Or, at least, that's what it feels like.
The warning every young person gets when they wish to join the entertainment industry: watch out for scam artists. There's a lot of scammers out there; they're believable, look friendly, say they are looking out for your best interests, but they're just after your wallet.
I. Fucking. Hate. This.
There's a point while commiserating with other young creatives when we inevitably land upon a favorite subject - people who fucked us over, or tried to and failed. Fun fun fun!
But I've stopped finding these conversations fun. Now that I'm constantly watching my metaphorical back, it's just... depressing.
I don't often hearken back to "the good ol' days" because I'm of the belief that those days are always significantly less grand than people seem to recall. But I'm going to hearken back to some long, long far off days, back when communities were smaller and we were more tribal and had to depend on each other for survival.
Ah yes, the good ol' caveman days. Certainly much less pain and suffering than we experience now. Certainly.
That said, though the hazards of forager living were many, there was one positive - people were forced to be more honest within the group. Because the dishonest could get their family and friends killed, many would-be con artists were left naked on some tundra. Honesty was essential to survival and so, there was much less tricking of each other. It still happened - for some reason, people are hardwired to lie, but I would bet people were much less likely to give into such inclinations.
Even looking at Renaissance times where decadence and intrigue were par for the course, the idea of "honor" was still important. While that word contains many concepts that we now find deplorable or overly macho, there was one good thing about honor obsessed cultures - your word was your bond (well, supposedly. But still - the concept was at least prevalent).
We don't really have a similar ethos in today's world. Yes, kids get brought up being told that lying is bad, but see here's the thing - it's really hard to maintain honesty when the world is centered around a capitalistic sales culture.
Salesmen have to make the sale or else, and so we get bombarded with up-selling and flat out lies. Corporations are entities rife with cutthroat business people. Agents smile, tell you you're great, then never send you out to work.
A year or so ago, I got a call from my bank about potential fraud on my debit card. My first response? "How do I know this is for real and not a scam?"
Turns out, it was real and the problem was sorted out in a timely fashion. But that's my default response whenever someone I don't know (or don't know well or heck, even some people I do know pretty well) says something of import to me.
"They must have some other motive," I think, suspiciously eyeing them.
I hate having that reaction. I am a credulous person by nature, but I've been forced to learn a skepticism that guards me, but ultimately can't be good for my mental health if I've got to be on guard all the time.
"BE MORE HONEST!" the small man cried from the street corner, as if that would do anything.