Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Stupid Petty Theater, Firing Me With No Material For a Book Deal!

Mom, bless her heart, cut this article out of the New York Times Thursday Styles section. The article — Interns? No Bloggers Need Apply — is about garrolous young people, oblivious to their own privacy and trying to share their lives with the world, getting internships and blabbing all their bosses' corporate secrets to anyone who'll read their blog. Corporate bosses, being the arrogant, corrupt cheaters that they are, are not too thrilled about this new breed of young interns coming into the office with their blogs, "many bringing with them an innocence and nonchalance about workplace rules and corporate culture."

Mom thinks I haven't learned my lesson: "Most experienced employees know: Thou Shalt Not Blab About the Company's Internal Business," even though I was fired from my super-lucrative job at the theater because someone didn't like an entry in my own blog. Much to her dismay, not only do I keep blogging away, but I'm actually kind of offended that my liberal mother, artist and union rep, actually supports this corporate stifling of the free exchange of ideas.

Fine, she doesn't — she supports me keeping my job. But so much for principles.

The article talks about this guy (don't click on the link — nothing against him personally, but I think his mention in the New York Times and on Gawker.com already bought his blog enough traffic), who was blogging about his experiences at Comedy Central until the corporate bosses told him to knock it off. Let's all be amused for a moment at the irony and hypocrisy: Viacom, Comedy Central's parent company and a multi-billion dollar media conglomerate, feels threatened by some 22-year-old dork behind a computer! Ha! The article, which I'm assuming was written by someone old and well up the corporate ladder, just blows off this forbidden blogging as the ramblings of lazy kids, too spoiled to understand our sacred corporate culture. Kids today "do not see their job [sic] as their identity," says some human resources lady, obviously troubled since employees trying to be more than a cog in a corporate machine makes her job that much harder.

The article goes on, warning corporations to take action against rebel bloggers, and reminding them that in America, freedom of the press is limited to those with a press: "It is important that corporations make a choice as to what type of blogging they will allow," said Alfred C. Frawley III, director of the intellectual property practice group at the law firm Preti Flaherty in Portland, Me. In the midst of an NSA eavesdropping scandal and the Enron vault-robbers being convicted yesterday and AT&T threatening to shut their political and corporate opponents out of their web gateways, I'm so relieved to know that Viacom gets the final say in terms what ideas are put out on the blogosphere. The company that makes Laguna Beach and My Super-Sweet 16 is definitely looking out for society's best interests.

So this bugs me. But what really bugs me is the real gist of the article: people my age making a living by spilling the corporate beans, with book deals and movie deals and more than eight people hearing about their job horrors. It seems like the lesson here isn't to let what happens in the office stay in the office — instead, it's to sensationalize and fictionalize whatever happens in the office until it's profitable. I wish I knew that back then, since my plan, after that bitch kicked me out of the theater, was to become famous and then rub it in her face. Well, live and learn.