Reggaeton, Struggle Porn, and Verminfluencers

Greetings from Greenpoint, where we’ve been listening to reggaeton because we always follow the AP style guide:

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Here in the office, business continues as usual. We’ve celebrated a few employee birthdays (#piscesFTW), had some exciting meetings, and have learned that healthier alternatives to Fruit by the Foot just won’t cut it. The more you know.

On to the #content: 

Back on the Chain Gang

According to The Atlantic, Americans are workaholics and it’s making them miserable. 

Despite (because of?) the rise of startup culture where workplaces have beer and ping pong tables and flavored water and lots more amenities, it turns out work is still... work. That hasn't stopped upper-class, college-educated elites from putting in much more time at the office than they did several decades ago. For this elite class, “workism” has become a sort of religion, an entire source of identity. The more one works and reduces leisure, the higher their purpose and sense of transcendence becomes. It's exemplified by a certain kind of z-list celebrity who seems to exist only to glorify the joys of working yourself to your white-collar bones; there's a whole subgenre of this type of content, mostly on Linkedin and Medium, that the podcaster Nate Eliason has dubbed "struggle porn"

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As you can imagine, it’s not making people any happier.

The thing about this trend is that it doesn’t make sense. Not only is it a sure shot to an unhappy life, but it’s counterintuitive to...everything about economics. Is it a status thing? A passionate defiance against millennial burnout? Or perhaps it's just a clever propaganda campaign by the stock-owning class to make the rest of us feel better about the fact that steady jobs, good benefits, and a social safety net have been replaced by stock buybacks and hedge fund billionaires. Marx called religion "the opiate of the masses" - and for many of these workaholics, the need to work, work, and work more is almost spiritual. 

Now don't get us wrong - as a small business (7 employees as of this writing), we understand the need to grind, and as startup types we are huge fans of capitalism. But we also want people to have lives, and to understand that their hard work often only goes towards enriching the fat cats. As the legendary designer Paul Rand told Steve Jobs "I will solve your problem for you; and you will pay me for it." That seems like a slightly healthier way to look at things. 

Some (High-Paying) Jobs

Open Mind needs a Content Developer for Corporate Training. It’s remote and part time with the potential to turn into a full-time gig, so those of you craving a flexible schedule should hop to it and apply here.

Open Mind is also looking for a Content Developer for Community Leadership. The same flexibility applies, and in case you can’t tell, we’re really jazzed about these opportunities and would love to live vicariously through your applications. Apply here. Do it for us if nothing else!

Surface Media is looking for a VP of Marketing. If you want to own product marketing, branding, and PR/communications, this role is for you. Apply here.

Things Are Happening

Ad agencies are losing their best talent as employees are burning out and jumping ship. As one employee put it, “Look, we’re in advertising, we’re not rocket scientists or brain surgeons.”

200 people were trapped in a train that got stuck in Oregon’s snowstorm last week. A teenager started playing ukulele to cheer up passengers, and instead of bugging the crap out of them it actually worked? So our faith in humanity is restored.

A cute, chubby rat got stuck in a manhole in Germany and a small fedora-wearing child drew a picture of it.

DSW is adding nail salons to its shoe stores to draw in millennial women, because apparently millennials don’t need shoes….? If they don’t offer pedicures for sandal season, we officially give up on everything.

Good branding might actually make food taste better.

Millennials are keeping possums as pets and making prayer candles out of them. Guys. We’re trying really hard to root for you over here.

Should your content marketing keep with the AP style guide? Whether you go with AP or a different method, it needs to adhere to something.

What We're Listening To

Bonobo has a new single, Ibrik, and it’s inspired us to revisit the breakout electronic artist’s incomparable Black Sands album. If you weren’t previously a fan of sick string riffs paired with beautiful synth and phat beats, you’re about to be. Listen to it here

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Silver Jews quote for the week:

"I know that a lot of what I say has been lifted off of men's room walls."

Have a great week everyone!