Saturday, April 5, 2014

Apparently Not Everyone Realizes that Poetry is Down Market

I have often said on this Blog and in real life "everyone who goes into the business of writing sonnets or the short story pretty much knows that it is going to be a hard way to make a living".   This has been part of an argument that people who go into Computer Animation do not in fact know that their employment possibilities are limited (in other words, if they go into computer animation they had better be rich because otherwise they are destroying their lives).

Well, I was wrong.  And when I am wrong I freely admit it, because I am an idiot...  no, wait, its because I am fearlessly honest with myself and with my readers!  

Apparently not everyone knows that studying and writing poetry is a very non-economic thing to do, and I cite as evidence the following article and comment from the Chronicle of Higher Education: The Danger of Victimizing PhDs by Elizabeth Segran.  The article is about whether or not PhDs who can not get a tenure track position but must labor away at being an Adjunct have only themselves to blame. The article correctly points out that the whiners could get a job doing something else that they are qualified for in this depression economy, such as cleaning sewers, for example, or programming web sites that sell violence and pornography.  There are plenty of things for them to do in our dysfunctional society that only favors the rich and lets the others fend for themselves as best they can (as long as they don't break the law that favors the rich, of course).  The free market is not only always right, it is just (as in justice) as well, Dr. Segran seems to be saying.

 Doomed to the life of an adjunct?

But it is a comment to this article that I found so interesting. Quoted below without permission:
Christina Hitchcock  miamisid • 2 days ago 
The simple answer to your question is that our undergrad professors and advisors listened to our plans and never once told us that we might be going into a field that will have no jobs for us. I specifically asked some of my English professors if I should pursue an M.A. in Literature or an M.F.A. in poetry writing. Not one of them instructed me that an MFA was a terminal degree and would help me to get into the job market whereas an M.A. would be a worthless degree. I, for one, did want to teach. And I am, indeed, a career adjunct now teaching online. I received my M.A. at the age of 50 - an age when other options were not that available. So, yes, there is a big problem with the use of adjuncts, and I'm glad that the writer was, indeed, able to get a full-time tenure track job, but each year it gets harder and harder to break into academia, yet schools accept graduate students and even scholarship them through.

So clearly we were wrong in thinking that students-of-the-sonnet would know what a bad career mistake they were making if mere employment and making a living was a requirement.  Choosing to go into pig slaughtering would almost certainly pay better and have greater opportunities but these innocents did not know this, just like our typical computer animator does not know how badly their choices have fucked up their lives.

Destined to a life of poverty and unemployment in the modern globalized economy?

Apparently the business of education is willing to lead pretty much anyone into self-destructive poverty whether the subject is trendy computer animation or poetry.  And what is the alternative, surely not everyone can or should go into Business Management or Typing school? 

At Global Wahrman, we are fearless at pointing out our mistakes.  We admit them, we dont exactly cover ourselves in glory by doing so, but I am sure that those who are reading the blog now and in the future will appreciate our integrity.

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