gonna get cancelled soon
I accepted a job recently that I think might get me semi-cancelled by a few people for an afternoon. Cancelled lite. A few nasty tweets and then back to normal programming. Hopefully it doesn’t last that long, but I am feeling the dread kinda quietly in the background while I wait for those specific angry people to realise and get ready. I am also remembering moments before when the same thing has happened. It’s seasonal. It’s shit. It’s gonna go down like this:
People are gonna say they are disappointed in me. And it will upset me because I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I’ll wallow and then I’ll check their profiles and, huh, see that they are a literal middle aged person with a kind of fancy house and a family and a car and they go on holiday a lot and - - that basically they have more money than I do. They can say these things to me easily because they could say no to this kinda freelancing work. They have a job that comes with benefits. Pension, paid sick leave, all the rest. I am just floating in the wind and floating into things all the time.
Once I realise this - and it is always the most secure people that are the least understanding (they’re always older and speak to me like a petulant kid) - my upset will dissipate a bit. However, the louder these people get and the more of them there are, the harder it will be to resist feeling like I’ve done something extremely bad to the entirety of humanity. We have 80 thousand followers on Instagram and 20 something on Twitter, and it’s strange because even if 2 people on each platform shout, I feel as though it’s hundreds. (In my experience the people who don’t care what’s going on, or agree or actually back the incident in some way, tend to not be as loud as the angry ones, so it’s hard to feel otherwise or see it for what it is). I will just stop going on social media until the wave has passed, 24 hours at most, and try to not to get too sad. I had to take this job for a reason. Ah, it sucks.
I think about how I don’t know the bad or less-than-perfect things that person’s done in their life because their career is offline but mine is very transparent. I wonder if they posted everything, would they get some shit thrown their way too. I think about how these people are always on the left, annoyed because they believe I’ve done something un-left-like. On the internet, running a website where we write about art, it’s like we have become martyrs against our will. Maybe not martyrs but idols. We have to do everything very, very perfectly because we are setting an example for a better art industry. But I’m not rich enough to be an idol, I’m afraid. I’m not even good enough. I do so many bad things. Don’t idolise me. If you are disappointed when I do something you don’t like, I think that’s kinda on you.
I saw a tweet this morning by @SzMarsupial that said ‘look, ultimately, the question is always “does this strategic compromise serve the building of left power toward making material change, or some other end, like your own career.” It’s usually quite easy to tell which it is.’ And then in a second tweet: ‘the goal is not to post hoc rationalise why you - as a professional leftist - are actually morally covered in the career decisions you make, it’s to put your material aims first and then actually make the best decisions for advancing them.’ I didn’t take this job for my career, it hasn’t got anything to do with writing, it just means I’ll be better set up (personally, physically and mentally) to carry on with my work on The White Pube which is where my politics feel active and visible.
Unfortunately I need to make money to live. I had to quit my freelance day job when I got sick because I was too sick to carry it on. I’ve earned so much less in the past year because of that, and at the same time, every headline is about the cost of living and I’m worried about the gas and the winter to come. That’s what I was weighing up when I took the job. I can’t really do any of that good strong left-leaning fighting if I don’t look after myself first. That was true before I got sick but now it’s double true because being disabled is expensive. This job means I will be able to buy a good fan for the summer when POTS is going to kill me off and that is more important to me than the tweets I’m going to get in a few weeks.
Probably shouldn’t need to explain all this online but also probably need to; I can link it when the angry people start berating me, and then we can all be quiet in the impasse. You can cancel me because you care about a thing, and I can tell you why I did the thing because of the other things I feel an impulsion to care about more. Rinse and repeat. This probably wont be the last time it happens.