Strike a Blow Against Global Cubicle-ism!

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So I admit I’ve never been much into the donations racket, and I find it somewhat ridiculous when I see someone with a Patreon that has numerous devoted fans pledging to give like two thousand bucks per youtube video a person makes. I can understand if you’re involved in a project that requires expensive production or animation, as well as frequent travel accommodations, but if you’re just a dude that sits in front of a camera and rants for 15 minutes about subjects that won’t get you fired from any job in corporate America….demanding thousands per video seems seems kind of lame.

To quote Ray Bradbury once again:

Either you love what you’re doing, or . . . Look, I wrote for years, and I wasn’t paid. My love carried me through all those years. I sold newspapers on the street corner. When I was twenty-two, I was making ten dollars a week. When I started making twenty dollars a week from selling stories, I quit selling newspapers. You’re either in love with what you do, or you’re not in love.

I’m perfectly content with just barely scraping by if it means I get to do what I’m passionate about and be as weirdly creative as I want with the content I create. We live in an age of corporate censorship and the prospects for me ever being able to have a high profile normie job again (even if I wanted one) become incrementally bleaker by the hour. In fact, the paradox we face in dissident political and artistic communities is that the more prolific and prominent one becomes in the circles, the more isolated and ostracized they are from opportunities in the outside world. In the end, it’s simply a gamble. Can you go “all in” and still survive while being true to yourself, or do you keep your mouth shut and keep your head down, quietly collecting your direct deposit from the cubicle mafia? No offense to the actual mafia, (which I went through a phase of wanting to join after seeing Goodfellas in the 7th grade.)

Anyhow, if you have enjoyed the content on this site or any other sites and projects I have been involved with, I would appreciate a small contribution for my work. Even if you hate me and are pretty much disgusted by everything I say and do, but you still respect the spirit of free speech and are fed up with corporate busybodies enforcing ideological litmus tests of any kind on potential employees….well feel free to contribute a few bucks. Maybe someday you’ll find your opinions have run afoul of what’s publicly acceptable, and you’ll need someone to have your back. I’ll be there for you either way.

I’m not looking for thousands of dollars or anything, but it would be helpful to get my message out (or any message out) if you were to contribute at least a few dollars. I lead an incredibly minimalist lifestyle, so I don’t need much to subsist, but I do need something occasionally. I’m not even going to be that dude that’s like “you guys better start donating if you want me to keep updating this site.” I’m not even pretending to be offering you anything of significant value or some special content you absolutely can’t live without…just throw me a bone.

Ways you can contribute:

Bitcoin: 1CDTBhYftHbod16WFhPz65nZmAmbb54Vph
Purchase books advertised on the site.

How to Recognize the Signs That You Work For a Corporate Cult (and Still Enjoy the Free Snacks!)

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Note: This article originally appeared in Force Fields Magazine on June 28, 2014

There’s a mildly disturbing trend that’s been developing over the last decade or two. Many corporations are becoming more like cults insofar as the indoctrination, motivational, and recruitment methods they employ on their workers. I’ve personally encountered this first hand through working for such companies, interviewing with many more of them, as well as from experience of dating girls who were employed/captivated by such institutions. It is no longer sufficient to merely put forth the effort and achieve solid results in a given job and expect a paycheck. Companies now seem to require you to be a devoted disciple of their brand as well as adhere to their “new agey” pseudo corporate philosophies in all aspects of your life. “We all live and breathe Such and Such Internet Company Inc” an interviewer recently told me without even a hint of understated sarcasm. “We want someone 100 percent dedicated to our brand, 24/7.” Well, it’s not me, pal. You might have some useful products, and I’d be happy to promote them for you, maybe even exaggerate their value a bit if I have to, in exchange for some steady cash, but I don’t live life solely for the ideals of pimping someone’s goods and services that people don’t truly need(and they don’t.) In other words, my workplace does not equal my identity.

It’s one thing to slightly overemphasize the quality of the services and pretend your business is doing really amazing things for the sake of making a buck.. yet these companies are filled with true believers. Millennials(particularly of the female variety) seem to be the most hardcore cult followers. They often possess a passion for the internet companies they work for not unlike the cheerful enthusiasm of Kim Cattrall’s character in the religious training camps portrayed in the 1981 film “Ticket to Heaven.” Truthfully though, I’ve seen office “bros,” sorority sluts, and even Hillary Clinton pantsuit rocking business women get emotional to the point of tears when speaking about their love and devotion to the social media marketing firm they slave for. “Umm, excuse me, you know this is just a place that sells ads and stuff, right?” is the heretic thought that immediately pops into a free mind, which dares not be spoken aloud. “We don’t sell things here. We provide solutions that are going to save small businesses.”

Like cults, many modern businesses have their own unique lingo and bizarre euphemistic terminology for internal processes and hierarchies. The Moonies “love bombed” people. Corporations have “fuel calls,” “culture committees,” seemingly urgent commands like “so and so needs to be sparked,” as well as hundreds of other phrases, acronyms and code words which usually make little sense to anyone outside the particular organization. All of the pep talks, the slogans, the videos, the motivational team building activities, the chanting, the charismatic guru CEO’s(whom often look like they could have doubled as 70’s porn stars in another life) and their henchmen can leave a relatively sane person feeling pretty isolated working at one of these places.

Notice how managers increasingly stress the importance of someone being a “good culture fit,” when discussing the recruitment of prospective employees. This has typically been a weasely code for age discrimination against older applicants, people with merely annoying idiosyncrasies, or even those possessing wack fashion styles. Basically, they want someone who is on the same page as everyone else…someone who isn’t going to make waves or stir the pot. I’ve also heard of the “culture fit” copout being used to discriminate against women, but in my experience girls tend to be the most likely to benefit(at least the attractive ones,) and they are typically those most obsessed with promoting/developing company culture in general. Perhaps it is just ugly people who are not a good culture fit, and gender is irrelevant. Pseudo-scientific “predictive index” styled psychological tests and assessments are given to screen hopeful applicants(sometimes even before initial human interviews) in an attempt to weed out potential agitators and those that might be a “bad fit” for the position and the company. If you play the game without rolling your eyes in front of them, manage to maneuver through their psychological assessments, “gotcha” roleplay scenarios and are lucky enough to be chosen, they expect you to live your life as an unquestioning extension, a tentacle of their brand, even outside of work. How you conduct yourself in private can indeed reflect negatively on their business, but that’s precisely because of the increasingly pervading mindset that you = your job. These same companies often creepily describe employees as being “part of our family.” Now that actual families are typically smaller and likely to be separated geographically, many young people are on their own without any support structure, and these money making entities are filling the void. It’s nice to be taken care of when you’re struggling in a lonely big city, but it sucks balls to have to give up your soul and individuality in return. After all, the People’s Temple provided for their followers’ needs as well(just don’t drink the Flavor-Aid.) Indeed, some large internet companies are starting to build onsite housing for their workers. With all their needs met and a happy environment employees will no longer have to be concerned with anything in life except being productive.

There is a positive side to all this of course. Anyone who has ever worked in a boiler room call center knows what a truly  shitty work environment is like: Are you hungry? Cool, dude. There’s a vending machine in the break room, but the candy bars are close to being expired, and you sometimes have to shake it or it will eat your quarters. I usually just get a hot dog from the 7-11 across the street.” The uncomfortable chairs with mystery stains on them, the manager who screams at you if you’re two minutes late back from break, the disgusting, obnoxious, trashy, fatass coworkers who talk while eating Hot Cheetos and chew with their mouth open, etc. Such are the traumatic memories of workplaces in our previous lives, pre “do not call list” era, telemarketing shitholes of the 1990s, “engrams” needing to be wiped out in auditing sessions. To that extent these new companies with their catered lunches, on site massage therapists, “work hard play hard” mentality, and serene, smiley face ambiance are a very welcome change. There was undeniably a silver lining to hating a horrible job environment though. It drove us to seek out genuine fulfillment in other areas of our lives and to dream. Whether it was through having children, writing a science fiction novel, or even just sitting around watching reruns of Charlie’s Angels and The Rockford Files, it was something in the outside world that had nothing to do with work, whereby our minds could detach and deprogram. I’ll admit it’s tough to reconcile libertarian free market economic views with the cynical reality of how big companies actually operate these days, the way they manipulate people and turn them into walking commercials… zombies with high resolution logos. In fact, I don’t think I can do it, and I certainly don’t enough care enough to try. At least for now you can still choose which cult you want to join though, or whether you want to join at all.

So, if you’re looking for a job, get with the program and join a team today. By all means, work for one of these 21st century corporate cults. Enjoy every excess they offer. Everyone is so happy! You’ll love coming to work every day. Just remember though, during the morning meeting when they lead the “energy chant,” make sure(while maintaining a shit eating grin on your face) to mutter your own unique version under your breath. Give them your talents, but keep your soul. Oh, and unlike some cults, if you try to leave these ones, you can actually walk right out the door. Good luck out in the streets of San Francisco(or Austin or Brooklyn or wherever – insert yuppie white liberal metro area here -.) Michael Douglas and the late Karl Malden won’t be there to save you from the mobs of the violently schizophrenic homeless people or assist you with the area’s astronomical rent costs. Anyhow, you probably won’t really want to leave any company in this job market, but unlike a real life biological family, if they ever decide you’re not useful anymore to their cause, your smiling brothers and sisters in commerce will “offload” your ass in a heartbeat. Enjoy those catered team lunches while they’re hot, but beware of wolves in hipster millennial CEO clothing.

Remembering to Return Our Videotapes

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My earliest familiarity with the work of Bret Easton Ellis was sometime in 1999. I was getting a lap dance from a stripper “named” Juliet at The Body Shop in West Hollywood(we aren’t exactly SWERFs here on the AltLeft.) The stripper told me I reminded her of the main character from American Psycho…not the handsome and future Dark Knight actor, Christian Bale mind you but the actual character from the story.  I don’t recall what creepy shit I must have been muttering in her ear, but I was an edgy, young, narcissistic loner exploring Los Angeles at the time. Her sensing that there was something darker lurking beneath my third rate hipster aesthetic was probably correct.

Don’t ever assume sex workers are stupid by the way.  Many of them make poor life choices and are not traditionally well educated, but they are cunning and know how to survive. Their existence up close and personal with the seedier elements of society exposes them to certain truths which Ivy League graduates are naively oblivious to. If you don’t believe me, just start searching through escort ads on Backpage and notice how many hundreds of them explicitly say “No Black Men.” People often talk about how communism is often romanticized among bougie western hipsters who never had to live under it, while those who lived in communist countries suffered and were often trying to escape. The same can be said of diversity, which people idealize from the safety of their gated communities in Vermont and gentrified Portland neighborhoods, while working class whites don’t have the luxury of entertaining bullshit fantasies about what living in a multicultural society is actually like.

One time in Las Vegas I asked a cab driver what he thought about the idea of someone moving to Vegas. In a thick accent, the origins of which I could not place(possibly Russian,) he told me “It is very cutthroat. If you are an honest guy forget it. You will never make it here. If you are a hooker, pimp, thief, you will do all right.”

Where was I going with this anyway? Ah yes, I brought up Bret Easton Ellis, because he has been making some politically incorrect waves of the AltLeft variety recently.  A lot of people have long suspected Ellis of being a closeted reactionary. Though someone as sexually depraved and anti-corporate culture would probably never be at ease on the right. I suspect that more than anything Ellis is just a another fellow Gen Xer who doesn’t buy into the PC bullshit and recognizes the perverse way in which it is stifling creativity and free thought. It’s the tracks where Tumblr Intersectionalists and billionaire corporate CEOs race together . “All aboard the pathological altruism and opportunistic corporatism express!” Bret Easton Ellis has made clear he is not hopping on that train. Neither should anyone else who values the ability to see things clearly and articulate their observations about the world in any honest and meaningful way. The pressure to conform to the social justice industrial complex is driving young hipster cubicle jockeys of the nouveau corporate world to a sort of “double life” crisis… the private madness of living a lie while knowing the truth.

“Yeah, sorry. I would attend that #BlackLivesMatter rally and candlelight vigil for Tyrone with you after work, but I just remembered I have to return some videotapes…”