☕️ The rise of Antiwork

4 hot takes on the future of the entertainment industry...
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December 26, 2021 | View Online | Sign Up | Shop
A hungover Nutcracker after Christmas

Mitch Blunt

IN THIS ISSUE

Movie predictions for 2022

Antiwork is booming

A Lone Star clash

 
 

Editor's Note

 
 

Good morning. So who's pumped for 2022???

[cicadas chirp loudly]

Yeah, that seems to be the general vibe. While a new calendar year typically means exciting new opportunities, a chance for a fresh start, 2022 feels like it could just be another disappointing sequel to 2020.

It makes sense—we're all beaten down. We've socially distanced, worn masks, Zoomed into important life events for what seems like an eternity. And each time we've made progress toward normalcy, a new variant comes along and pushes us back into a Twilight Zone reality.

But I have a feeling next year is going to be different, better. We know more about Covid than ever before. We have a growing list of tools, from boosters to at-home pills, that can protect the most vulnerable. Quarantine times are being reduced. The lockdown era appears to be over. And eventually, this thing will transition into an endemic virus and we can go back to talking about all the things we talked about before Covid, like…yeah, I forget too.

—Neal Freyman

 

CULTURE

 
 

Q&A

 

Icebreakers with...Morning Brew's Entertainment Expert Brandon Katz

Brandon Katz headshot Brandon Katz

Brandon Katz, who covers the business of entertainment for the Brew, is a human Wikipedia for the streaming wars, the future of movie franchises, and why the heck they let Peter Parker [redacted] in the new Spider-Man movie.

We asked Brandon to share his predictions for next year and as many movie and TV recs as he could supply.

What are your hot takes for the entertainment industry in 2022?

  1. The box office is never going to return to a pre-pandemic normal. Under normal conditions, box office sales were about $11 billion domestically and $40 billion globally per year. With shortened theatrical windows, the industry-wide pivot toward direct-to-consumer entertainment, and the third calendar year of Covid, I don't think we'll ever get back to those numbers, sadly. But I also don't think movie theaters will ever go extinct.
  2. We'll probably see NBCUniversal rebrand Peacock because that streaming service is laughably lagging behind its rivals. I think there's actually a lot of good stuff on there, but it drew criticism for its Olympics coverage and it doesn't have any breakout hit series to anchor it, like Hulu and Netflix do.
  3. I think Roku is gonna get snatched up. It's got more than 55 million active users in the US and a roster of original programming. It's small enough to sneak by the DOJ or FTC, but big enough to actually help a streamer.

What TV shows and movies are you most excited for in 2022?

There are some major franchise shows and movies that I'm excited for: The Batman, Bullet Train, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Lightyear, Thor: Love and Thunder, Black Adam, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One), Creed III, Peacemaker, House of the Dragon, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Lord of the Rings.

Any non-franchise releases?

I'm really excited for The Devil in the White City, Pam & Tommy, Tokyo Vice, The Old Man, The Bad Guys, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Elvis, Nope, Canterbury Glass, The Fabelmans, and Babylon.

If you could bring back any TV show, what would it be?

Freaks and Geeks.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

     
 
Lincoln Financial
 

WORK LIFE

 

A Christmas PTO Poem

Make it work image

Each week, our workplace whisperer Shane Loughnane answers a reader-submitted question about work in 2021.

For those who will remain on the clock this week, I salute you and vow to log at least a few hours in solidarity. For many, though, the true gift of the holiday season is still left to be unwrapped. As offices close their doors and PTO piggy banks are emptied, the week between Christmas and New Year's promises to deliver some well-deserved R&R. Since you won't be needing my advice this week, perhaps this poem will do the trick instead.

'Twas the week after Christmas and all through the workplace
Not a meeting was scheduled, not even a touch-base
The OOO messages were crafted with care:
"I'd sure love to help, but I'm simply not there."
Low-hanging fruit that once danced in your head
Now visions of Squid Games and a head coach named Ted
Circle back into bed, deep dive into books
Drill down on what else that new air fryer cooks
Relax and recharge, put the laptop on ice
While I stick my own pin into giving advice
See you next year, thanks for reading the Brew
We'll keep "making it work" in 2022

New Year, New Work Me

Speaking of 2022, one way to lessen the January 3rd intimidation factor is to consider making a New Year's resolution for the workplace. This article provides insight into the benefits of setting resolutions, but generally think of it more as a qualitative, personal commitment (as opposed to a goal or an OKR, for example). It could be anything, big or small, that you'd like to improve upon in the work year ahead.

Share your resolutions here and we'll start the year off strong by highlighting some notable responses next week.

     
 

ANALYSIS

 

The Rise of r/Antiwork

Don Draper in the final episode of 'Mad Men' AMC

If a subreddit's collective action can send GameStop's share price to the moon, what could one do for the GameStop employee working the checkout counter? That's the question r/Antiwork is only beginning to answer.

The Reddit forum exploded during the pandemic, jumping from around 100,000 subscribers before March 2020 to 1.4 million today. It's currently Reddit's third-fastest growing community of the last 30 days, and the site highlighted it as the "poster child for The Great Resignation."

If Antiwork sounds a little…absolute, that's by design. Per its own description, the subreddit seeks to not only improve working conditions for employees beleaguered by the pandemic, but also to move toward the dissolution of work altogether. It's "antiwork, not reformwork," one post reads.

But before it KOs the sad desk salad, the community's taking action into its own hands with a bit of…

Digital solidarity

In early December, when Kellogg announced it would permanently replace 1,400 striking factory workers with new employees, a post on Antiwork encouraging readers to "apply for [their] dream job" received over 66,000 upvotes. Included in the post: links to applications at the striking Kellogg plants and cover letter and resume formats to help users clog up the job site.

TikTok user Sean Black then automated a script to mass apply to the open positions, which flooded the hiring portal with spam applications and temporarily overwhelmed the system. Kellogg workers have since reached an agreement with management, ending the 11-week strike.

  • It wasn't the subreddit's first foray into IRL action, either. Around Thanksgiving, messages of worker empowerment with nods to Antiwork were printed on hacked receipt machines at businesses all over the world.

Suffice it to say, Antiwork is for more than just posting about bad bosses. But raising questions about the end of work as we know it is nothing new—economists and other social scientists have been doing it for centuries.

In 1930, the lauded economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that—due to productivity increases through technological advancements—the American workweek would shrink to just 15 hours by 2030. Decades later, a 1965 Senate committee said "nah, sooner"— and predicted that we'd be toiling just 14 hours a week by 2000. (How's that going for you? Same.)

More recently, anthropologist David Graeber wrote on the phenomenon of what he called "bulls*** jobs"—professional positions that make up a majority of total employment and appear pointless.

Bottom line: The rapid growth of Antiwork and the onset of the Great Resignation highlight how Covid exacerbated long-held frustrations with work. As the pandemic heads into its third calendar year, empowered workers are increasingly reconsidering what they'll accept from their employers.—MK

     
 
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REAL ESTATE

 

Open House

Welcome to Open House, the only newsletter section that hasn't moved to Texas yet. We'll give you some facts about two listings and you try to guess which one is more expensive (and for an extra challenge, by how much).

(Left) Marfa mansion surrounded by trees, (right) artsy, new build in MarfaZillow

Both listings today are located in Marfa, Texas, a small desert town in West Texas that's famous for its art scene and the mystical phenomenon referred to as the "Marfa Lights." The first listing (left) was built in 1945. lt's a 6-bed, 5-bath property comprising three separate buildings, and it's also got a massive 700 square-foot wraparound porch.

The second listing (right) is a new construction with 1 bedroom and 2 bathrooms. But don't let the lack of rooms fool you: This place has been featured in numerous fancy schmancy architecture and home magazines for its "functional and conceptual" design.

Which house has the higher listing price?

     
 

RECS

 

Just Click It

1. The 51 best (and weirdest) charts of 2021. (FiveThirtyEight)
2. The year in limbo. (New York Times)
3. The musician Brian Eno has a lot to say about NFTs. (The Crypto Syllabus)
4. A casino cheating expert reviews card counting and casino scams from movies. (Vanity Fair)
5. Why it's too early to get excited about Web3. (O'Reilly Media)
6. The 2021 Northern Lights Photographer of the Year. (Capture the Atlas)
7. What the hell is this company the 76ers just partnered with? (Defector)
8. Keeping a grocery store lobster as a pet. (Brady Brandwood)
9. Interpreting Covid test results. (xkcd)
10. How Shopify outfoxed Amazon to become the everywhere store. (Bloomberg)

Don't mop 'til you drop. Let the Roborock S7 do it for you instead. Dirty floors stand no chance against the S7's advanced robotic vacuum, featuring one of the fastest sonic mops designed for deep, squeaky cleans. Get yours here.* 

*This is sponsored advertising content

 

CONTEST

 

Meme Battle

Welcome back to Morning Brew's Meme Battle, where we crown a single memelord every Sunday.

Today's winner: Audrey in California

Meme of two spidermen looking at each other

This week's challenge: You can find the new meme template here for next Sunday. Once you're done making your meme, submit it at this link for consideration.

 

ANSWER

 

Giant 1940s compound: $1.7 million
Modern artsy cube: $1.4 million (last price before it was taken off the market this week)


 

✢ A Note From Lincoln Financial

Lincoln Financial is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and affiliates. Copyright 2021

LCN-3946583-120621

✳︎ A Note From Affirm

Payment options through Affirm are subject to eligibility, may not be available in all states, and are provided by these lending partners: affirm.com/lenders. CA residents: Loans by Affirm Loan Services, LLC are made or arranged pursuant to a California Finance Lenders Law license.

         

Written by Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, Matty Merritt, Jamie Wilde, and Shane Loughnane

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