This Week (Beginning 7/16)

Reading

Just finished After the Flood, by Margaret Atwood. This is the second book in the MaddAdam series. Great read, but I was still left wanting more. I want to know what’s going to happen to the character Jimmy/Snowman and will civilization restore itself?

I did not care for the interruption of the story by Adam One preaching to his converts, or the hymns. I don’t feel this added much to the story. I’m sure it took a great deal of time to work out those things, but without much value added.

Writing

Finished Blue Tent, began working on another novelette. Should be finished with this sometime next month.

Movies

The King’s Speech. Great cast, but I wasn’t too big on the King George character. I like almost anything Geoffrey Rush plays in.

Cool Moments

Professor Extraordinarius agreed to write a column for Broke-Writer.com.

Random thoughts

This week I picked up a copy of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg. It’s been many years since I’ve read this book. I found it sitting on a shelf in the local bookstore and marked down to fifty cents.

A great feeling comes along with stumbling on to one of those books from the past that you’ve formed an emotional attachment to; then, there’s something bitter in finding it sitting alone on a shelf and marked down like that. Just short of being chucked in the bin.

I began reading through it and was reminded of where my morning writing exercise came from. She had written it and I had been practicing this for all these years… I had forgotten where I had picked the practice up, so this was a great reminder.

I also picked up a copy of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bait and Switch. Okay, before I begin groveling at the altar of Ehrenreich, I will say here and now, I am a fan. This woman is one of the most intelligent women on Earth.

Yes she is.

Take a look at books she’s written, read a few essays and then we’ll talk.

Yes she is.

So, I looked up her most recent work and guess what I found?

Bright Sided: How Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking has Undermined America. In the UK it’s titled, Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World.

I’m pleased to finally feel vindicated in this. For several years, I have been referred to as negative, a grouch, naysayer, etc., but here she, exposing the BS of the positivists who preach that we must smile in the face of adversity and change the way we think, because if we perceive the world in a negative way, then that is the way it is. Forget about reality and blame the victims of the world. They thought their way into their circumstances.

I’ve had many an argument about this. My one, most successful defense is this: perceive a beautiful outcome of me smashing your face with a baseball bat.

Thank you very much.

Not that I’m overly-aggressive. In fact, just the opposite is true. I’m overly passive, most of the time. I just happen to believe reality is more important than perspective, because perspective can change. Reality doesn’t change unless we physically compell it to.

Humans are fickle and we change our minds faster than our shoes. Though what we think matters, it doesn’t matter near as much as what we do. And this reminds me of something my father said: we want to leave this a better place.

We may not pay bills, or form strong commitments, but we can still leave this a better place. Influence someone, tell the truth, speak out against injustice, do the right thing…

So for this next week, I will begin reading Bait and Switch, but also I’ll be on the lookout for the new book(s) UK or US editions.

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2 thoughts on “This Week (Beginning 7/16)

  1. Good post, & always nice to get some reading ideas. Nothing wrong with positivity I’d say, but being a curmudgeon can be healthy too! What’s worst is the commodification of positive thinking, together with the medicalization of our every behavior, good, bad, or indifferent …

  2. Exactly. Almost feels like a takeover at times. 🙂 Unfortunately, the mental health industry is linked so closely to the pharmaceutical companies that we really don’t get proper care. There’s too much money involved and ethics in that industry is reserved (I think) for the independently wealthy.

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