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Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?

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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 2:28:01 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this, Jeremy! Man, I'm sorry things are so brutal for you. You're definitely not alone, though. I'm hearing from folks saying the same thing, including not being especially psyched to talk about this in a public forum.

[Jeremy Garchow] "There is nothing out there at the moment. Everything we did have on the books has cancelled, and the few ongoing gigs have already been paid in ‘19. I’m not sure what’s next. "

[Jeremy Garchow] "Working harder isn’t going to do anything at this moment. Said another way, I do not think I will be able to work myself out of this moment, at least not in a way that I am used to working."

[Jeremy Garchow] "My son's school district is shut down for at least the next 30 days, and I imagine it will probably be the rest of the school year. I have been working with him to keep his schooling going as much as possible (2nd grade). His district pulled together a lot resources very quickly, for which I am thankful. So far, he's doing a good job of it, and it's pretty amazing to watch. He is working really hard at it, so therefore I am trying my best to help him to keep working hard at it. It's the only work I have right now, so why stop now?"

I broke out these three quotes in particular because I know that they speak directly to a reality that a lot of people are going through. It's not a matter of will. The work isn't there for now, and nobody anywhere has any kind of idea when it might be again.

I also know that as much as people love their kids, not many school districts or parents really had any plans for something that might stretch on as this looks like it might. I can't imagine how much more difficult it is for the millions of families who have also been relying on schools for food. The School Nutrition Association says that more two-thirds of the 31 million students who regularly eat school lunches, or 22 million, have that free or reduced-price meal as their main source of nutrition for the day. We have the resources to keep feeding those kids, but there are very narrow legal limits to what's allowed to offer to kids who aren't actually in class. (More about this Catch-22 here.)

With a gentle reminder that we can't have the forums spin into directly political conversation, I definitely agree that there are wide swaths of trouble that feel too big for politics to solve, certainly with any of the currently available tools -- and they're pretty much ALL tools. LOL (Sorry.)

[Tom Sefton] "Look after your family, your friends and your elderly neighbours. Stay healthy, stay sharp and then when this is over, wreak your absolute f***king last on doing your job in the best way possible FOR THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME you can."

Tom, this times a MILLION.

Here's the thing about edgelord discourse about how cool it is to be relentless. There are 350,000 members in the COW. Ten million people pass through here a year, and I'll bet you a real pony that maybe six of them have the least interest in working normal hours. (Six people, not six million.) There are whole careers that are famous for short, regular hours -- they don't call 'em "bankers hours" for nothing.

None of that has anything to do with why Creative COW is still here 25 years later. If we were counting on normies to pay the bills, we'd have been gone long ago. Heck, we never would have started! Every even halfway creative person is DRIVEN.

Sometimes it feels like we're driven to work like demons by actual demons, because sometimes they ARE demons, and anybody who's read much about angels knows that they're not much better. Demons used to BE angels. Same dudes, different uniforms.

That's why being driven isn't special in this industry. It's not unique, and it's not hard core. It's certainly nothing to brag about. Relentlessness is as common as dirt in these parts. It's the cost of admission. It's the bare minimum.

To the issues that Jeremy raises, and what hundreds of thousands of people in the world's production capital cities are experiencing, we're facing a condition where relentlessness is a force that can't be applied, because there's nothing to apply it to. The existence of production jobs right now is a binary. Used to be there, now gone until they're back.

What I categorically reject is that there's a binary choice between hyperdrive and empathy, between wanting to grind your competitors into dust and deep connection to the larger human community.

Looking out for elders is certainly part of it, but I want to observe again that the most frequent underlying conditions in people who are dying of coronavirus aren't necessarily age, but high blood pressure (found in a whopping 75% of victims, twice as much as for diabetes, three times as much as for cancer) and being male (twice as likely to die as women).

I don't have any way of knowing about high blood pressure in our community, but i know that just over half the folks who come to the COW are male, and I'm willing to bet that the incidence of hypertension is at least a little higher than average. So maybe more than for most careers, it's true for US that the lives we save by not being jackasses may be our own. No point in winning if you're not alive to enjoy it.

And really, even if you're nuts enough to think this job is worth dying for, you're just plain wrong if you think it's worth killing for. Stay home for as long as it takes. Don't be the reason somebody's parents or grandparents die.

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