I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I’ll just call Das Internet Job, the one I had most recently down at the Woolworth Building for which I was paid most handsomely yet always felt like I was going to be fired. In the Buddhist sense, all things are merely fleeting representations of Impermanence, but this Internet Job was a high-water mark for futile business gestures everywhere. What’s worse is that I look at my own correspondences from that time and realize how caught up I was in the microcosm of the company, and how nattering I was with gossip and how hurt I was by transgressions from erstwhile friends (and there were some doozies).
Yesterday I found a letter from one of my superiors at Das Internet Job (there were about seven of them) – a Go-Getter, razor thin with a voice like a strangled blue jay, fresh off the last corporate job with bags chocked full of moronic business plans, dysfunctional business-speak and unmerited hubris. I was told I wasn’t a team player, and that “content that will really soar” was expected of me.
Given that the Web treats all writing as “content,” and that my job was so boringly technical as to be soul-drubbing, it was a little like telling the guy who writes the aspirin instructions to “put a little pizzazz in it!” I can’t believe I let myself buy into it for so long, but then again, I was living in the East Village paying double the rent I had in Los Angeles (and septuple what I’d paid in Chapel Hill) and I had a good health plan. Besides, I was always going to quit to make the movie. I just need to know – does it always have to be so fucking unpleasant? You have to have perspective on new companies: the zany exuberance they show in the beginning will ALWAYS be directly correlated with the irrational, histrionic mean-spiritedness they give you in the end. They’re like teenagers.
Anyway, the worst part of it is that all that work we did ultimately went nowhere all those meetings, all those brainstorming sessions and “blue sky” meetings and rah-rah pep rallies. The exorbitant building rent, the $43 million from huge corporations, the fights, the barrage of emails. Every single one of those 105 people are doing something else now, and the idea sits at the bottom of someone’s hindbrain. I always said that I worked there for a year, but only did one month’s worth of work. Not something to be proud of.
That Internet Job spent $43 million and came up with nothing; Tessa and I spent $250K and we made a great movie. I’m convinced more every day that “The Pink House” might have a future – I mean, there’s some really funny stuff in there. My rule for comedies is that I’ll pay a dollar for a good laugh, which means (in New York) I have have to laugh an average of 9.5 times. I think this movie has twice that, you know, maybe even 23.
The Celextant, April 22, 2002
What’s with these headaches? Impenetrable by three Excedrin, they seem to be emanating from a different kind of source being a connoisseur of these sorts of pains, I largely suspect Celexa as a culprit. I’m told that these side effects tend to fall away over time. Other than that, I do feel a little more serene.
Oh yeah, I sat in the living room today, in the dark, and my pupils started fluctuating in diameter. Quite like a 5-year-old messing with the aperture of a camera.