But, if you’re like me, and you’ve been raised on films and TV your entire life, your earliest perceptions of the world were founded on more bullshit than a 9/11 truther’s latest conspiracy theory. The media told you the world was one way (exciting, adventurous, populated by Natalie Portmans); reality proved that the world is a different way (boring, disappointing, populated by 9/11 truthers).
This is especially true when it comes to the way the movies depict careers. It seems, in their representation of various professions, filmmakers have been about as honest as Glenn Beck is about anything. On screen, a job might look like tons of fun, but in reality, it can be tedious and soul crushing. Jobs like…
The Hollywood Version: According to such films as the Indiana Jones franchise, The Mummy and Stargate, the life of an archaeologist basically consists of the three greatest things on Earth: travel, sex with Rachel Weisz, and killing Nazis/aliens. The only thing greater would be killing Nazi aliens.
In the off-chance that they made love, I’m killing their kid.
Sounds awesome, right? You get to be a badass and see the world. And by the world, nine times out of ten in these movies, we mean Egypt.
However, there’s the occasional Stargate, which can bring you as far as a strange and exotic planet…
Pictured: A Strange and Exotic Planet!
Real Life: Sadly, it seems as though the life of an archaeologist involves less Nazi-shooting, women-sexing antics, and more class-teaching, history-studying boredom. Turns out, undead mummies and lost arks that melt off faces tend to, ya know, not exist, and as such, it’s hard to make a lucrative career out of finding them. Sure, you can explore the tombs of the Pharaohs, but since Pharaohs are unlikely to come to life and attack you, you are pretty much a glorified mausoleum nut.
Not Pictured: A thing that will happen.
In fact, the closest you’ll come to fame and fortune will most likely involve being interviewed by The History Channel for the 300th time about the curse of King Tut’s tomb.
The Hollywood Version: I’m referring specifically to the way in which the profession of FBI Agent was handled on the iconic 90s show about supernatural mysteries and sucking during the last few seasons: The X-Files.
Fox Mulder embodies the dream of any young boy who has looked up at the stars on a clear summer night and wondered if anyone else was out there. The dream to be employed as a civil servant who works with the reasonably hot Dana Scully and uses taxpayer money to chase little green men and the monster hiding under the bed while every secondary character in the episode gets killed horribly.
Mulder and Scully don’t track serial killers, they track serial people eaters.
Just another day on the job. Pleasant dreams.
The X-Files planted the seed in my mind that I could grow up to be just like Fox Mulder, chasing aliens and being on television. Little did I know that seed would grow into a cactus of despair (best metaphor ever?)…
Real Life: So, after training at Quantico and searching through the FBI’s “X” files only to discover two cases (“X-Rated Oval Office: The Bill Clinton Dilemma” and “X-Men: J. Edgar Hoover Thinks They Are Real And Wants Us to Kill Them, What the Hell do We do Here Guys??”), I’ve found out that agents are more likely to hunt illegal aliens than space aliens.
Though it would be cool to see how Mulder handles him…
I’ve also scanned the FBI’s Most Wanted list, and there’s not a single extra-terrestrial in the bunch, although Osama Bin Laden is in it and there’s probably a dumbass 9/11 truther who thinks he is a Martian or something.
Oh, and despite Hollywood casting such women as Gillian Anderson, Jodie Foster, and Julianne Moore in the roles of female FBI Agents, turns out that the Bureau is not the sexiest place on Earth. During my training at Quantico, a pretty criminal profiler tried to explain to me the sexual element to the crimes of certain serial killers. I thought she was flirting with me, so I went for it.
She was not flirting with me.
The Hollywood Version: Damnnnnnn, doctors get laid. Like, when they aren’t all up in somebody fixing heart valves and removing Lincoln Logs, they are all up in somebody getting jiggy with it.
“She has a severe case of being too damn fine. Treatment? My body on her’s."
According to medical dramas like Grey’s Anatomy, one of the requirements to pass medical school is to be physically attractive. Hospitals themselves are charged with more awkward sexual tension than a middle-school, and more regrettable hook-ups than college. Even House, which prides itself on being intelligent dramatic entertainment, features as much sex and relationship issues than most soap operas.
Real Life: Being a doctor is probably an excellent, rewarding experience. Sure, you may have to work long hours, and med school is a tiring and painstaking process, but the sense of truly helping people must make it all worth it.
You know what’s also probably worth it? Getting freaky every two minutes. I asked a few doctors about their sex lives, and suffice it to say, I was disappointed with the results.
“I haven’t even hugged a woman since my wife left me three years ago. No, she is not Olivia Wilde.”
Turns out even gynecologists have normal, mundane sex lives. I thought they only had that job because they were German love machines or something.
Looks like Hollywood is run by liars and thieves. Who would’ve thought?