A few more stray thoughts on the Yelp poverty wages thing

I chose the title to the preceding post and ran with it before reading Talia Ben-Ora’s open letter. My assumption was that Charles Hugh Smith was right about the letter being a self-parody. There’s plenty of the sort of embarrassing privilege that Smith ascribed to Ben-Ora floating around in trendy Millennial circles. It’s almost as if cultural trendsetters select for it and publicize it to the exclusion of more thoughtful, less cringe-inducing young voices. Put another way, I’m 33, but I’m no Lena Dunham.

Earlier today a barista told me “awesome sauce!” I had a brief sad for the direction of my country and its young people, then dicked around online for a while, listened to the Friday afternoon political chitchat with E. J. Dionne on NPR on my way to the farm, and did some vineyard work. The Valley Girls were a fucking embarrassment, too. The tune changes, but the song abides. A few weeks ago in Atlantic City (mercy, this is some White commentary), I encountered a group of twenty-something schoolteachers from Connecticut who talked like that barista, but worse: “Literally,” “I can’t even,” “Your friend is rude AF.” At least when G. K. Chesterton misused “literally,” he did so to describe capital literally standing on the neck of the working man, or some such; I forget what exactly he published, and I’m not about to look it up. That’s a Millennial value, right? Not looking shit up? What have we done as a country to deserve schoolteachers whose social conversation is assembled from internet acronyms and other cheap linguistic bric-a-brac from the pop-culture hive mind? I won’t go there right now; Starbucks will be closing in twenty minutes, so, as they say, I literally do not have time for that.

The comments under Talia Ben-Ora’s open letter look like a dumpster fire at first glance. Again, I’m not going there. They open one by one, a nesting doll of dogshit, maybe with an occasional grain of something salvageable that isn’t worth the trouble of rooting through all the nasty. As High Arka says, some of us are paid to be here. What, me paid? No, not us in that sense. It’s “us” more in the sense that “we tortured some folks.” Some of the folks (yuck) on Medium are paid to be there, I’m guessing.

The tech industry deserves much worse than it got from Talia Ben-Ora. It deserves all the crap it gets from entitled youngsters who are butthurt that they weren’t immediately hooked up with the good stuff at the time of hiring. The dot-com industry acts like it’s running a racket by, of, and for the clubbable. Check it out, we pay you to play foosball. Meanwhile they pay their contract bus drivers shit for wages through subcontractor proxies and hire god-awful Indian spergs to do the grunt technical work through the H-1B scam. Then they wonder why they find themselves employing American slackers who would rather play foosball than write code. Gee, you don’t say.

These companies get upset that their junior muscle sometimes demands a pay raise. That’s what they asked for by running obvious rackets. If you’re going to run a racket, at least fucking pay your racket men. Shouldn’t this be obvious? This was basic shit to Boss Tweed, but I guess we aren’t dealing with basic bitches anymore.

I know, ape Boss Tweed to learn how to have less hubris. But that’s where the industry has gotten itself. Higher education, too. Unwinding all this fraud will be great fun indeed.


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