Here are the top ten most read posts on Scrawls and Bawls, since its relaunch on Wordpress in November 2010.
In the glamour professions - movies, sports, music fashion - there is a different dynamic at play. Even in the second tier glamour industries like publishing, advertising and media, swarms of bright young people throw themselves at grunt jobs that pay poorly and demand unstinting devotion. An editorial assistant earning $22,000 at a Manhattan publishing house, an unpaid high school quarterback, and a teenage crack dealer earning $3.30 an hour are all playing the same game, a game that is best viewed as a tournament.
The rules of the tournament are straightforward. You must start at the bottom to have a shot at the top. (Just as a Major League shortstop played Little League and just as a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan probably started as a lowly spear-carrier, a drug lord typically began by selling drugs on a street corner.) You must be willing to work You must be willing to work long and hard at substandard wages. In order to advance in the tournament, you must not prove yourself above average, but spectacular. And finally, once you come to the sad realization that you will never make it to the top, you will quit the tournament. (Some people hang on longer than others - witness the graying “actors” who wait tables in New York - but people generally get the message quite early.)”
This meaty quote sums up the past 5 years of my life. I’m glad I stayed in the tournament, though.
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen P. Dubner, Freakonomics