I recently perused a book that professed how to get paid for what you’re worth.
I like its assertion. I like how it can blindly say things that in our reckoned reality do not make sense. “Reckoned:” I’m outdated. I should say, calculated. I should say, assessed. I should say, evaluated.
We are under constant evaluation from the hundred eyes that have become our phone screens. If James Bond movies are any litmus test to contemporary culture, the penultimate film, Skyfall, made us aware of the nature of antagonists in this era (they are not one but sundry). The latest movie, Spectre, makes known that surveillance and media are massive tools to unseen guard. Argus has become invicible.
My father yawns in the movie theatre and my brother is quiet. I am watching the actors’ skin and hair as if they were the brushstrokes of a painting.
“It was alright,” my brother drones, as we walk to the car. “Nowadays movies suck. It’s all on TV. People want to follow a story.”
It felt true. The movie seemed to fall flat of delivering much satisfaction to us and had plenty of plot holes. In the end, he gets the girl and relinquishes his title, which didn’t seem much like a Bond movie at all. It seemed like the franchise was changing its tone. Daniel Craig, we all agreed, never had the charm the other Bonds had: too cold and steely-eyed. There was no necessary finesse that came out with women or villains. This is a spy movie, dang it. He’s supposed to be slippery. He could, you know, move his eyebrows once in a while.
The problem with worth is that it is all subjective. This pithy set of eyes deems the screen unworthy. We head back to the car, slightly disillusioned, to drive home to our own screens. In the car, we’re already watching our phones, and mine is a white window. Job descriptions – sent from wary family – lie unread in old tabs.