The truth is of course that these people are whistling past the graveyard; their endlessly workshopped dry one-liners, shared relentlessly on a forum that makes them depressed and anxious, are the cries for help of desperate people, trapped in a dying industry, making pennies to grind out something called content while 70 year olds in the same business write 5000 words a year and watch their pensions grow. They think that they’re participating in the traditions of Joan Didion and Ellie Bly but the work they produce are listicles about Tik Tok and thinkpieces about Rick & Morty. They tell themselves that someday they’ll graduate into writing that book, not seeming to understand that literary advances are drying up like piss in the Sahara if you aren’t already famous. They cling to each other in mutually parasitic insincere relationships out of the vain hope that one day, one day, it’ll pay off.
They insist on living in the most expensive cities in the country while the interest on their student loans grows to many times the principle. They mock Silicon Valley while quietly knowing that they are utterly in its thrall, that any shithead VC baron could come along at any moment, decide to throw a switch, and obliterate them and their publication. They relentlessly freelance to get a chance to write for the big places and are shocked to discover that the big places are very happy to pay you $75 for 3000 words. They look at publications like the New Yorker as the cathedrals they aspire to work for, not seeming to realize that the beauty of being a cathedral is you get to treat even your big name employees like shit. They hate their industry and they’re tired of the city and they want some security but they won’t take that job offer from their uncle because they’re sure, somehow, that they’re better than him.
Writer - Critic - Poet - Editor