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The Gig Economy and The Creative

A Perfect Match, Right? People with power tend to view gigs as hobbies, or sometimes lucrative endeavors in the “sharing economy.” Everybody knows Uber drivers, indies and consultants make a killing while controlling their own destinies, right? Yeah, as if. For 26 years I’ve depended on project work, “gigs,” for my employment and income source. I didn’t get to “choose” my “career” canvas. I had to do the best with what was available to me in the moment. But hey, no problem for me: I’m a project-prone guy, I’m good at sizing up terrain and implementing improvements, a team/project supercharger, and as... Read More

Five Classist Pitfalls to #Resist in Your Activism

In a moment of potentially revolutionary activism and mobilization, don’t let classism undermine your efforts. The past few weeks have been both terrifying and inspiring. In the midst of ascending totalitarianism and the drastic, likely unconstitutional roll-backs of basic rights, we are also seeing a swift mobilization from both new and established activists. Organizations and individuals are stepping up to defend, protect and support one another, with a massive potential to become a transformative force for justice. There may be a temptation in these moments to prioritize getting things done over doing them well. But overlooking the details that determine... Read More

Surviving in the Gig Economy

As a creative person without a degree, the gig economy field has always appealed to me. I have had various jobs in customer service that have left me emotionally drained and unable to create art and enjoy my life, due to long hours and low wages. It seemed at first that gig economy jobs were the perfect solution. No more dealing with condescending and racist employers, no more long grueling hours dictated by my employer. I thought that I could build my own support networks, make money doing simple things while creating my own schedule, and most importantly be able... Read More

Gig Economy Hustle

I stare through wild green houseplants out my bedroom window. A robot voice over the phone guides me through my student loan servicer’s menu. “Lower my bill,” I say to the aloe. “Lower my bill,” I say to the cactus. “Lower my bill,” I say to the jade, and eventually I speak to Daisy. Daisy is friendly and practiced. This comforts me. I haven’t had to make this call in a few years. I tell her I need my monthly payment lowered. “But just this month. I’m a freelancer, and the project I’m working on hasn’t paid yet,” I say.... Read More

Text, Lies and Videotape

It might be 2017, but it sure feels like 1984 to me. When terms like post-truth and fake news are used to explain what we used to call lies, we must be in Orwellian times. Just as in George Orwell’s novel 1984, political-speak is becoming doublespeak, language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth.[i] Isn’t that the very definition of a lie? I must admit that I “lost” it the first time I heard the phrase fake news uttered by a journalist. For weeks, I cringed when I read it. The other day, however, I realized that I no... Read More

Witness Web

A group of members – currently 20 and growing – at First Parish in Framingham Unitarian Universalist is going to be staying abreast of various issues in our national lives that are at risk in these times. They are creating a Witness Web. Anyone can go onto the site in Google+ and click on any of the areas to see what is currently happening. It might be a call for action (letter, phone call, petition, march, vigil, education session, legislative news), education and information, or additional resources. The Witness Web group will also sponsor periodic discussion groups on the issues. Some... Read More

Resistance Is Critical

The election outcome was a shock – but wasn’t something new. Throughout U.S. history we’ve had waves of right-wing populism, when people bought into explanations of their economic hardships that scapegoat other marginalized groups and reject traditional elites. This election was a right-wing populist upsurge that few of us saw coming. We underestimated the number of voters willing to accept racism, sexism, Islamophobia and immigrant-bashing in a candidate. But we also saw a surge of progressive populism – the kind that criticizes economic systems and the rich – in the strong showing for Bernie Sanders’ campaign and the popularity of... Read More

Eviction

Frequent Classism Exposed contributor L.A. Kurth invited students in her class at a California community college to share their thoughts on affordable housing. Here is one student’s response. All my life I have lived in a rental home or an apartment, except for the brief period of time when my family and I had a home of our own. But due to late payments, we lost the house to foreclosure. However that never changed the fact that my brother, sister and I always had clothes on our backs, a roof over our heads, and food to eat. If this seems too... Read More
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