May 18, 2007

An Early Mid-Life Crisis

I was just reading an excerpt from Al Gore's new book The Assault On Reason that's posted up at Time.com, and it got me to thinking about marketing and the media, and my own stake in it.

With my upcoming move to Seattle, I'm in a position where I will have the relative freedom to pick which direction I want to take, career-wise. Sure, I have entertainment industry-specific knowledge that I've accumulated over the last 14 years that could help me break into the extremely tight market in Seattle, but the question for me remains: Do I want to?

The excerpt I mention above talks about television and the media's influence on America's ability to respect and employ logic, specifically in the realms of public policy and discourse. It references how campaigning and politicking has changed in recent history, to be less about reasoned debate and more about figuring out which psychological buttons to push. And it calls attention to how campaign tv advertisements have become a science where the amount of money you put into it directly influences (promises, even) your poll numbers.

Overall, it alluded to the dumbing-down of the nation that the field I work in propagates. And while I understand that there are media outlets out there dedicated to information and knowledge and the broadening of their audience's minds (think Discovery Channel, or better, PBS), I'm not idealistic enough to believe that I would ever be in a position where my work directly resulted in any of that. I am a tool for the man, and a lowly-one at that... and this has me embittered for the moment.

After reading the excerpt, any thought I had to the study of psychology aimed at going into user interface design sickened me. It all seems really dirty. I immediately conjured up the idea of going into health care: being a nurse, or going into the "radiological sciences" (as sonography interests me). The thought of pharmalogical studies entered my mind, but in my bitter state the thought of being a shill for "big pharma" and having to deal with sales reps coming to the pharmacy all the time didn't strike me as all that fun.

See? I'm clearly in an altered, angered state after reading Mr. Gore's excerpt. Usually I just don't care. And maybe this seed of change will not go deep enough and dry out before ever being able to sprout within the scope of my life - the plague of income and perceived necessity will comb away any political idealism - but who knows. I'm not counting anything out at this point.


posted by julie at May 18, 2007 01:50 PM

things people have said

Being an ultrasound tech would be so cool! You would get to spend your day watching the absolute joy in peoples eyes as they get early glances at their baby. Of course it would have it's down sides too when you would be the first to see the baby isn't viable. but overall I think it would be great. (Perhaps this is coming from my pregnant brain though)

so said: Karin at May 18, 2007 03:44 PM



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