5 Quick Things: November 2022

Welcome to 5 Quick Things that I saw since last month that I thought were interesting enough to share with you. None of them are particularly timely so feel free to just enjoy 🙂

>Number One<

I Need You to Tell Me that I’m a Good Person

So as a person who has been to therapy a fair few number of times I had every feeling while reading this article. And while this article quote a fair number of tweets I’ll add on that kept popping into my mind while reading it:

The tweet above, cynical as it is, is not far off from a common experience I have talking to people who are in therapy. I think therapy is a great and in therapy you can use it to learn and grow as a person because it gives you tools to deal with emotions, with situations, and with others but as the article talks about it’s often a mirror more than anything else because therapists only know exactly what you bring into the conversation.

It’s not that therapy isn’t helpful but often people go into therapy looking only to be validated even when they know they are in the wrong and even though a therapist can try to help give you tools, they can work through methods, that can even help you sort through problems you have at the end of the day they can’t tell if you’re a good person and I think that’s actually more important to tell people before they go than you’d think.

>Number Two<

Most Theft is Wage Theft

If you live in a America, the truth of the matter is that actually the largest portion of theft in America is wage theft. There’s a pretty good chance that no matter what level of business you are in, your wage is being shorted or stolen. As a person who worked over 12 jobs while in America I can absolutely confirm that this is true so you may be wondering what wage theft is or what you can do about and boy have I got a great series for you. Considering how tight money is and how wages have failed to keep up with productivity wage theft gets more galling year over year especially for lower wage workers. Obviously this a long standing problem but it’s important to keep pressure on things this and of course if you have the ability to, form a union!

>Number Three<

A Short History of why Shorts are Vertical

Okay, my title is a little misleading but MaryMcGillivray‘s video about the history of Portrait and Landscape as a mode used to convey an image isn’t. It’s a fantastic small history running through how humans have used and made pictures for a couple thousand years and why we might choose which style of rectangle to convey out information in. I love Mary’s videos and her deep love of art history and years of working at art museums culminated in some fantastic videos. She’s also on TikTok if that’s more your speed.

>Number Four<

Difficult to Swallow

I’m not a huge fan of Pasolini but I do recognize his importance in its opposition to easily consumable and digestible culture and this article gives me so much to think about. If you’ll allow me to take a diversion, after watching Bodies Bodies Bodies this past weekend I thought about how horror these days has now actually skewed more towards the pornographic and the cannibal, a stark contradiction to the all bodies, no sex model that most modern television and film works on and this article only underscored that concept for me. How bodies are just seen as a commodity in the systems we live under and so the real taboo isn’t just sex or being able to access our bodies as sites of pleasure but also being able to do with them as we please but also as sites of horror that we should be able to dismantle lest it be done to us by these systems.

All that to say that Pasolini’s worry that the easily consumable would lead to only the easy being consumed was basically 100% true and I also have answers on how to resolve that.

>Number Five<

You are a Society

I don’t know how funny I find the “we live in a society” moniker being used as both a negative and positive affirmation for all manner of things but in this article Anne Helen Petersen comes to the important important stumbling block I have had to deal with when trying to tell people they need to build solidarity and community:

Community is inefficient and inconvenient as shit.

That’s not a real problem. Well, it is but it’s like money. The problem isn’t actually that community is inefficient because that’s actually not a problem if you have time and energy and all other systems are built with this knowledge but the problem is that we did not build society that way. We built a society that is actively hostile towards things which are inefficient or inconvenient. I joke that we shouldn’t have invested the modern clock (with its minutes and seconds always driving us towards a perfection of time) but showing up 5 minutes late for work can get you fired which is inconvenient (to say the least) if it stops you from helping someone because you don’t know if you’ll be late if you help them. The “inefficiency” of having to wait for find someone with the tools you have instead of simply buying redundant ones and the “inconvenience” of needing to wait for the right person to come back home are basically antithetical to modern life and thus are big walls that we run into when we try to build community. But, actually we do live in a society and we need to build community so at some point, we have to let these inefficiencies in, we have to humans, right?

Alright folks that’s all she wrote, see you next month!

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