Tina Brown, author of a best-selling book on Princess Diana and editor-in-chief of a neat blogsite that is like HuffPo but without the faux-populism "anyone can blog" shtick, is really sweating this new media environment.
"No one I know has a job anymore," Tina says. Oddly she is not talking about the idle rich. She has discovered that this recession thing has hurt people with formerly cushy media jobs! She has coined a kicky new term for this terrible new situation of "working harder for less" that everyone else in the nation has been dealing with for a generation: The Gig Economy. It's also called "freelancing," if you don't like kicky new terms.
Of course she knows that poor people have been dealing with this since before she invented color photos of celebrites in high-brow magazines—Mrs. Sir Harold Evans is not out of touch with the little people!
"To people I know in the bottom income brackets [ha ha ha! -ed], living paycheck to paycheck, the Gig Economy has been old news for years."
As noted above, the folks at the bottom of the greasy pole have been living with the anxieties, uncertainties, and indignities of Gigwork (it used to be called piecework) for a long time. Now that people nearer the top are learning firsthand about the wonders of “individual initiative” and “self-reliance,” a little more sympathy—maybe even solidarity—with those the meritocracy dismissed as losers may be in order. Maybe having to trade that first-class cabin for a smaller one without a porthole will alert some of the erstwhile winners to the fact that everyone's in the same boat.
Yes, and she commissioned a poll to study the dimensions of this boat. She commissioned the poll from Mark Penn! So she probably paid a trillion dollars for it, and now we'll all get emails from Michelle Obama asking us to please donate to poor Tina Brown. The poll shows a hot new demographic group of people with educations who weren't handed cushy jobs along with their diplomas.
In short, this recession is different from all the others because it is truly hurting the well-off the hardest, which is also the subtext of the fucking Bernie Madoff story. People making and saving enough to have million-dollar retirement funds bilked out of their imaginary profits! Tina Brown freelancing! Soon we'll all have to move out of our brownstones and penthouses and into the Thunderdome.