A coffee shop is kind of an odd place for an introvert to work. Oh, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but my coworkers are almost all more outgoing and personable than I am. Of course, the same could be said for the general population. Nonetheless, the difference is even more pronounced here. I like to think that I can still relate to customers but even if my shift is only four hours long, I tend to go home and sit alone in the dark for hours on end. It’s tiring.
I think I’m starting to get to the bottom of why I find my affection for Tarantino slipping. His massive ego and punchable face don’t help, but they aren’t really the problem. In his interview with Howard Stern (over an hour long, but I’ll post it here just in case anyone has the time), he said that he doesn’t want to have any bad films on his resume. I would argue that he already does, but never mind. He claims that making one stinker removes two good films from your oeuvre, which is simply bullshit. Robert Altman cranked out at least one movie a year for several decades and the occasional dud does nothing to diminish the greatness of his (many) classics. To be fair, the game is probably a little different for Tarantino, who makes only one movie every two or three years. Even so, he seems as if he’s playing it a little safe. Since he’s scared to make a total piece of shit, he can’t bring himself to swing for the fences. So he makes hyperviolent revenge fantasy after hyperviolent revenge fantasy because he knows he can do it. No surprise that his most mature film—Jackie Brown—is also his most underrated.
This story has been circulating the internet lately. In it, a bunch of churchgoing dbags go out to eat and stiff their waiter because he’s gay. How did they know he was gay? Most likely, it’s because he was really effeminate. But how did they know he had sex with men? They claim not to approve of his lifestyle, but they know nothing about his lifestyle. Maybe he doesn’t have sex with men because he knows that’s not God’s plan. Maybe he even has a wife. But they refused to tip him anyway because they don’t approve of his “lifestyle”, which is basically just a churchy way of saying, “Your mannerisms offend us; fuck off and die, faggot.” Doesn’t sound very Christian to me.
One of my favorite websites, The A.V. Club, is no longer the site it used to be. It’s disappointing. For over five years, it has been my go-to spot for all things pop cultural. It was a safe space, if you will, and the writers, to use a cliche, did start to seem like my friends after a while. But now, everything has changed. A handful of my favorite writers have left to work on another website that is not quite as interesting. The comment section has been revamped, and it’s nowhere near as convenient and easy to navigate as it used to be. And to top it all off, they’ve given it a new layout that is an eyesore. It used to be lots of text with some pictures, which may not have been an attention-getter, but was easy to scroll through. Now, it’s cluttered with so many pictures and a font size so large that I want to lean back as I read it. What’s worse, the staffers seem to think this is an improvement, and are already talking about all the features they’ll be adding (features that used to come standard, but that they neglected to have in place before the launch). I guess I should just accept that change is the only constant, because man, I do not like this one bit.
This has mostly been a disorganized collection of thoughts so far, so let me try to tie it all together: I’m not really sure where I’m going here. My father asked me a while ago what my long-term plans were. I know I want to get back to New York and look for work in some sort of grassroots campaigning/activism kind of mold. But that, at the moment, is looking to still be a ways away. He suggested I look for a second job and I didn’t, because I was too busy getting used to my current one and besides, back the fuck off, Dad. But now, I’m thinking I might have to. Because unless I get promoted very soon and start working a lot more hours every week, I will not be able to pay all of my bills with the current job. One coworker has a second job as a bartender. Maybe I should look into that. The hours might not conflict with the coffee shop, anyway. It would be rather ironic, as I don’t drink much alcohol and I don’t drink much coffee, and I’m already working with the latter.
Why did I choose to look for a job in retail rather than environmental activism or whatever? I think it’s because I felt I should do something a bit more practical. I’m tired of not knowing what good my work is doing. A lot of nonprofit organizations mean well, but who are they actually helping? Maybe that’s a bit unfair. I’m just saying that six months after getting my degree, I’m still not sure how to translate what I’ve studied into a viable career. I don’t want to work in an office all day. That’s not going to be enough. But serving coffee feels like one thing. I know what I’m doing and who it benefits. And for the time being, it’s the best I can do. So there.