Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Starting at the middle

Okay, so I just graduated recently. Know what that means?

I'm now legally unemployed. That's not so good. It means that I need to take responsibility for something I'm not entirely sure I know how to, and something I am entirely sure I don't want to.

Everyone knows how much I hate the capitalist system. This should be no surprise to anyone. I'm sure many of you have also heard my defiant opposition to 'starting at the bottom' of the film industry, or whatever that means. The idea is that, after graduating, the natural path is to go work for some assholes by making them coffee whenever they ask. And somehow, this is supposed to signify that you are a competent individual - because you can follow orders, or something.

Well, I think that's total crap.

I think the employment/company system does this to people because they consent to their oppression. They consent to have their experience and knowledge devalued, because the entire capitalist system has been doing this to them their whole lives. The system has convinced them that their skills and talents - those they spent 3+ years learning in university - are worthless and that all that counts is 'who' you know and to meet these people, you must consent to being a cog in their machines for an indefinite amount of time.

I also think that's total crap.

These assumptions are implicit throughout university. In a way, it's a masochistic, self-destructive backlash. The thinking is "So why the fuck did I just spend R 100 000 and three years on a degree that won't even get me a decent job?" and the only way one's brain deals with this cognitive dissonance (look if up if you don't know) is said self-destructive behaviour.

I have a slightly different plan. I don't think that anyone should ever 'start at the bottom'. This is inefficient. Don't believe me? Then try it, and see how much of your potential is wasted. However, in this disgusting capitalist system, education is rationed off to the highest bidders. So if you are in a lucky enough position to have a good education, don't go and waste it by spending 8 hours a day fetching stuff for assholes. Instead, work at something else and do indie projects on the side. Try and become known in the community as someone who values the input of both yourself and others, to the point that hierarchies cannot be adhered to. For hierarchies limit creative potential by giving ideas by certain people guaranteed primacy. Think about it. This cannot be right.

So, to my readers: I'd like to work on building some sort of indie film collective - a not-for-profit group that does film on the side while working for yourself on something that does generate income. This way, we are assured of finding collaborators when we need them. All we have are each other, our work, inspiration, motivation. We are the ones who can do something about this 'hierarchical film industry' nonsense.

To end off, think about this. If you could have it your way, would you STILL start at the bottom? Or would you look somewhere in the middle?

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