An Essay Disguised as a Reading Roundup*

The Very Busy, Very Unproductive Life of Leon Wieseltier / Vanity Fair / Lloyd Grove

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Wayward Intellectual Finds God / New York Times / Sam Tenenhaus

Growing up, I wanted nothing more than the sort of literary success a man like Leon Wieseltier enjoyed. If there’s anything redeeming about this, it’s that my sought-after fantasy was less elitist than Wieseltier’s reality — as a teenager in western Pennsylvania, I assumed success lay somewhere between Henry Miller’s Parisian destitution, Ernest Hemingway’s Parisian destitution, and…James Baldwin’s Parisian destitution. A limited vision, admittedly, but what I got right, as did Wieseltier, was grasping a central element defining American literary success of the type my idols had achieved: that one is a man.

Which created complications for me, a woman. I imbibed story after story about heroic men and their romantic exploits — when not reading the novels of Baldwin, Camus, Dickens, Faulkner, Hemingway, Kerouac, Miller, or Steinbeck, I was reading their memoirs, their letters, their notes. And with each new influence came further confirmation of my quandary: masculinity seemed to be key to their ingenuous lives and work; while women entered into their stories, in some cases as mythical sources of desire, in others as desultory bodies to fuck, and very occasionally as admirably full characters (rarely, but it happened), women did not write the stories.

What was a teenage girl to do? I’m sure every young woman resolved this differently — or ideally, never had this trouble thanks to reading more women writers than I was exposed to — but for me, I internalized the values of my idols. Women were frail, distractions, hangers-on; I’d become masculine, independent. And I did. I grew to resent other women and resent myself whenever I had a thought or desire that didn’t fit with my vision of how these men lived. I couldn’t be a woman. After all, if I were, I’d never produce anything worthwhile.

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I’d never heard the name Leon Wieseltier before this month. While I’ve always had a literary bent, some combination of my feeling that it’s unbecoming for a left-winger to dally too deeply in the elitist universe of high literature and my inescapable lack of a social pedigree that could familiarize me with that world, kept me from knowing many of the most recognizable names in the American literary pedigree, of which Wieseltier, apparently, was one.

So after reading his name, first, on a list of men who sexually harassed women, and next, in articles about how he was the latest victim of the ongoing societal “moment” of outing serial sexual harassers, I went looking for information about who Wieseltier was to those who had known his name in connection to a pursuit other than sexual harassment.

I found two profiles of Wieseltier (there are surely many more, but I wasn’t willing to give infinite time to a now-disgraced man; after all, hadn’t he taken too much time from too many young women already?). One is from Vanity Fair in 1995, the other from the New York Times, 1999.

Both profiles are laudatory, even when criticizing Wieseltier, in the way that writing a profile of anyone is an act that offers its subject the benefits of national attention.

I’m not interested in retrospectively reading into twenty-year-old profiles a “gotcha” of the future Wieseltier (although sentences like “For Wieseltier, the tension between the scholarly and the sensual is not easily resolved” from the Times profile certainly lend themselves to such a reading). Rather, it’s the “type” of which Wieseltier is exemplar that I want to consider.

The Vanity Fair profile is skeptical of its subject from the start: its headline reads “The Very Busy, Very Unproductive Life of Leon Wieseltier,” and indeed, it’s hard to finish the profile without questioning whether Wieseltier is a fraud. The story quotes celebrity after celebrity praising Wieseltier’s genius — Ruth Bader Ginsburg tells us “I like his mind,” Wyton Maralis insists upon our subject’s soulfulness — and yet, no quote as to Wieseltier’s character sticks out so much as that from his only celebrity detractor in the piece.

On the phone from Ravello, Italy, Gore Vidal makes alarming retching noises.

“YEEECCCCCH!” he exclaims the moment Wieseltier is mentioned. “I’ve not got a strong stomach! This name is literally nauseous, as in ‘creating nausea.’”

Won’t Vidal at least give Wieseltier his due for likability?

“He’s a social climber!” Vidal proclaims. “You’ve got to learn some skills!”

Vidal, in many ways a model for the man Wieseltier aspires to be — infamous, beloved, controversial, a loud-mouthed asshole, but a genius nonetheless — suggests an alternative reading of the source of Wieseltier’s renown: his elevation is a matter of fashion and trend, rather than of substance.

Similarly, in the New York Times profile, we read of Wieseltier’s position at the center of “Washington’s glitterati.” Mentions are made of how interesting Wieseltier is, even as note is also made that he continues to struggle to produce what sounds like a painfully boring book on “sighing,” a subject that’s mentioned in the four-years-earlier Vanity Fair profile, too.

Read back-to-back, these profiles suggest a fake, a man who only standout qualities seem to be that he saw how thin the basis for insider status in America’s elite cultural and literary circle is, and ensured he aped the norms and tastes of this circle convincingly enough to become one of its darlings.

Which calls into question the judgement of this circle itself. It’s hard to believe so many smart people were simply repeating a fashionable opinion in praising the man.

While I have since grown up and lost my desire to enter the high-literary world (as well as learned of the many women writers — and organizers — after whom I much prefer to model myself), reading about Wieseltier reminded me of the kernel of truth in what I knew as a teenager: the intellectual world is made for men. Reading of how Wieseltier considered women “second tier to male intellectuals,” of his sequence of “extremely beautiful, alluring girlfriends,” and elsewhere, of how he was “linked to an astonishing array of prominent women,” I can’t help wondering if the bullshit rubrics used by the elites who anointed him “brilliant” are hard-wired to reward men who treat women as disposable, to see in such behavior a reflection of brilliance, or at least, to view a “brilliant” man as enhanced by his ability to behave as Wieseltier did toward women. The remarkably similar allegations against Knight Landesman, Artforum‘s publisher, and Loren Stein, the Paris Review‘s editor in chief, suggest as much.

Ours is a supposed era of sexual freedom. We’re supposed to encourage women to pursue whatever sexual behavior suits them. And while I do, reality is not nearly so straightforward. Women who sleep around like Wieseltier risk having whatever success they achieve attributed to their willingness to “fuck their way to the top” (a charge that, unsurprisingly, comes up precisely zero times in the profiles of Wieseltier; indeed, it’s laughable to imagine such an accusation against a heterosexual man). Moreover, perhaps we should question a culture that so glories in a type of man who, by all looks of it, wielded his reputation as a means to ensure women accepted his abuse. Perhaps we, women, are now under pressure to accept our role as the arm candy of “brilliant” men if we want to get ahead, and perhaps, from the outside, that looks identical to a new sexual freedom for women even as it operates almost identically to the sexism in which our intellectual lineages are steeped.

Anyway, I don’t mean to dismiss women’s agency, or cast aspersions upon anyone in particular — aside from Wieseltier, at whom everyone should feel free to lob as many insults as they want — but the ongoing revelations (or confirmations, depending on how prevalent you thought sexual harassment was prior to last month) of sexual misconduct in elite circles suggest it’s past time to consider the possibility that we aren’t all making choices in a friction-less vacuum. Women, even prestigious women, may be choosing to live as best they can from a constricting set of options, options that tell them — okay, that tell us — to accept terms and standards built for men, even if some women can meet them now too.

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Julien Baker Believes in God / New Yorker / Rachel Syme

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Somethin’ Slick Goin’ On: The Proletarian Funk of Johnny “Guitar” Watson / Viewpoint / Dominick Knowles

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The Inescapable Fats Domino / New Yorker / Amanda Petrusich

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Letter of Recommendation: Detroit Techno / New York Times / Shuja Haider

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Everything is Embarrassing: On Loving The National / NYLON / Helena Fitzgerald

Having morosely dwelt upon an unpleasant topic above — and, for those who follow my work, here and here and here and here and here — I leave you with five essays about five very different types of music. Happy Halloween, happy fall, don’t get too depressed about everything, it’s just the weather and the news and the poverty making you feel that way, etc.

*I originally wrote this is on November 1, 2017, on my other site, a Patreon, but having shut that site down, I’m re-posting it here for the sake of keeping things all in the same place.

A Harassment-Free Workplace

Sexual harassment is in the news again. This week, the New York Times published an investigation revealing “previously undisclosed allegations against Mr. [Harvey] Weinstein stretching over nearly three decades.” Weinstein, an Oscar-winning movie producer and one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, apparently used his position in the entertainment industry to abuse women, overwhelmingly young women new to the movie business.

The story details abusive behavior — such as Weinstein “badgering” women into giving him naked massages or asking if they would watch him shower — that suggest a man who got off not so much on sex as on dominating women who he suspected were powerless to fight back. That he got away with it for decades, and that he is only being outed now, as his power is fading — slowly, to be sure — suggests he was right.

But there’s another thread that comes through, one of women helping other women protect themselves in a situation where the power differential between Weinstein and themselves was staggering. We read of Lauren O’Connor writing a memo denouncing her boss’s conduct. We see Ashley Judd tell the Times reporters, “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.” We are informed that “one woman advised a peer to wear a parka when summoned for duty as a layer of protection against unwelcome advances.” And we get anonymous quotes, from women employed or formerly employed by Weinstein, confirming the allegations.

In an era when so many of us know how widespread workplace sexual harassment is, it’s important to take in the details of a rare case of a harasser being outed, publicly and with on-the-record quotes from his accusers. This is the exception to the rule, which is that powerful men like Weinstein get to harass and assault women until they die, no matter how many people in their industries know about it.

But having digested these details, we — or at least those of us concerned with fighting these injustices — arrive at a question: What do we do about it? We live in an era where “feminism … is cool,” at least according to those liberal feminists whose politics fit comfortably with feminism-as-brand, and yet sexual harassment, in the workplace and without, continues unabated.

When the article was published, lots of women took to Twitter to tell their stories of workplace sexual harassment. But the proud feminist tradition of conscious raising — albeit this time in its 2017 form, tweeting — cannot stop workplace sexual harassment. It’s a way to make those few of us unfortunate enough to use Twitter feel less alone, and to educate our male counterparts about the thorny persistence of harassment in our supposed feminist age. But when it comes to stopping that harassment, its effect is negligible at best.

So, again, what can we do to reduce workplace sexual harassment?

To begin answering that, let me start with a few snapshots of my own.

  • Age 17: during my first shift as a waitress, a customer leaves me his number instead of a tip —  I am an embarrassed kid, so I don’t tell anyone
  • Age 20: within my first week of a new job as a barista, one of the coffee shop’s regulars talks to me for the entirety of my lunch break. When I bring it up with my young female manager, she responds, “Oh, I have one of those guys too. Nothing we can do about it. By the way, if the guy who insists on talking to me comes in and asks for me, say I’m busy.”
  • Age 20: I ask a professor for a recommendation to graduate school. He responds by asking me if I have a boyfriend. I do not reply, to that email, or ever again. I do not get into a PhD program that year.
  • Age 21: during my first shift as a hostess at a restaurant, one of the bartenders propositions me multiple times. When I tell the manager, seeking advice, he responds, “Well, you were hired to be looked at.” I walk out mid-dinner rush that same day, and never go back.
  • Age 22: I am a new PhD student. One of the other students informs me to avoid X, a male professor. “He touches the female students he works with, like, a lot.” I change what I plan to focus on in the program, so as to avoid working with him.

What do these stories have in common? Beyond the obvious — they’re all cases of workplace sexual harassment — in each case, I acted alone, and the action I took worsened my life. I walked away from jobs, never to return even for the paycheck I was owed. I reneged on substantial intellectual goals to avoid harassers. I suffered, doubly.

I don’t share these stories for the purpose of consciousness-raising, although if reading them makes you feel less alone, or conveys to you how often workplace sexual harassment happens, good. I write them to show how much we stand to lose by trying to resolve sexual harassment on our own.

Rather than trying to fight back against a harasser on her own, the safest bet for a women is to find a vehicle to fight the issue collectively. Not only can this multiply the power on her side — if she can only do so much on her own, her power multiplies with each colleague who stands beside her — but it protects her. Speaking out about harassment is risky when your job is on the line, but if you speak as a “we,” there is no “I” who can be identified. Sure, if the harasser knows he only harassed me, he will know I am the one who told people. But even then, if my coworkers commit to backing me up, and taking action if I face repercussions for speaking up, it becomes much harder for that harasser to win. He can fire me — or get me fired if he isn’t the boss — but he can’t fire all of us.

The above scenario is a type of collective action, one that is closer to the informal side of the spectrum that runs from informal to formal action: workers confront a harasser, threatening to take action, be it direct action or legal action, if harassment doesn’t end. It’s a step beyond the actions we read of in the Times story, of individual women warning other women of Weinstein’s actions, although the many women quoted or interviewed anonymously about Weinstein are taking informal collective action too, albeit of a type that shields them from the risk of repercussions (I hope). It’s an important step, and I have seen it stop harassment. Workers threatening to walk off the job if one of the bosses doesn’t act on information of sexual harassment can force that boss to act, if solely to keep the shop running smoothly.

But on the other end of the spectrum is an even more effective strategy: formal collective action. When it comes to the workplace, the most common vehicle for this step is a union. Language about “zero tolerance” for sexual harassment is often built into union contracts, providing a clear mandate for workers to act if harassment occurs. No longer are you “a bitch who can’t keep her mouth shut”; in a union, you’re adhering to the language everyone agreed upon.

When I was part of a union organizing drive among graduate students at my university last year, this argument — that a union is our best shot at combating sexual harassment and assault — was the most effective one I had when speaking to other grad students. According to a nationwide survey by the Association of American Universities, 44 percent of female graduate students report having been sexually harassed. 22 percent of female graduate students said this harassment came from a faculty member, while 16 percent said it came from a teacher or adviser. Multiple women, particularly those who work in the hard sciences — where funding comes directly from one faculty member (a PI) who oversees a lab of grad students — confessed horror stories of sexual harassment by their PIs, the stories often prefaced with “I haven’t told anyone else about what’s happening.” Some of these women became our most effective organizers.

And when it came to speaking to their male colleagues, no argument was more persuasive. While an engineering student might not be concerned with his wages (“My stipend’s good, and I’ll be making six figures in no time!”), he almost always could be won to supporting the union when I told him that “some of your female colleagues don’t have it so good, and they need this union.”

While sexual harassment is not a “bread-and-butter” issue in traditional union parlance, the ability of a union to provide a formal collective body that can file grievances over harassment, and promise to back up those experiencing harassment, is an invaluable argument for why union rights are women’s rights (among the many, many arguments for why unions are a feminist issue). Judging by reports from other graduate union campaigns, I’m not the only one who finds this an effective argument.

That power of a supervisor to scare a worker into silence about the harassment she’s experiencing? That exists in every sector, not just academia. For example, a recent survey reveals that 40 percent of female fast food workers experience sexual harassment in the workplace. A staggering number, it is significantly lower than the 70 percent of female restaurant workers Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC) reported as experiencing workplace sexual harassment. Importantly, 42 percent of those surveyed in the fast food industry who experience harassment feel forced to accept that harassment because they can’t afford to lose their jobs. More than one-in-five of these women report that, after raising the issue, their employer took negative action, including cutting their hours, changing them to a less desirable schedule, giving them additional duties, and being denied a raise.

In other words, they were punished for speaking up. So it’s no surprise these workers are fighting in ever-greater numbers for not only a raise, but a union. Any of us who want to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace should be fighting for those protections too, no matter what type of work we do.

Note: an abridged version of this essay ran in Jacobin this week. It originated as a paywalled post on my Patreon, but given that I’ve seen union folks, especially those in the grad union movement, sharing this piece as a means to talk about sexual harassment, I’m posting it here so the full version — which has more specifics about grad unions — is accessible to everyone. If you want to support my writing, subscribe here.

Real Jobs

I got a real job.”

Having been out of the country for much of the summer, my friend’s roommate E said this in response to my empty “And what have you been up to?” offered to him upon my stopping at their house not long after I returned to Boston. He said it with the self-deprecating tone so necessary for us 20-somethings to preemptively defend ourselves from judgment about our poverty, so I paused to decide how to respond, then gave up and just laughed nervously. He’s more of an acquaintance than a friend, so to try to break down the assumptions of the unbearably annoying phrase ‘real job’ probably wouldn’t have been the best way to handle small talk.

The way ‘real job’ is used to distinguish from presumably ‘fake’ jobs is by referring to a never-explicitly-defined set of material and ideological markers: real jobs have salaries, have college majors relevant to them, involve computers, offices, button up shirts. But also, they have intellectual weight, challenge, provide subject fodder for a first date: in this sense, having a real job means you have thoughts and capabilities deemed desirable commodities to some opaque employer, the identity of whom is relatively unimportant compared to their willingness to give you this feeling of self-worth.

However, when E used it, he was distinguishing between under-the-table work he’d been doing when I left the country, and a coffee shop job he’d gained while I was away. This was unusual, in part because the rhetoric of ‘real’ and ‘fake’ jobs pervades the conversation of college graduates, a demographic often unlikely to acknowledge even the existence of jobs such as E’s ‘fake’ job. For them, being a barista is also a fake (imagined to be temporary) job.

The dissonance in E’s use of the phrase versus how I generally hear it used stuck with me long after our conversation ended. What’s in a ‘real’ job? Why do we, a generation with more college degrees and debt but less material security than those who came before us, feel compelled to further devalue our work, judging it by standards alien to our lives? Clearly, the implied standard if not actual rhetoric of a ‘real’ job is handed-down, our parents speaking through us, foisting mid-20th century golden age expectations onto our sagging shoulders.

This was certainly the case for me. Graduating top of my class from a major private university, I spent weeks sending off resumes for ‘real’ jobs. Having studied the (horribly reactionary) field of international relations, this meant jobs at think tanks, non-profits, policy journals. After waiting weeks, and then months, I had to admit to myself a glaringly obvious fact: I had no relevant experience for these jobs, which fit into the laugh-to-keep-from-crying category of the entry level job that requires years of experience. Presumably the way out of this Escherian-loop is an unpaid internship, a job category that desperately contradicts historical sociological research on what counts as a good job and what doesn’t, demanding unpaid labor in return for a ‘real,’ (read: interesting, creative, or exciting to tell someone else about) job, while serving to shore up class reproduction by separating those whose parents can fund them through months without a paycheck from those whose parents can’t. As a member of the latter group, I eventually acknowledged defeat and took a job in a cafe where my friend worked and could thus recommend me for an interview (because in a place like Boston, even the honor of pulling espresso shots often requires an ‘in’ of some sort).

It’s worth noting here the deeply gendered and racialized assumptions underlying ‘real’ vs ‘fake’ jobs. From what I’ve seen, this rhetoric of ‘real vs fake’ is overwhelmingly found coming from the college educated middle and upper class, dependent as it is upon a distancing of one’s (usually white) self from unworthy (black and brown) work. A real job instead enables you to be tended to by PoC who disproportionately populate the world of menial service work and physical labor. Here, I don’t mean the sorts of ‘fake’ jobs I’ve held, although those undoubtedly fall into the category of embarrassingly ‘not-real’ jobs too, but on the basis of their gendered rather than racialized logic. Indeed, the reason I can’t include ‘front of the house’ jobs here is because they consist of disproportionately white, rather than PoC, workers. This is because these sectors often discriminate based on appearance and social capital, hiring desirable ‘personalities’ that just so happen to be overwhelmingly normatively attractive white people (and from what I can tell, the dearth of studies on discrimination against fat, and particularly fat women, applicants in the high-end service sector, is a remarkable blindspot in research). I mean work in the fast food industry, domestic services, janitorial, and security work. The kind of labor done behind the scenes, in the dark, or at the least, with little conversation between worker and customer or client.

Similarly, the gendered implications of the term are striking: fake jobs are those that rely on emotional labor, requiring your smile, your ability to care or clean, your personality, your ‘presence’ (whatever this means); in short, your womanly body rather than your mind, a logic distinct from but deeply entangled with the racial discrimination detailed above. During the Keynesian era of a family wage, in which a husband was expected to provide for his family (an expectation by no means always fulfilled), these jobs were host to women entering the workforce supposedly to make side money, ease their boredom at home, or whatever other I Love Lucy style ideology might have been developed at the time to deny that women were working because they needed to for a variety of reasons. This allowed employers to offer wages far below what one would need to support oneself, not to mention a family. However, since the 2008 recession, these industries have grown at higher rates than just about any other in the United States, with men pouring into these gendered workplaces. Thanks to the lingering effects of the identification of service work as women’s work, pay in these sectors continues to be astonishingly low for workers of every gender, one example of the long-term negative repercussions gender inequality has on men in addition to women.

As for me, having gone into tens of thousands of dollars of debt in the hopes of developing my mind, after college, my body remained my most valuable attribute on the job market, a situation that, to delve into an aside, makes it incredibly difficult to gain redress for sexual harassment in these sectors: I’m not proud to admit that I left rather than fought against this problem at two separate ‘fake’ jobs I held. At the first, I let my manager (a young, Zooey Deschanel-looking white 20-something herself) know that one of the regulars refused to leave me alone on my precious fifteen minute break. She responded by telling me that she, too, had a customer who harassed her, and in fact, next time he was in she’d point him out to me, so that I wouldn’t tell him where she was if he asked after her (because, she confided, she hid in the kitchen whenever he was around). At the second, I had been hired as a hostess, but within hours of my first shift, a bartender had gotten aggressive enough in his harassment to prompt me to talk to the manager who had hired me. As soon as I stopped describing the bartender’s constant complimenting of my appearance, this manager responded without hesitation, “Well, that’s why we hired you. What you’re describing comes with the culture of restaurants.” While I was without a penny in my bank account at the time, I walked out the door in the middle of my shift, too frustrated to bother ever even demanding the twenty-or-so dollars I’d earned before quitting.

So, while I’d only ever had jobs like these, in restaurants and cafes, I’d always had the excuse of being in school, on my way to a real job. Now, post-B.A., I was simply an adult, commuting across the city to prepare Instagram-worthy latte foam for the moneyed customers to whom we catered. After a year of this, I decided to enter a PhD program, having realized I couldn’t produce the intellectual and political work I had hoped to do for free outside of the 35 hours a week of mind-numbing service work. As brilliantly detailed here, there’s a lot of animosity toward graduate students for being self-indulgent, going into a field with few future prospects for stability, with this blame assuming an opportunity cost forfeited for the sake of our wanting to pursue intellectually gratifying careers. For myself and many others lucky enough to have the option of entering a funded graduate program however, that simply is not how our employment prospects look today. I forfeited what I call a “standing up job” for my first “sitting down job” (a half-joke that fails to amuse some of my fellow graduate students, possibly because they did have white-collar work before choosing to enter a doctoral program, a path more in line with the picture sketched out by said critics of grad students). I forfeited nothing but the pastries I stole every day from work.

As a doctoral student, I make about the same as I did at restaurants and cafes. I don’t have a paycheck for nearly five months of the year. Paid vacation doesn’t apply. I’m not in a union, and have little recourse if I’m worked more hours than my financial package states I should be working. And yet, people around me consider it a ‘real’ job. Proof that I’m special, that my brain has value because the market says so, that I’m doing something worthwhile with myself (as if publishing in paywalled academic journals should count as ‘worthwhile’ in any morally-infused sense of the word). When I tell fellow ‘real’ job friends (those who work as non-profit employees, computer programmers, or journalists, to name a few) that I’m too busy to grab a beer, they respond with understanding, “been there,” “take it easy,” “don’t work too hard” texts, their sympathy flooding into my phone. And yet, as was painstakingly detailed in the recent New York Times article on the work-til-you-drop culture of white-collar Amazon employees or via a cursory glance at the rates of depression reported by graduate students, ‘real’ jobs do not make a person whole. They don’t make a person better, more secure, or less anxiety-ridden. In addition, if Amazon workers are putting in the number of hours detailed in that article, they’re making about the same hourly wage as I did at the coffee shop.

Rather than continuing to distance ourselves from what we might see as ‘old-style’ working class, low-wage work, a distancing we remarkably continue to enact even when we in fact do work in these ‘fake’ jobs, it’s time we let go of the belief in a distinction between real and fake jobs. We’re long overdue in agreeing that every job we’ll ever have is real in that it will take up most of our day-to-day reality, and if it sucks, we can’t daydream or cynically joke our way out of that present into some unlikely future described by our parents or depicted in old films. Working from home, bed, or a college (or Amazon) campus doesn’t mean we’re any less likely to be pushed to be faster, more innovative, and harder on ourselves than a McDonald’s worker manning the burgers. If we stop dismissing the work that we or the people around us are doing as ‘fake,’ we may begin to conclude that the only way to make any work endurable in the long run is by admitting it impacts our quality of life and then trying to improve the terms of contract. By this point, it should be sufficiently obvious that ‘real’ jobs don’t even stand up to their own vaguely constructed distinctions from those we deem ‘fake,’ so why don’t we collapse the difference by instead making sure that jobs, full stop, provide as many material benefits as we can possibly wrest from our bosses. If we manage this type of progress, we might just be able to again define our jobs as simply “good” in the sense found in the sociological literature on the subject, which so quaintly defines a good job as not just personally or socially fulfilling, but also as necessarily providing a living wage and benefits. How cute and old fashioned.