Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Sonnet #359

 No grand designer came and made a tree

but grand designers come behind and speak

the majesty, a perfect form, and it breaks

The skyline, holds the sand, and feeds

A million lives smaller than the eye

And a million more, the size of thumbs,

And how many more, while deaf, mute, numb

Simply being, standing still, eating sky

Oh greatness where the name resounds,

The pictures kept a thousand years and more

The stories told that make new story round

And round and round until the echo bores

The flash of lights, the grand gestures, the world

And yet the trees stand, in quiet, unperturbed

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Everything Important is a Side Hustle

Most college professors aren't hidden in the Ivory Tower. They're bouncing from one tower to another, adjuncting and adjuncting and hustling for gigs. At the community college, most of our professors have other jobs, an understanding spouse, or they're retired and decided not to quite retire just yet even if they could. Most of my coworkers in the tutoring lab are over the age of sixty. 

It's all a side hustle, now, isn't it? I have another job, and that one pays my bills. I write, but hardly anybody makes a living writing. I know amazing artists for whom the arts is not their actual, bill-paying job, but the economic equivalent of an uber gig, driving on the side. 

The overwhelming majority of writers don't make a living at it. It's a side hustle. 

And streaming is coming for directors and actors who don't get to have those syndication deals, anymore. There are no residuals on Netflix, Prime. The huge wealth acquired by the top stars in cinema and series work is fading out and folding into the executive pocketbooks. It's slowly turning into a side hustle, there, too. 

What's next? Medicine? Is the traveling nurse model going to overwhelm a busted system and turn all healthcare into a side hustle? 

If college educators are basically side hustlers, and the greatest minds of our generation in academia and the arts are falling into the hole of hustle, what's left for anyone else?