So tonight (this really happened) I was on the phone (as in talking, no shit) with a friend (ok we fool around sometimes) who said “I think your writing [on social media] is so unique and entertaining that you should be compensated for it.”
Now at this juncture I must point out that she’s no punter when it comes to reading stuff. On the contrary, she happens to be employed in Library Science with a respected, private university.
After my requisite reply briefly covering the demise of publishing, journalism and the written word in general we got to conversing about cat photography, which she herself has had no small success with on the internet.
The discussion wound down when I confessed, as much to myself as to her, that my compulsion to write is not contained by traditional requirements like paychecks or respect or…anything.
What I didn’t bother mentioning was my well-supported suspicion that the people who invent, leverage and trade these sites like Pokemon cards know that particular compulsion very well. Very, very well. And rely upon it.
Free “content” (a word I despise beyond measure) enables a fetid club of billionaires adept at soulless code-crunching (if that) and absent any ability to grab and shake the soul, heart or mind of a fellow human to become… I guess the word I’m looking for here is billionaires.
In closing that talk I told my friend (ok we fool around sometimes, get off it) that, be all of this as it may, without these venues I’d still be 13. I’d still be writing this stuff in notebooks and on scraps of paper, most of those scraps lost (thank god) to time. At least now, in a digital format, I can embarrass generations yet to be born. If they ever bother looking.
And shaming your descendants ain’t money, but the mere thought of it is gratifying nonetheless.