Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Misplaced Trust and the Fallacy of Celebrity Expertise

Just because a person is a proven expert in a subject and generally a trust-worthy individual doesn't mean that all of their opinions are valid or important.  Why does anyone care what Anthony Bourdain or Tavi Gevinson think about music? Being a food expert or a fashion blogger doesn't really qualify you as an authority on anything other than food or fashion. But Tavi's blog includes her monthly playlists and Anthony Bourdain is constantly tweeting his caustic opinions on music. I'd posit that they might both be the kind of people who do a fair amount of research about bands and the like and Bourdain at least has some years under his belt but they are pretty obviously only out to validate their own opinions rather than potentially challenge them. Of course for every one person who asks "why should we care what he or she thinks about music?" there are a hundred people thinking "I want to know what he or she thinks about music!". It's natural and I do it all the time but I've been thinking about how weird it is that we put our trust so willingly into the hands of people who have no credentials whatsoever.

Actors and super-famous musicians are probably the last people on earth that anyone should ever listen to when it comes to anything. First of all most of these people are barely experts at the thing they're famous for. A good portion of our most famous actors are really just professionally good looking people who somehow faked their way on screen. Who knows how much the average pop star actually knows about music. Half of these people are in their late teens or early twenties, never finished high school, and have never had a normal social life. They have millions of dollars and personal trainers. Even if they are talented their lives are not fit models for the average person unless you aspire to literally do exactly what they do. So Blake Lively is a vegan (I think I've heard that) and Angelina Jolie only shampoos once every month (I made that up but I'd believe it). First of all Blake Lively is just...terrible. Second of all even if she weren't her eating habits are just like every other stupid fucking shrubs eating habits in that they are HERS and she is not a NUTRITIONIST. Just like Angelina Jolie isn't a hairdresser or whatever else it is she seems to feel so self-important about. She's an actress. Her life experience is 80% irrelevant to the average person.

I'm really writing this to make myself feel better because sometimes it upsets me when celebrities I like express opinions about random things that don't line up with my own. I can only hope that someone out there really trusts my opinion and really feels that celebrity opinions ARE valid and that they're crying about it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Where's My Gold Star, Already?

 Everyone I work with is at least 3 years older than I am. If I were a real adult I probably wouldn't think of a 27 year old as being considerably older than I am. I find myself wondering though why no one has praised me yet for being such a big, smart girl every time I do something right at work. Never mind the fact that none of them necessarily know how old I am, or that even if they did 24 isn't exactly an age at which a person is impressive just because they don't burn the office to the ground every time they login to their computer. In fact, a lot of 24 year olds have been working since they were 16 and didn't spend four years at college learning how to feel superior without actually accomplishing anything and really are world-wearied workmen.  I know this.  Yet still if I successfully close a sale and I feel like I've had an especially good conversation with a client I tend to perk up and look around after I hang up to see if maybe anyone was listening and if they would like to pat me on the head or perhaps give me some kind of crown that I might  wear for an hour or so.

This never happens. What does happen is that I make more money than I would have otherwise, which is good. But nobody else is particularly happy for me when I do this except for maybe my manager because my success is his success. But that's the same for everyone. My being 24 has no bearing on how happy my manager is if I do something right. My manager is a super nice guy and all, but I'm new, which means that I am empirically much worse at my job than everyone else and I take up a lot more of his time with stupid little questions. It's his job to be encouraging  but I have the distinct impression that he would very much like to hit the fast forward button to when he doesn't have deal with me bopping over to his desk every 20 minutes and making my "I'm about to annoy you face" at him.

When conversing with my co-workers I reference the fact that I just moved to New York more than I probably should. When I first started I had literally JUST moved here- was living in a hotel in fact- but now I've been here for over a month and my helpless bumpkin act probably isn't cute anymore if it ever was to begin with. I'm a little self-conscious about how little I know about things here. The truth is that I could be going out more and making more of an effort to get acquainted with my surroundings but I just get so tired and even when I do want to go exploring I'm not sure where to start. And when I do explore it's the last thing I want to discuss with anyone because every conversation would start like "Hey I went to _______ this weekend !" and people would be like yeah...ok.

When I do know things I get too excited about talking about them and once again I expect for people to be impressed when really they have no reason to be. Nobody cares that I know which trains I can transfer to at Jay street. I don't even care that I know that. But I catch myself clinging to these small triumphs and dropping them not at all discreetly into conversation. It's tacky and I need to stop.

I am aware that in my last post I said I wasn't going to write about work and I just kind of did. Oh well. Now they know. Maybe one of them will bring me a crown as a gift.