The great director Preston Sturges, whom no one today has heard of, wrote and directed a pretty great movie in 1948 called "Unfaithfully Yours."
In it, a middle-aged conductor (Rex Harrison) suspects his much younger wife (Linda Darnell) of having an affair.
We cut to Harrison conducting his orchestra, and to three different pieces of music, he plots how to get rid of Darnell. To a fiery piece by Rossini, he murders her. Accordingly to pieces by Wagner and Tchaikovsky he alternately shoots himself, or magnanimously writes Darnell a large check and dissolves his marriage.
It's a pretty good movie, with Sturges' unmatched dialogue and his troupe of really superior character actors.
When my life (at work at least) is in tumult, as it is right now, I often think of the sound-track I would put to the movie.
Last night, I Gotterdammerung-ed for a good three hours.
This morning, I am feeling more optimistic. I'm still Wagnerian, but I am listening to Tannhauser. Which isn't quite the sound-track for the end-times that Gotterdammerung is.
I think the biggest determinant of success in a job is what kind of macro "code of justice" that agency has.
Some places, you are innocent until proven guilty.
Others, as Stanley Kowalski would say, follow the Napoleonic Code, where the opposite is true. Where your work is assumed to suck until you show it otherwise.
I know this is dark--I'm talking Wagner and Guilt--for a Friday. Maybe dark for any day. And I'm sorry for that. As I wrote yesterday, I don't have polio or dengue fever, and in the parlance of King Creole and the Coconuts, I am 'young, gifted and white.'
Truth of the matter is, often work--and life--is like trying to drive up Pike's Peak in a 1976 Ford Capri. (I had one. It never worked.)
You sputter, mufflers fall off, engine blocks seize.
But eventually, somehow, you keep going. And you keep going up.
I guess that's the lesson in all this.
It ain't Gotterdammerung. The gods aren't smiting you with flames and destruction. The columns holding back hell aren't ruptured.
Some crap happened, like stepping in Karmic dogshit.
Eventually you get it off your shoes.
And you keep going.