I'm having a mini-anger attack at some news that just appeared on my Facebook feed. Apparently the publishing company for whom I worked for five years just recently signed a partnership deal with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's website/movement HitRECord. This was an idea I brought up about five years ago, when I worked mainly under the company's entertainment publishing arm, and JGL was just starting this project. He'd also just done Brick (so this was around 2005), and I did a lot of research and reaching out to his people, and the Executive Editor was vaguely interested, but not enough to bite, so he eventually passed on the idea.
And now, the new entertainment division has partnered with HitRECord. And I am sure my initial pursuit has been forgotten, and someone thinks it's their fantastic idea, and they've now paid much more than they would've in 2006. Yes, it was too early then, but we would've been on board before it got expensive (i.e. before 500 Days of Summer and Inception.)
All that to say, after one giant Fuck You, Your Ideas Are Worthless Amidst our Large Corporate Machinery in the form of a laying off (with generous severance, thankyouverymuch forced union membership), things like this both anger me at what I could've brought into the publishing world if ever given enough power and also make me grateful that I no longer am at the mercy of someone else's ignorance or opinion. I've lost the power to influence culture, but I've also gained the freedom to cultivate my own tastes and not feel so desperate for the next big thing. Instead, I can marinate in my current obsession(s) and actually enjoy them, instead of trying to monetize them.
It still stings, though, to matter so little professionally. So I literally have no upwardly-mobile interest at this point. I want to do my work and find it relatively interesting, but more importantly, I want to life a full and rewarding private life. I wouldn't mind earning a salary on which I can live comfortably in the suburbs, but I don't want to climb to the top of any org chart. It costs too much.