… these days you could read that it’s been 18 years since the Berlin Wall came down. Quite amazing. And some of the papers made an effort to illustrate the time since then. Die Zeit made a very cool table showing how things developed from year to year since 1989. It featured photos of our chancellorette over the years as well as Germany’s most favourite cars (VW Golf, every year, just the colour changed), names (most favourite name for girls in the past years has apparently been Maria) and so on. It seems that the table didn’t make it to their website, though. Yet, another article on how living in Berlin changed, did make it on the web site. And from having visited there many times, I can totally see how they are right. It’s really strange: It’s fun to be there with so much going on and everybody trying to be ‘hip’ in some way. Yet all those open minded politically correct people end up living together in a part of the city that’s essentially as secluded and ‘upper-class’ as their parents’ home was.
They also wrote about strikes in the U.S. of A. Now by current stereotypes of course there aren’t such things as unions in that über-capitalist countries. But then we read that it’s just the TV-writers who are on strike. So essentially people who do much better than all those on McJobs. And also people without whose work we can easily do for a while. Having re-runs on telly seems much less inconvenient to the public than truckers blocking roads or trains not going. And, yet, I suppose that there’s so much money in the media business that the companies’ owners will feel a real loss, so the thing might even work. And if it doesn’t, we’ll just let Fake Steve do the writing.
And finally, the flood. There were storms and floods around the North Sea in the past days. And apparently they have this cool ‘door’ to protect the harbour in Rotterdam which has been built many years ago but has never been actually used. They got an opportunity to use it now. And I couldn’t help but think that it’s quite cool. Before seeing a picture, that was, which suggests that it’s not all that impressive:
So, uh, that’s it? Two little round things that slide into the river. I expected something much more massive! Just that the thing is friggin’ huge. It’s easy to lose the sense of scale on the ‘satellite’ images. And what looks like a tiny and light structure on the photos from far above is actually huge, strong and spans more than half a kilometre. Impressive after all.
1) That Americans can live without their television… they can’t.
2) That all writers make loads of money. Many writing jobs in Hollywood do not pay exorbitant amounts of money (they also ignore healthcare coverage) and… most important of all… are not steady work. So even if you make a good chunk of money on a writing assignment, it may have to last you a while until you can get another writing assignment. To top it all off, you may not find another job, and have to live off what money you made until you can get a McJob. Hollywood is a fickle town… you’re rolling in money one minute, struggling to pay rent the next. Besides, if media companies are going to make money off of new media distribution, the people who created the content deserve a share.
I don’t think I have a misconception about the writers. I just think that their ‘hardship’ is completely different from that of people who have to slave in McJobs night and day just to survive. These are completely different worlds in terms of education, money and social status.
But of course it’s even harder to feel sorry for the content industry… In a way I’d like to think all of these people’s jobs aren’t strictly necessary.
With your first point you’re right in line with all the stereotypes about the US. I guess I haven’t been there long enough to be able to judge that properly. (I just thought US television with the many channels was so chaotic, crappy and ad ridden, that I just gave up on even trying to ‘master’ it.)
I have a couple of friends in the movie business, and they always have entertaining things to say about how things are run in Hollywood. One said (paraphrasing): “If the studios could just kill you after they finish production and re-animate you when they needed something done, they would love it.”
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