writes nerdy things, celebrates those things as an English teacher, and is the co-founder of the production house ADK MOGUL. He lives in the mountains. Thanks for reading; feel free to leave a message, and please don't ask if he's D(e)Press(e)d.
Matthew Weiner, Vince Gilligan, and David Milch talk writing television. Something, something, All-Star Game reference, something writing. There are so many pearls in this thing that there is no point in parsing them. Just go read the whole thing.
In it, Weiner talks about this sense of entitlement that the younger generation has, specifically: “I don’t know if it’s generational, but I’ve found that with a lot of people between 25 and 35 there’s sometimes this real sense of entitlement, a real sense of ‘Why don’t I have your job?’”
Which is absolutely true, for me at least. When I graduated from college and struggled immensely at trying to find a basic reporter job at a newspaper and didn’t get ANYTHING I was exceptionally frustrated. I went from job to job the year after school and was massively bitter. I went to one of the best journalism schools in the country, worked hard, and graduated with honors. I knew from eighth grade that I wanted to be a newspaper reporter and interned at the local newspaper when I was sixteen. So, after graduating from college with a journalism degree you better believe I had a sense of entitlement—I committed myself to something from ages 13 to 22 and I really did not think that I was asking for a lot by thinking I deserve a general assignment reporter job at some rinky dink weekly in New York State.
But I was asking for a lot, because of the general culture of education of working hard every four years and then when you get to that plateau known as graduation you think you’re finally prepared for what you think you deserve. You worked hard in high school and you get your just rewards by going to a good college, you work hard in college and you should get your rewards by a decent job but that’s not how it works and Weiner is absolutely right when he says: “A lot of these young people kind of overstep their bounds almost immediately and do not understand — it’s a very hierarchical business.” Everything is. Just because you graduated with honors in your field of study all it means is that you get to start all over again at square one. Congratulations but all that (college) means nothing and the only way you’re going to step out of the pack is by working harder and standing out. There’s no every four years you reach graduation. It only happens when and if you’ve worked hard enough to get to the next step of the hierarchy and you don’t get promised anything after a certain period of time and you should not expect it. This is something I’ve long struggled with, still do, but I’m okay with it, because it means I have just as much a chance of getting that staff writer job on a show or getting my book published as the Harvard grad because I work hard at what I do.
When I look at digital, the dark side of it for me is the physicality that’s being presented alongside the Internet. I think about that movie The Matrix, and about these bodies that are human batteries that support computers. I met this guy who was creating software where you could watch Mad Men and you could chat with your friend while you’re watching it, and things would pop up, and facts would pop up, and I said, “You’re a human battery. Turn the fucking thing off! You’re not allowed to watch the show anymore. You’re missing the idea of sitting in a dark place and having an experience. Are you just like sitting with your phone and you’re kissing your girlfriend and saying, ‘I’m kissing my girlfriend! This is so great, we’re having sex!’” EXPERIENCE THINGS!
Matthew Weiner at yesterday’s Mad Men panel at City Winery, part of the New Yorker Festival, when asked about sponsorship (via peterwknox)