Saturday, 26 September 2009

Somewhere between lol scum and lolitician

I can say whatever I like about James Bond and you have to believe me. That's because I did Film and Television Studies at University. It gives me the right to get away with an air of superiority after a trip to the cinema. A comedian during Freshers' Week a few years ago (not mine, one I was 'helping' at) asked the audience who was studying the most useless degree. A number of folks called out "Philosophy" but a few of us cried "Film and TV!" to which the comedian retorted "Film and TV!? That's not a degree, that's just learning how to spoil a trip to the cinema for everyone else!" Needless to say, my degree won the dubious title of "most useless", but at least I get to spoil the cinema for everybody else.

The Boyfriend and I went to see Inglourious Basterds a few weeks ago [spoiler alert]:

Boyfriend: What did you think?

Me: Well, obviously it was a theatrical, farcical, and elaborate set-up for Tarantino to play a big joke on the audience. The final scene, where the cinema-goer is invited to laugh at Hitler's misfortune, while Hitler is portrayed on-screen as sitting in a cinema, laughing at the misfortune of American soldiers was beautifully ironic. Not only was it potentially self-aware in that the allure of the extreme violence of Tarantino's movies were referred to in this scene, because the graphic violence is one of the most notable features of a Tarantino movie; but it was also a comment on our feelings towards the horrors of the World Wars. In our generation, anything goes when it comes to attacking Hitler with comedy or vitriol, and Tarantino did both absolutely. But what would I know?

Boyfriend: You have a degree in film.

Me: Oh, yeah. Sorry. It was good.

But, to make it worse, I studied Film and TV jointly with Politics, and I have just finished a Master's in European Politics as well. The same holds true for Politics as for Film and TV: I can trump any political argument in the pub, even if I can't name more than ten British PMs or know nothing about the recent Ghanian election. Of course I'm only joking, but sometimes people make the assumption that studying politics gives me a stronger or more valid opinion than anyone else. It doesn't.

That's not to say I'm not glad I did these degrees, by the way, because I am. I did my Master's part-time while working full-time for most of it in order to fund it and to be able to eat. It's been a tough two years, but now I have an even tougher task ahead of me: Trying to start a career in a terrible job market. This should be a laugh.

When the contract on my previous job ended in February, a friend advised that I sign on the dole. I responded “actually I think I might sign on the lol scum” which started a whole thread of jokes from my friends:

i can has benefits?

am in ur country, claimin ur taxez

oh hai, i just upgraded ur tax creditz 4 single motherz

employment, ur doin it rong

I'm in ur dole office, bein degraded.

I have moved back in with my (very understanding) parents, who suggested I start a blog about my time as a University graduate on the job hunt during the first recession of the 21st Century. My parents are pretty smart, so I've taken their advice. I'm not aiming to catalogue every job that I apply for, or even document the interviews that I (hopefully) get invited to, but I'll extrapolate on what I do with my time and things I have learned and will learn as I try to find my way in the world. Crucially, I won't use this as a sounding board for angry rants about the economy, the job market, or my situation. I make that promise because it's not a productive approach to job hunting and it doesn't make for interesting reading either. I'm hoping this will be a light-hearted account of being in recession limbo, somewhere between lol scum and lolitician.

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