Costs of living

April 6th, 2021 by harold

My friend H kept telling me that as a production assistant in TV in the late 90s, you could make a living in LA. You would be with the crews for weeks, traveling and so forth (traveling is super important because the rate goes up, there’s per diem, juicy OT etc).

Arlan Hamilton says in her book that in 2010 when she started a production assistant gig, she was paid $150 per day. She was travelling.

When I started in 2014, the rate was $125 per day. No travelling. Why? Because production hires inexpensive (but also not as good) local assistants.

So, we go from being able to live by yourself in the late 90s to needing roommates for Arlan in 2010 to needing roommates and two or three jobs for me in 2014. Note the acceleration.

Today? I guess production assistants are paid with gift cards every two weeks while they live with their parents or in a tent on Sunset and Vine.

U.S. rent has increased 175% faster than household income over past 20 years. Yikes.

It’s all wrong and it doesn’t have to be this way.

Sign O’

April 1st, 2021 by harold

I don’t remember when the album came out. But I remember listening to the eponymous track.

It sounded so different. It sounded calm.

Every time I would wake up, 6:25am to catch the bus on time at 7:15am, the song was on the radio. Almost at the exact same time, right when I was opening my eyes, for a while.

Winter in Paris. Prince mutters things I don’t understand. And then the Stratocaster just slices through. Pure. Clean, like the cold and humid air outside. I’m still under the comforter and not ready to go brush my teeth. I enjoy his plaintive voice. I feel the spleen. I dig the funk. I’m excited by the production.

Incredibly timeless. It felt like it right then.

Sign o’ the times, mess with your mind.

Black Comedy

March 30th, 2021 by harold

I don’t think I would still be on social media without black folks lmao

Justice for George

March 30th, 2021 by harold

Today

March 26th, 2021 by harold

After three months, I have hugged my first human being this morning for a hot two seconds. Still wearing masks, of course.

I’m about to have dinner and I feel so messed up right now.

444

March 26th, 2021 by harold

So,

Last year in December I notice seeing 4:44 on my phone multiple times. I thought that was fun at first and then I remembered that it meant something. I forget to check what that number means.

At that time I’m still waiting on housing opportunities. I get the place I want the most. I felt like I would/could.

I since then have seen 444 regularly. Like, too regularly. I enjoy it! I stay dumb, still not knowing what that number means but knowing that it means something good. “Don’t fuck up the streak, keep being an idiot”, I think.

And then one day, after seeing 444 multiple days in a row (I don’t know if my body synced with time but also I see 444 on other stuff than clocks; and I usually see the magic number while making or studying music, when time absolutely does not exist), I decide to not look at my phone or computer.

I’m playing music, feeling good, knowing that I can’t see 444 because it’s passed, for sure. I check the time after finishing up a song. It is 5:55.

I had to check what those numbers mean.

Now I’m pressed.

And yeah, they’re still around.

Postmortem

March 24th, 2021 by harold

How might this past year look if we’d all tried? If we’d all been willing to give our best efforts to social distancing? If we all had sacrificed parties and holiday gatherings? (I’m trying not to call everyone who met for Thanksgiving a f*cking loser right now, it is very hard; Turkey Day? You were willing to let Auntie Myrtle fast track her ride to the ancestors for some f*cking Turkey Day? LOOOOOL I am so sorry, you are a f*cking loser to me. Just to ME! I ain’t nobody, but just know, you are a loser in my nobody-ass eyes.)

Jamilah is telling the truth and you know this. I ain’t nobody either, but I’m still mad at my friend who jeopardized our health for a stupid ass, fucking plate of food. Ugh.

Girl, we got REALLY lucky.

That’s me, writing all that stuff

March 23rd, 2021 by harold


“it’s Sunday whatever, peace”


“Is that a fruit fly in my juice”


“Fuck it”


“What am I gonna bass real quick?”


“Oh yeah, that thang”

Scarcity and abundance

March 22nd, 2021 by harold

I am realizing that scarcity creates dynamism: you don’t get what you want enough, so you look after it.

Abundance creates the opposite: you have as much as you want, so you don’t look after it.

It becomes creepy, when you realize that knowledge is abundant as hell right now. Just look up your phone for anything you want to know. Anything. Therefore, no one does it.

For the actual digital natives (born 00s and up), knowledge (abundant) is boring. But rare skins (completely artificial scarcity) in a game is exciting to the point of spending hundreds of dollars on them. Even though those “skins” are just 0s and 1s hosted on a server.

I experienced irl scarcity as a kid. You had one magazine to read for a month, and that was it. Maybe two if you spent all your money on them. No videos.

We had the absolute necessity to simulate things in our minds, as you were looking at video games screenshots or pictures of basketball players, levitating in the air.

So, as a species we solved scarcity with abundance. But capitalism is sending us back to scarcity because abundance doesn’t create growth, which is the only metric capitalism cares about.

The complex part is that the way we feel about scarcity and abundance are directly the result of how we experienced them while growing up. It’s baked-in. We don’t really control this.

Brands know this, though. *breathing intensifies*

UBI can save lives too

March 21st, 2021 by harold

Considering the news, UBI (Universal Basic Income) would have saved lives.

Sex workers do sex work because they have to. It pays enough to pay bills, compared to this outrageous hourly rate from $7 in Texas to a paltry $15 at best for so many jobs, none allowing you to house yourself and cover your needs.

So sex work it is. With UBI though, most would stop doing it and would be better off. Dudes would have to find solutions in themselves instead of driving to the next massage spa because those wouldn’t exist.

I know most of those women would flourish. They would save up money, send their kids wherever they need to be send if they have some. They would create companies that take care of stuff around. They would provide to society, just like they are now, only better.

I’m a realist dreamer and I hate seeing that just a little adjustment in how we live and BOOM, things are insanely better. And people don’t die abruptly, for no reason. I like that.