connected neo-Phoebe to be consummately part of a conspiracy to keep her out of the industry? These people are mostly not born into their friendships with other writers; they find each other once they've embarked on this path, and there's no way to prevent this natural accretion of like-minded friends that wouldn't have worse effects than the resentment at "connections" that it engenders.

Phoebe said...

Kind of? I mean, it's not inevitable that pitching things from wherever you happen to live will make it so the group of friends you actually spend time with are writers. If you're not living where the other writers are, and somehow enmeshed in their world, you may have a bunch of writing connection-friends you may or may not have even met, but there's zero chance someone you may have impressed with your wit at a party will offer you a job.

But this is to some extent more about choosing a path early and sticking to it than connections, even if those things are related. To get the first job, it helps to be a) well-connected, and b) able to work for no pay. But these in-person connections probably are made more through jobs than family connections.