From Jeff VanderMeer's Ecstatic Days, Jeff ProTem Lavie Tidhar gives some bulleted advice for writers. Yes. That. Loved it. "They don’t send people to Australia any more for stealing bread." Water through nose moment.
I've been getting asked for some of my "secrets" of landing the new job. Well, they aren't secret, first of all. Here's a good primer on interviewing. It boils down to do research, targeting yourself to that company, and being personable and open.
And speaking of secrets, well, I'm getting a little feed up with the media lately. We've now had both a Russian spy scandal and the wikileaks release of documents and I really haven't commented here about them. There's somewhat of a good reason for that, but maybe not so much anymore.
Here's the thing. Everybody in the media has been wrong about this. Dead wrong. Those Russian Spies? The media liked to portray that what they were after you could get the same with a CNN feed and home delivery of the NYT. The wikileaked documents only tell us what we already knew about Pakistan, civilians getting caught in the fog of war, and how it hasn't been going very well since we decided that Iraq was more of a problem. Well, if you believe that than you don't remember or know just what the spy game was all about and it points out just how far the internet has dulled our senses. Personally, I blame the Bush II Administration and their stance on the "Osama Plans to Bomb the US" briefing not having any "actionable intelligence."
Okay. First up, with the wikileaks, as it's being now reported in some places, the documents have names of locals who have helped us. Wave goodbye to those people. Either they'll go in hiding, be killed, or live in fear for the rest of their lives. It's not so much the problem of outing Valerie Plame, since she was in the US at the time and losing her as an asset meant at least we could still use her knowledge and skills, for a bit. No, it was the connection to a few people showing up dead in some of the former eastern block countries. People who knew her and had met with her over the years. The forth coming deaths in Afghanistan and those previous have one effect, it chills anybody who may have thought of sharing information with us (and now you know why there's all those cutesy code words for operatives). While I don't completely fault wikileaks for leaking the documents, understand they did it for no other purpose than to increase their brand (see earlier comments on "there isn't anything new here"). You all now know their name now, don't you. Isn't that great (for their monetary prospects). Thanks for that, wikileaks. Maybe you'll actually learn your job soon, or figure out it is a job and do the work so fewer people need to have to die. And yeah, if you don't think the Taliban/Al Qaeda isn't pouring through those documents, you really don't know how this war is being fought and won (or not as the case may be). We seem to have forgotten there is a dagger in that cloak and dagger work. Lose lips sink ships, but a knife in the dark can save or damn a country.
As to the Russian spies. Puh-lease. Do you really think that we say everything openly? Do you really think it doesn't matter to the Russians if we say we want, say, help on pressuring Iran to stop their nuclear program to know just how hard we're willing to press and what we're willing to give up? So we may say that we are going to talk, but if they can suss out that it's mostly for domestic consumption and we have no intention of giving the Russians anything (say, like freeing up their accounts of Iraqi money), their position is stronger. If you think that secrets are only "photocopy THIS", you're missing over 80% of the game. Let's say someone close to the President, or a CEO, suddenly isn't showing up on meetings and their house it dark, you can infer what is going on. Nobody needs to say anything. And we warren's even talking about what the poker players call "tells" (the former president had severals, including that annoying mouth twist when he was hiding the truth, the previous Bush did it with hand movements which is really why his handlers worked him hard to stop doing it).
No, I can't say more or some people out there will figure out my skills. And I'm not willing to let those out. Because I know what this game is and how it's played.