I walked up Washington Street and there was a big T sign and an actual sign in a doorway with an orange and a blue stripe for State Street. How thoughtful. So i turned left and after some walking was in front of a hotel and clearly i was on the wrong street, so i asked the nice bellhop and he said i wanted the next street up and directed me to the shortcut by the Starbucks. So i turned left at the Starbucks and walked for ages but when you finally hit a real cross street, Staples is right there, and a nice employee offered to be helpful and i learned that what i wanted was in Aisle 5 on the left.
And yes, the place you turn left is the part where the station has imaginary signs (which i’m now familiar with thanks to my jaunt with Allie), not the place by the Old South Meeting House where there are actual signs.
There are also Mailboxes Etc., Kinkos, CopyCop, and i think something else in that area. For all your office needs.
So i come back, and it’s back to the submissions. Ellyn comes over. “Working on the submissions?” “Yeah.” “Okay, good. When you’re done with that I need you to call the UN.” *boggles* This 17-year-old young woman worked with refugee organizations and had contact with Angelina Jolie and interviewed her and wrote an article that we’re gonna publish.
So i was supposed to ask the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) if we could get official photos of Angelina Jolie working with the refugees to accompany the article. “Just call the UN, they’ll help you out.” Yeah, just call the UN, uh-huh. So i do some Google searching and get the office in Switzerland. I suspect this likely isn’t the number she wants me to call. I ask. She tells me yes, i should try the NY branch and they should be able to help me just fine. It takes some Google acrobatics to manage to find the phone number for the NY branch of the UN. I ended up finding it on thirdworldtraveler.com. And then i went through a menu and a person and was told i really wanted their Washington office, so i got that number, called, got sent to Media Relations and then to the voicemail since the person was on the phone. And that was that. Fun times.
A guy came in to fix the network today -- came in at noon so that we could all take lunch while he took the network offline. When i left shortly before 5:30 the network was still down (though portions of it had been up sporadically since probably 2 or so). One of my projects while the network was down was to come up with another packet of poems. I dragged my feet on it because i wasn’t looking forward to scouring the folders again, but i came up with a solid selection of poems about nature, balancing the fluffy with the darker. Oh did i mention that when i came in on Monday Ellyn said she really liked the poetry selections i had put together last week? I was pleased. I think she said today that they’ll be going up online. We’re putting a lot more material up online now, especially since the magazine is moving from being printed 4 times a year to only twice a year. I certainly understand the cost concerns. I feel bad for the kids who get their stuff published on the web, though, ‘cause it seems so much less cool, plus it’s so much less permanent (our site doesn’t have any permanent archive, we just replace the material in any given feature after a few months). But it’s better than not getting published at all, of course. (There are so many poems i’ve come across where i wanna send the writer a note saying “I really like your poem, keep up the good work, even though it is so not a Teen Voices poem and thus will almost certainly not get published by us.”)
Had about 2 seconds to check e-mail during work today and damn that inbox was full of LJ comments. That’s what i get for catching up 5 days of LJ in one night, i suppose. After i finish this entry, though, it’s bedtime. Further LJ-ing can wait until after work tomorrow.
Got my “Smith College Student Send-Off Barbecue” invitation. (Think ljcomm=smithies/08 will be soon inundated with discussion re: the college club back-to-school events?) West-of-Boston-ites? Okay, one of you will be out of the country, i know. Other one? I’m working, but my dad can pick me up at the train station and drive me, so i’d be there around 6:30ish.
“I am not a midget.”
Maybe i’ll write a graduate thesis on WWE and politics. I was watching Smackdown tonight (hush, you) and JBL has a lackey now, Orlando Jordan. I was struck by the Million Dollar Man/Virgil similarity. (No one knows what i’m talking about, but that’s okay.) The whole JBL character is what prompted my interest in how WWE uses contemporary politics in its scripts a few months ago.
Anyway, tonight JBL talked about how Orlando came in and attacked the Undertaker, “looked evil in the eye,” and made comparisons to the American soldiers in Iraq. JBL is a total bad guy (a rich Texan, interestingly, though he has disowned Texas for Wall Street) so obviously the intention was that he was twisting the analogy, using it inappropriately. And i was thinking about the interpretation would be so much different if a lot of people i know saw that exchange taken out of context (it would have been read as an obvious criticism of U.S. action in Iraq).
Then Orlando started talking, the typical “I was saved by this guy” kinda thing. He said stuff like “I waited for a handout...” phrased in a way that was a clear indictment of the liberal big government etc. mentality “and then I stopped waiting and took it” -- clearly the writers’ indictment of the thievery/trickery characteristic of WWE villains but in this context also easily read as an indictment of Republicans. But as evidenced by the WWE’s support of the war (patriotism has always been a big thing in WWE -- Sgt. Slaughter? Hacksaw Jim Duggan? the list goes on) they’re obviously not hardline anti-Republican. Though obviously given what WWE thrives on, they’re not keen on campaigns to keep the airwaves free of soft-core porn or intense violence or anything (see Right to Censor and their battle with the Godfather etc.). But they can also be horribly racist not to mention sexist. (Yes of course i know that transcends party lines.) And there’s a certain moral relativism inherent in the fact that they can make Eddie Guerrero a fan favorite by pitting him against evil Kurt Angle and have him admit to lying/cheating/stealing and promptly get cheered by the audience.
I also got thinking about the whole class aspect. Rich guys are the enemy. JBL. Million Dollar Man. Working class guys like Stone Cold and Hacksaw Jim Duggan, they were the guys you rooted for. Okay, there was the I.R.S. and the Big Boss Man, but they had power. Mangers were often corrupt. We had years of storyline about Mr. MacMahon abusing his power, and now we have corrupt General Managers. It’s all about rooting for the underdog. The middle class is the ideal. Non-Americans get trash-talked for implying that Americans aren’t sophisticated enough or that they should recognize the cultural superiority of wrestler X’s culture (again with the patriotism, the holding up of our way as the best way). Americans are bad guys if they abuse their money and power will abuse to maintain and improve their position (and anyone who has money/power will so abuse it, which means that sometimes it’s okay for the good guys to resort to these same tactics -- all’s fair in love and war). But it’s a certain class of underdog. They’re still almost all white guys, for example. (Does the despicable behavior of the Guerreros make them bad guys because they’re Hispanic? What about the trailer trash Dudleys?)
I was also thinking about how the Undertaker has been around for probably nigh on 20 years and he’s still a big deal, and how except for a few years as American Badass, he has always had the same shtick. It occurred to me that Death is a shtick that lasts. WWF had bad guys/good guys for a long time and then shifted focus, so anyone who wanted to survive the transition had to change/adapt. And lots of styles are stuck in an era and have to change in order to survive the passage of time. And then there’s the fact that much though the writers may try to write a character into a star, if the wrestler just doesn’t click with the fans, it’s not gonna happen. But death.... that has constant appeal, transcending its historical moment.
Am feeling urge to hack my hair again. Not a pixie cut this time, but a shorter choppy shag/bob kind of thing. And again with the urge to dye, though i worry that it would wreck my hair.