Sunday, October 30, 2011


Weathering changes. That was the title of a post from a few weeks ago. I thought it was witty and clever with it's double meaning about dealing with changes at work and the difference with the weather, but really it was quite silly. What I want to believe is brimming with hidden meaning is in fact staid and predictable, and inevitably what the post is actually about. After all, this is not a J. Peterman catalog.

However, this makes me think about the occasionally ridiculous titles that some people have. Things like the Minister of the Undersecretary to the Viceroy of Exellence of Oil & Gas Institute blah blah blah. Ok, that one might have been made up, but there is certainly a lot of pomp and circumstance in the titles that some people have. At work, we have pretty bland titles. Things like Operations Manager or Field Engineer or my own District Technical Engineer, which I downplay and just say I am an engineer. I strongly dislike pompous sounding titles that are only there to, well, sound pompous. Either you are important or you are not. Extra syllables in your title should not make you more legitimate though they often do so perhaps it's a bit of fake it till you make it going on. Hopefully, it's not just fake it all the time.

The perpetual title piling on is what leads to an abundance of Producer credits in Hollywood. As readers might know, I am a fan of The Simpsons and have watched it for many, many years. I also own the DVDs (legitimately!) and actually listen to the commentary audio tracks on the episodes. On the commentary track of one episode, specifically season 13, episode 7, "Brawl in the Family", the guest star fro the episode, the very underrated Delroy LIndo asked about the proliferation of Producer credits during the opening. Evidently, due to some union/guild restrictions on pay and other titles, especially writer credits, producer credits are doled out instead in lieu of pay and to stroke egos. Amusingly enough, that episode also has a line that should amuse Cal fans:
The Simpson family sits in their jail cell. Lisa reads the paper, which has made their arrest front-page news.
Lisa: Thanks a lot, everybody. Now, I'll never get into an Ivy League school.
Bart: [taunting] You're going to Stanford, you're going to Stanford ...
Homer + Bart: You're going to Stanford!
Lisa: Take it back! Take it back!
Homer: Stanford.
Marge: This family has hit rock bottom.

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