There are all sorts of trajectories a writing journey can take, and a writer’s emergence can be stymied or delayed by any number of things. Lack of opportunity or education. Disability or addiction. Physical or mental illness. Choosing, or being forced into, a primary caring role. Being consumed by a demanding career, or by a sense of obligation – to one’s parents perhaps, or one’s community – to meet a prescribed set of expectations. Or, as Stephanie Convery has written about with honesty and eloquence, a writer may be thwarted by her own demons: by jealousy, anxiety, or an unwillingness to fail.
The Independent newspaper recently reported the British Broadcasting Corporation is designing a television program in which unemployed and low paid workers will compete against each other, The Hunger Games style, for cash prizes. The newspaper report is one of several recent things that have got me thinking about how aspects of dystopian cinema are bleeding into real life.
Ultimately, it is the public that takes up the slack of a low minimum wage. A report from the Centre for Labor Research and Education found low wages paid by businesses are costing taxpayers in the United States nearly $153 billion a year. After decades of wage cuts and health benefit rollbacks, more than half of all state and federal spending on public assistance programs is going to working families to meet basic needs.
Because the player’s protagonist character is male, players interact with the simulated world as a man. Women in the game insult the protagonist’s appearance, and men either threaten to attack him, or make sexist jokes and comments expecting his support. This is where the problems of the game begin, but it’s also the start of their solution. GTA VI needs a female protagonist. But what sort of character could she be?
For the last year or more, history has raced ahead in Greece. The impressive victory of the ‘No’ campaign in yesterday’s referendum is the latest significant moment. Forged in the shadow of a banking crisis, with Europe’s political establishment against them, around 60% of Greek voters reaffirmed once more their anti-austerity stance.