Thursday, January 28, 2010

The view from the other side of the economic crisis

This isn't the first time I've been unemployed, but it's the first time I've had to (or been able to) apply for unemployment. Props go to NY State for putting it all on the Internet, except for the need to fax my last paystub to Albany, which is just silly. Who still faxes?

It's also the first time that I've had a HD cable package with some ungodly number of channels and nothing to watch but, my goodness, daytime television is a vast wasteland. I would have thought that, with a 10 percent unemployment rate, there would be money to be made in making programming for people that don't normally stay home and watch "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee," but apparently unemployed people don't have enough spending money to make it worth advertisers' time.

Anyway, I've been keeping busy, other than in just bemoaning the state of the American entertainment industry: last weekend, I guest-edited Jezebel with Moe Tkacik, and last night I live-blogged the State of the Union for the same (see the archives of both here). I've got a magazine piece I am writing, a bunch of pitches I need to send out and a stack of papers to go through. Since I often deal with stress by cleaning -- it's really one of the few times I go to town with regards to cleaning -- I have a feeling my apartment will look really nice in about a day. And I will probably even find room for all the stuff I cleaned out of my desk. The plushie flower from Target can, I'm sure, be worked into my decor.


maura said...

As a fellow member of team UE (or team "freelance, I guess?"), I will tell you that the more you watch daytime (and nighttime!) TV, the more you will notice that the ads are pretty bottom-of-the-barrel. I am convinced that the rise of the Snuggie and the SlapChop and other "As Seen On TV"

Also? The crap economy/advertising environment is causing many cable networks, including the seeming stalwarts, to collapse into perpetual-cheap-rerun incoherency. South Park on MTV! Law & Order: CI on Oxygen! "Wayne's World" on Fuse and VH1 (unaffiliated muic-video channels. btw) within four weeks of each other!

I keep hoping that this desperation for cheap programming will result in music videos making a big comeback, but apparently no one is *that* desperate yet.

maura said...

Oh hey, I totally spaced on the last half of that first-paragraph-ending sentence. But you can probably guess what I was going to say.

Megan said...

The ads are TERRIBLE! Don't even get me started, if I see another Broadview Security ad where the guy runs away because of the loud noise instead of following through on his nefarious intentions, I'm going to become a criminal and start going after their clients because they think loud noises will save them from burglars.

What's worse is South Park reruns on that Chicago-area station you told me about where even MORE stuff is bleeped out than normal.

Man, watching music videos when I was a kid (and at someone else's house, because we didn't have cable) was awesome.