Day 475: Renouncing a green card
I wanted to get the entry in a little earlier today as it's our free day from the responsibility of parenting and I want to take advantage of the ability to relax, and not have to worry about getting this thing done later.
Blaze will be spending the day with his grandmother so that Jeannette and I can go out and spend the day together, something we haven't done in a little while. Oh sure, we spend the days together, constantly back at the house keeping our little guy alive and well as we are. But for the occasional jaunt beyond the realm of the deep woods, or day spent with my mother, we are thick as thieves the three of us which gives mommy and daddy little time to focus on just us.
I wouldn't have it any other way mind you, and feel quite fortunate for our current lot in life, but every once in a while it's nice to get the hell out of dodge.
The day isn't completely a fun one of course, as the first order of business is heading over to my accountant's office. We'll be joined by Jeannette's sister Christina, who is a wizard with such things, and speaks "the language" of money quite well. Always good to have an interpreter with you whenever travelling to a foreign country, which, though the offices are only a few minutes away, might as well be another planet. I have no desire in seeking the knowledge of money or how it works, which may well doom me to have none, or may bless me to have loads, it's hard to say. It has always seemed from my vantage point that my life would lead to one of two extremes; poverty or wealth.
Given the success thus far in my career endeavours, one might be quicker to assume that the former result would be the one most likely to occur; there are few beggars with TV shows after all, unless they've drunk themselves there or so alienated friends, family and work associates with the heights of their ego that they eventually have no one to turn to when it all comes crashing down -as everything in life does when the world is perceived and pursued in an outward context. I like to think that's still the case, despite the show getting cancelled and the fact I've pretty much renounced all outward claim to such a career, having fired all the supposedly necessary 'cogs in the wheel' that allow someone with my particular skill set to work and make a living in this field.
Thankfully, I reject that such cogs are necessary in today's world of straight person to person contact, where the audience can find the object of their attention with the mere click of a button. Gone are the days when there needed to be a third party, someone who's function was solely to bring the disorganized entertainer out of their state of anonymity and into the spotlight of the world so that their work could be seen and appreciated by the many. Gone baby gone!
Oh, it'll take a long time for the final death throes to fully kill the old system of course, though I speak more in years than generations -as the case has been in the past- but the writing is certainly on the wall. Look at a service like Uber for example. French cab drivers are setting cars on fire and generally flipping out in violent form because the model they had lived and worked under has been usurped by something much more consumer friendly, efficient, and completely independent from their "system". Something that puts the consumer in charge.
I doubt we'll see agents and managers setting their cars on fire any time soon, or even movie theatres and television sets, but the time is coming for the same thing to happen. Ask the networks what they think of platforms like Netflix and HBO why don't you?? Where people can straight up pay for the shows they like and want to watch. See how they're feeling about the current sea change from their point of view.
Which is what, exactly? I mean what is it that's happening, that will be make such a big difference in how we view things like media? Nothing more than the death of commercialism, in my mind. Think about it, the entire system as it has stood since Jack Par graced the late night TV set is based on the selling of things. All TV exists because of the commercials in between the actual shows and movies and news you religiously watch. The more eyes on a particular series or movie, the more eyes that see the bloody Menthos commercial during the break.
As a result, the networks, who sell the space to advertisers and thus reap the massive reward and earn their not insignificant livings from this social contract -propping up useless items like the Q-ray- look at the shows and movies they create through the prism of money; which is to say how much money can we make with a particular show.. meaning, how popular will this be so that Tide and Febreeze will come knocking on our door to line our pockets with cash? An ass backwards system if you talk to any of the artists out there actually creating the work itself, or to the audience for that matter, who often just skip through the commercials altogether.
It turns the actor into an employee of a company with no soul, rather than a content creator working to say or do something worthwhile with their gift. It also makes the game less about reflecting on life and moralizing through the act of telling meaningful stories, and more about creating meaningless spectacle that serves only to 'catch the eye' of the audience, through whatever means necessary, in order to sell them shit. As examples to that point I give you the two shows; Breaking Bad and House of Cards, with two utterly irredeemable main characters who do nothing but for themselves and give no interpretation of life or moral lesson through the darkness of their actions, but to further feed their own selfish desires.
Good TV though, why? because people watched. Which is currently the only rubric through which such shows are judged. Not surprising in a world with no meaning or direction, I think you'd agree.
I don't know how I got on this rant but clearly it needed to come out!
Another great example of this is Ticketmaster: a company that sells tickets for performers so that they don't have to organize the whole event or tour themselves and can just focus on their work. In return for this once necessary system, they must give up an increasingly large percentage of the money they make for the privilege of having this service. Then Louis CK comes along and promotes all of his shows through his own website; which is nothing more or less than a kind of television show of his own, filled with his own content, that can be updated with more on a 24-7 basis; a way for his fans to keep in touch and stay connected with him on a daily basis. Figuring this out he then fired ticket master, organized his live shows by himself, and sells tickets and DVD's directly on his website for a much lower price than had he done it within the current system. Who benefits from such a system? The performer AND the audience, which are the only two organisms that matter.
There are many examples of this change happening and TV will be the next. It's almost archaic to even refer to TV as a medium nowadays instead of just an object in the house, as the actual TV itself is nothing more than one of many forms of consuming content. We now have phones and computers and tablets.. watches!.. and all other manner of technological mediums that bring us into not just the living rooms of each others lives anymore, but right into our pockets.
The model of TV as it stands now, with the focus being on selling shit, will likely die as a result of this unstoppable emergence of new ways to consume content; and with it, so to will the system in place to propagate it.
The reason this change cannot be stopped is because it's progress itself, and not individual people who are behind it. Kidnap and silence Louis CK and Ticketmaster will still ultimately fall. You may delay the inevitable but the inevitable is called the inevitable for a reason. Progress, no matter what form it's manifesting, cannot be thwarted by the mere cacophony of whiney voices all complaining in unison... I'm looking at you French cab drivers.
Having said all that, I'll still go to my accountants today and do my best to pay attention and pick up some of the information flooding at me, but will be more focused on what I need to do, as the one who is comfortable with a microphone in my hand.. if not a guitar just yet. My eyes are fully open to what's happening and my attention is ever fixed on how to properly navigate what I've just laid out as my own belief of what is coming, and do my best to figure out my own way forward. I believe I have such a system worked out, something that will start small, like this meagre but persistent blog, and grow as more and more people see the wisdom in doing it yourself.
As always , you can judge my seriousness by the actions I take as a result of this belief. Take the green card that's currently in my wallet, a free ten year pass to live and work and pursue everything I've trained my whole life for, in the place most people think is the shining tower on the hill and the only place that matters when it comes to making film and TV. We just got off with the US embassy here in Ottawa. We'll be freely and happily dropping them both off today or tomorrow, relinquishing all claim to that former life. And though I wouldn't speak for Jeannette, I'll be doing it with a smile on my face and peace in my heart.
Don't get me wrong, I love my friends down there and hope to be able to visit them someday. I have great respect and admiration for so many aspects of American culture and truly don't equate the practices and systems of some to the innate potential of an entire human population. But I will from now on be working toward a more full realization of that which now seems quite obvious to me, while at the same time getting as many of those former friends and associates on board as I can.
Just not today. Today, we're going to the movies.
Have a good one munks.