Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let's go over this again

Megan, last Thursday;

In June 2001 when I graduated from business school, I had a management consulting gig that was scheduled to pay over $100,000 a year and had just moved back to New York. Two months later...
For the next eighteen months, I struggled to find a job, in the teeth of a recession that kicked MBAs especially hard. It was awful in a way that is difficult to describe to anyone who hasn't been unemployed long term; the thing makes you question everything about your life. I remember going to see Avenue Q on a date, and writhing in humiliation, thinking that my date must be identifying me with the aimless failures on stage. I was 29 years old, and living at home. I had money--I always managed to work. But as far as I could tell, I had no future.
When I finally did get a job, with The Economist, it paid about a third of what I'd been expecting as a consultant. [Emphasis added]
Nevermind the internal whatthefuckery I highlighted, there's far, far worse to get to.

Megan, in April;
Don't I have obligations as a journalist beyond crass money grasping? Haven't I been invested with a sacred trust that shouldn't be held hostage to profit? Indeed I have: to report stories that are factually correct and more importantly, to the best of my knowledge and ability, fundamentally true. But I don't think that I have a duty to lose vast sums of money doing so--I already took quite a hefty paycut when I devoted my MBA to journalism. I gave, as they say, at the office. [Again, my emphasis]
And I give millions to other people every time I don't play the lottery, which is always, so I'm the most charitable person in history by now.


NutellaonToast said...

Bullshit, I give the entire economy to everyone else every time I don't take over the world.

I'm the most generous man in history.

No take backs, infinity plus one.

clever pseudonym said...

"Indeed I have: to report stories that are factually correct..."

You could get to that "factually correct" part any day now, Megan. We're still waiting.

"...and more importantly, to the best of my knowledge and ability, fundamentally true."

Fundamentally true to Megan's own experiences. Most of the time, all Megan writes are her ill-informed opinions about whatever her co-workers are chatting about around the water cooler. That's not "fundamental truth." It's gossip.

I still can't believe someone could be so damn full of themselves to believe that writing embarrassingly stupid drivel for the Atlantic Monthly instead of raping people for money on Wall Street is an act of charity. Maybe it's Megan doing her bit for the "going John Galt!" movement. She's deliberately earning less money so the government won't take more of it to give to poor fat people.

flautus said...

Does any one know what the difference is between a story that is "factually correct" and one that is "fundamentally true"? And any guesses why it's more important that a story be "fundamentally true" than being simply "factually correct"? What the fuck is Megan talking about?

brad said...

Factually correct = the failures of the DC public school system do not justify privatization of the entire national system.

Fundamentally true = wouldn't it be pretty if it did? Let's just close our eyes and pretend.

bulbul said...

Does any one know what the difference is between a story that is "factually correct" and one that is "fundamentally true"
I know that one. If a story is factually correct, all the facts therein are verifiably true. Real-life example: the Watergate scandal.
A story that is fundamentally true is one where the fact which have been initially reported turn out - upon closer examination by a more competent journalist or just a dude with a blog - to have been at least completely misrepresented if not outright lies. Yet that mere fact does not stop journalists and pundits from repeating the original - i.e. untrue - story as if it were true and when occasionally reminded of their dishonesty, they answer is something along the lines of "But it only underscores my point!" My favorite real-life example: all the stories back in '00 about how Al Gore claimed to have invented the Internet. Or just take the recent brouhaha over the allegedly missing votes in Minnesota.

Anonymous said...

Perusing even just the last few posts begs the question: does this woman ever stop whining about sacrificing a life of consulting career wealth for, er, 'writing' long enough to take a breath?