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I'm a small-town poet in both written word and performance. I'm more influenced by rock and roll but I am also a lit-chick full of curiosity. My influences are far and wide and I can find writing inspiration in anything, from important matters to pure whimsy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Decade

I don't feel it's too late to think about leaving the previous decade and entering a new one. There is a lot to think about concerning the decade (how do we name it, what mattered most, what mattered least, etc. ) Plus we think of what we gather from the previous decade that will help us launch into the new decade.

First there's all this talk of what do we call the previous decade. The Oughts? The Noughties? the Nulls? etc. Maybe it's best to leave it nameless. Part of the conundrum is that it's hard finding something with a good ring to it, it's not like you can have a simple, catchy, explanatory name like previous decades from the teens on. Does it even need a catchy name? We know it's already defined by some strong moments.

It was a decade where the modern generation lost its identity and innocence. 9/11 was a changing moment in history, Americans hadn't felt that fear since Pearl Harbor. What happened in the aftermath were a bunch of political snafus that we still feel the effects of. Two wars in the Middle East, an economic downturn that was a combination of the costs of war along with corporate greed. The job landscape is changing, and there are a lot of questions now.

As a member of the millenial generation there is a level of uncertainty. We first saw it a few years back with the "quarter-life crisis", graduates having a hard time finding employment in their degree fields. Which has now expanded to finding employment, period. Even though I'm working towards what can be called a flexible degree, I wonder if I'll even be able to find anything after graduation. Especially with discussion of it taking this whole decade for the job market to stabilize. Unemployment statistics are not accurate because they don't count people who have lost hope of finding work. They say that more jobs will be temporary, unstable, and employers will be much harsher on their help, with more work and less pay. It begs the question of if there will be such a thing as a "good" job. I even see it in my current employment. It is not the company that hired me years ago, the way things are conducted now are like many businesses. It's about making profits, upselling, the employer end creates a more restricting, pressured hold on the employee. It seems to be like this everywhere though.

It looks like the best way to accomplish anything in these uncertain times, is to work towards being self-made. We've been seeing this over the past couple years, consumers aren't as swayed as marketers want them to be, and people who have their own branding power are able to take control. Especially in this digital age, where anyone with talent and charisma (and sometimes lack thereof) can become a star if they know the right buttons to push. More and more that's becoming the way to take control of your future. Those with privilege are shutting out the little guys to protect their own assets and the world has gotten a little more dog-eat-dog. Now the best strategy is to bypass all of that and use accessible resources for all they can be worth. The marketing-focused business giants are slowly dying because they have forgotten the passioned, and human element. They forget such things as pride in work, and encouraging such pride through strong values beyond dollar signs.

I'm not a business person, I'm just a writer. But, one major thing that helps in my writing is the ability to observe and analyze the world around me. I can give the perspective of a blue-collar retail worker, I can give the perspective of a college student uncertain about my future even if I know the ways my degree can be used. I can speak as someone concerned that post-graduation there will be few stable jobs that pay enough to make ends meet, and I can speak of my frustrations towards these concepts. I need to feed myself too, I know poetry is a career of passion and not money, so I need a paying job to at least sustain myself, and want to go beyond being a convenience store clerk. The cocky part of me says I'm too smart for that kind of work, but cockiness and pride have to take a back seat in times like these. One of the few things I've learned from growing up poor. You have to give up pride to feed yourself.

Innovation is making the way, we're already seeing this in pop culture, and if it grows the next decade will be a changed, but hopefully fruitful one. I know that I will be utilizing these ideas more in the future as a writer, if anything just to let my voice reach out.

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