Artists tend to hate the exact accuracy the more mass productive industries tend to have as a standard. Discussion with friends and colleagues who work in the and industry have claimed that the schedules and accuracy needed stifles their creativity and kills motivation. Some don’t give two damns about the industry while some deem any industry that’s prone to mass-production an evil entity serving the global agenda to kill culture and creativity via capitalism.
The other side of the coin does the same, just differently. The metal industry doesn’t value artisans or craftsmen and often seem to lump them together with blacksmiths. Then again, who does know what an artisan does? I’ve noticed only handful of people. The words I’ve heard described is that their work is useless and carry no need in modern world, whereas a welder’s job hasn’t changed a bit in the last forty years and are still needed. In a sense they are right, but just as machination has made these traditional creative industries all but obsolete, the future of technology will aim to make welders as they are now obsolete as well. We already have robots that know how to drive taxis and trucks, and it’s just the question of time when welders will see their work being replaced with automation, who do their job more efficiently.
Still, somebody has to sit on their ass and design all these up.
To be fair, splitting creative industries so that there would be a clear-cut opposition is hard, as creative industries themselves contain huge amounts of mass productions. Film, music and game industries are all but creating that one thing that makes your heart aflutter, and then press it million times over with slight variations.
Nevertheless, this sort of undermining of each others’ value seems to be prevalent. We tend to think our work is undervalued while others’ are overvalued. The truth is that some work indeed does have less value than other in objective terms, but we barely recognize these to any extent. We barely appreciate cleaners who keep our streets and offices clean while we shit things up. Mailmen, while busting our packages left and right, have to work hard hours in the worst of weathers carrying our packages and letters with pretty bad overall conditions. Hell, even the police get shit on their neck despite them being an essential part of upholding the law in modern societies, otherwise there would be anarchy. We can discuss whether or not anarchy has any merit some other time. Hell, people who work at child care and daycare centres deserve boatloads of recognition for working with any and all sorts of kids, and I tell you modern kids can be complete nightmares to work with.
Perhaps it’s because we undervalue someone’s work, be it whatever it is, we either expect jack shit from them or expect the highest possible results with the lowest possible resources. We as consumers may not even value their work to any extent and disregard any of their efforts. Yet, whenever they fuck up, we’re sure to let them know and demand better next time. Yet we don’t give enough shit to demand elevation for that work, just better results.
This again ties back to the theme we’ve had in our semi-Monthly Three. When we do not value something enough and it’s just good enough, we are doing a disservice to that industry and workers in there by saying their work, their very best, is not needed. They don’t need to elevate themselves or their products any higher as it sells as it is and it can remain on a level that’s just satisfactory. This encourages further degradation of the industry and how it’s valued, opening more ways to exploit both the work and the worker for other means.
But we don’t really care, do we? As long as products that come out cheaply at the minimum most standards met, if even those, we’re satisfied as consumers. I can’t stress enough how important proper translation for anything is. After all, language is one of the pillar of our culture/s, and should be valued just as any major pillar.
That is not to say that there is room for budget products that simply fill a niche, but perhaps there we can see valuing work at its finest. Not everybody has the money to buy a Rolls Royce, but those who can pick up a standard rugged car that can stand slings and arrows of outrageous fortune will appreciate that car just as well. China produces numerous alternatives for almost any product out there, and many of them do the exact same thing at a lower price just as fine. However, this isn’t exactly the same thing, but slides alongside the main point.
To use video games as example, consumers expected No Man’s Sky to be something like the second coming of Jesus. They expected the game to be a lot more, demanded even, and when the game was released, the consumers who bought the hype were let down. Promises were made and not kept, but people still demand more satisfactory gameplay they’ll probably never get. All the possibilities were there, and are still there, but the developing group clearly can’t fulfil the demand their promises made. This is what the situation is with Bandai Namco’s Asian English translations. They’re just as broken and a let down as No Man’s Sky is. While the hardcore video game consumer values most of game developers, they largely give jack shit all the industries the game industry requires to go with it, undervaluing their work and thus showing the corporations they don’t need to value them either. Just as we demand respect towards our own work, we also need to rise up to the occasion and respect others’ work. Easier said than done.
However, I’m afraid that consumers tend to have a twisted vision of industry outside their own. A level of appreciation requires a certain amount of studying, learning whys and hows of a system before we can see the time and effort put into anything we see or use. A simple thing like a the fork you eat with was first planned up my a human mind before put into production, but do you value that effort and appreciate that simple yet frequently used item in your hands? Even the smallest, most mundane things are of value.