The omnipresence of the superficial

A number of years ago, I began to notice a new layer of “career” occupations on top of occupations I recognized as solid and necessary. Sort of like thick foam on top of coffee that used to be just coffee but now was so elaborate it produced a new area for satire.

I was bemused.

The personal trainer profession, that was one of them. I worked out at a gym but after I’d been taught how to use the machines…well, I personally trained myself. I could not understand the role of someone who would nag me through a program and positions I well knew. My rep counting had not atrophied; I knew how to maximize my efforts. The idea of having someone standing there counting or yelling or whatever? Overriding my own discipline? No.

I’d learned about stylists a long time ago, when I worked for a fashion photographer. I knew what stylists did: they located props for photographic sessions at the direction of the photographer. Want a model to pose in couture with a full-sized stuffed bear? The stylist found the stuffed bear.

But why did a celebrity with the capacity and the wherewithal to go shopping for clothes desperately need to employ someone else to shop for her clothes? To tell her what jewelry to wear with which dress? Clothes shopping used to be a pleasant venture. I guess I’m (superficially) covered in shame: I shop and dress and bejewel myself.

And D.J.s. I mean, other than a friend of your kid who knows how to put dance sounds together for a party, how did D.J.’s develop a professional career label and such prominence when they don’t (1) perform, (2) write or (3) produce music?

Novel (superficial) professional occupations were springing up all over the place. I once met an aggressive woman whose occupation was connecting “clients” to high-powered lawyers. For a percentage of the potential monetary award.

Should I bother to mention people who become celebrated (and rich) for doing absolutely nothing?

I began to see this new layer of money-making occupations as a refined quality of scam. And all my bewilderment came before TikTok, Twitch and Kick and $100 million deals for a guy I’ve never heard of to “stream” himself doing I don’t know what but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to see it. (I don’t have a firm grasp on the actuality of such apps as Twitch and Kick; I don’t feel an urge to get into them and find out what they are and what people on them do. I’m not even certain I’m correct in calling them apps.)

Influencers. A profession? I mean…

(P.S. Oh also, this new cuisine mandate that you must must must reserve a cup of hot pasta water to dump into the finished, drained and sauced pasta? I tried it once and got watered down pasta sauce. No more.)

What follows is this offering (for free) which appeared on my building’s digital bulletin board — the utterly de trop invention that “inspired” my rant ⇑:

This is a 24” x 24” piece of foam bonded to a magnetic backing meant to be placed on top of the outside of an air conditioner to muffle the noise of raindrops. It is in its original wrapping and can be cut to size. I love being dry inside and hearing the rain outside so I will never use it.

I’m with the lady freely offering this superficial thing, but freely offer the suggestion she simply throw it out.

This entry was posted in Capitalism, Culture, The Facts of Life and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.