A nobly quixotic attempt to have the use of the word “cool” bear some resemblance to the meaning thereof. I salute his gallant folly.
Good article, as one expects from McArdle, even when you don’t always agree with her. Never having been to business school, nor any kind of school at Harvard, I can’t dispute anything she discusses here.
But on average, the women I talk to just aren’t nearly as willing to sacrifice close friendships, and family relationships, for the sake of their jobs.
We can say that they shouldn’t have to, of course, but the sad fact is that there are trade-offs in this world. In your 20s you can finesse them — work super hard and also have a roaring social life — because you have boundless energy and no one depending on you. This is the age at which young women write furious articles and Facebook posts denouncing anyone who suggests that women opt-out of high pressure jobs for any reason other than the rankest sexism.
As you age, your body refuses to cooperate with your plan to work from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. and then hang out with friends. Your parents start to need you more, if only to lift heavy things. And of course, there are kids. You start having to make direct trade-offs, and then suddenly you look up and you haven’t seen your friends for two years and your mother is complaining that you never call. This is the age at which women write furious articles defending their decision to step back from a high-pressure job and/or demanding subsidized childcare, generous paid maternity leave and “family friendly policies,” a vague term that ultimately seems to mean that people who leave at five to pick up the kids should be entitled to the same opportunities and compensation as people who stay until 9 to finish the client presentation. These pleas usually end (or begin) by pointing to the family-friendly utopia of Northern Europe, except that women in Europe do less well at moving into high-test management positions. Whatever the government says, someone who takes several years off work is in fact less valuable to their company than someone who doesn’t.
It would be interesting to know where she got the statistic to back up the claim about women in Europe, but otherwise this rings true. And not because it gets men off the hook; real, actual sexism is still out there. But because it’s a simpler explanation than “systematic conspiracy of harassment.” I’ve been working for a long time, and the vast majority of my bosses have been women. Which is pretty well meaningless to me: the boss is the boss. But it can’t be heresy to point out that women differ from men, they tend to value different things, and this tends, in large groups, to lead to different choices and different results.
Now, if you accept that, that men just value “money” and “success” more than women do, one has to wonder: what’s the plan with all that money and success? What’s it for? Obviously, on some level we all — men and women — vie for status in the tribe. But when you hit that status, what’s next? The men McArdle writes of aren’t going to work from 7 to 11 for the rest of their lives, either. They’re eventually going to want a life, a wife, some kids. They’re just going to put if off later, because they can. Which is kind of a flimsy reason, and perhapss self-defeating. When you’re in your 20′s, and your life is chaos, anyway, kids can actually provide some kind of structure, because structure is what they require. Plus, you’ve got the energy to handle it. If a man waits until his late 30′s or beyond to settle down, he’s going to have a harder time adjusting to it not being about him all the time.
Or, maybe he’ll be ready for it. Trade-offs, trade-offs, trade-offs.
Amusing post by the Washington Free Beacon about Why You’re Drinking Whiskey Wrong. What caught my attention was the last bit:
8. It’s fine to shoot flavored whiskey.
Look, to each his own and all that. But if you’re shooting these and I catch you do it I’m going to mock you mercilessly and we might stop being friends. You’re not in college any more. Act like a f—ing grownup.
I’m in no position to cast stones, at least insofar as my college years go. I used to mix creme de menthe and milk for God’s sake. I might as well have had footie pajamas on.
Some liquors are meant for mixing. Rum, certainly, and vodka. But whiskey is meant to be enjoyed as whiskey. Cinnamon whiskey is for noobs. Honey whiskey is for teenage noobs. If you want all your alcoholic beverages to taste like candy, there’s a million varieties of marshmallow vodka to appeal to your stunted taste. Stop ruining perfectly good whiskey.
I’m sure there was a premise to this, and I’m sure 90% of the people that knew it did not care.
I remember this dystopian hawker from my childhood, and even had a penchant for warbling “M-M-Max Headroom-room” at inappropriate intervals during my elementary school years.
Behold the horror:
The past is truly unknowable.
What’s all this then?
The Supreme Court trolls us again, with a brace of decisions designed to irritate everyone. First, DOMA gets smacked down, on what seems like a federalism basis, but which Justice Scalia assures is us not. Then, the plaintiffs in California’s Prop 8 case get told they have no standing to sue, and instructs the appelate court to dismiss on that basis.
What else? Mick Jagger, who’s always had an ear to the shifting grounds of cool, announces to the world that it’s now all right to make fun of Obama. Of course, they booed him. The Divinity of Caeser shall not be question.
I don’t care. I’ve joined a gym and put the finishing touches on a novel. Or what seems to be finishing touches. Perfect PDF’s develop errors on the way to the online print-check. You know the drill. This one has been in embryo for a while, has actually been out for notes from various friends in an initial draft form. I’ve reached that delicate point where I am satisfied with it. It is what it is and does what it does. Personally, I think it’s great, and if it sells, there might could be a sequel. Might could.
The Title: Solar System Blues.
Also, enjoy a rather silly track I slapped together with the Yellofier:
That’s all. Enjoy the heat.
I must confess, I am bad at this. Often, I have a habit of just dirfting away from people when there’s a lull. In my mind, that seems less awkward than saying “Okay, I’m done here,” or “Good-bye, then,” or “And….scene!”
Fortunately, The Art of Manliness has solutions. They are time-honored and polites:
With a bit of practice, I should finally be able to retire my ninja smoke balls.
With summer comes a teacher’s vanity. Educators are vouchsafed 10 weeks to rest, recharge, and remember all the other things in their lives. I have never known those 10 weeks but they burned by while you got maybe half of what you wanted to get done actually delivered. It’s a function of our mechanized world: maintenance takes up as much time as production.
Nevertheless, I feel the need to dedicate myself to a few projects for this summer. Books, mostly, and a long-considered re-working of Riposte Publishing’s web site into something more functional. GoDaddy, maybe. I’m good at overlooking bad marketing campaigns.
There’s a long post in utero, something I’ve had on me mind for some time, and finally resolved to express. It’s not important, even in a small scheme of things (that phrase should work. It’s alliterative. But it sounds wrong). But it my free up some headspace on the commute, which is where I do most of my thinking.
And there was where I had to abandon using the BlogNow! app I’d gotten for my iPad. Simply loading that picture was too complicated. There’s a whole separate feature for adding pictures to blogpost with the app, and I didn’t feel like wrestling with it. So I pulled out old trusty laptop and got the link from my Tumblr (Instagram doesn’t let just any fool copypasta with pictures, for which they are to be commended, I suppose. Even when it’s my own picture).
Anyway, big meaty geeky rant forthcoming. For the nonce, enjoy this lanky Kiwi/Brit getting off on Prime Americana while rocking like 1965 just woke up in 2013 and decided to split the difference and party like it was 1995. Via Third Man Records, because Jack White’s taste just seems to get better as he ages:
Was out of town for a wedding this weekend, which was nice: a little break-up of the routine, a chance to put on my summer suit. Left Darling Daughter with the Mother-in-Law and spent the night at a hotel. The ceremony and reception were on a converted manor, with trees and a creek. A lovelier spot to have a wedding couldn’t be imagined.
Slept in late at the hotel, which always seems to happen — the bed, after all, is what you’re really paying for. But there’s that checkout time to be contended with: leave at 10:58 and you’re in the clear, but 11:02 means another night. We got dressed with an old Law & Order keeping time for us. When the lawyers show up, you know you’re at the bottom of the hour. We sailed out before McCoy got to grill the guilty SOB.
I tend to believe in benevolent neglect as far as lawn care goes. My father-in-law, who is retired USDA, reinforces this, telling me that the grass will be healthier if I don’t cut it too short. But yesterday the seeds were starting to stick up, so when we got back from Pennsylvania I threw on shorts and a hoodie (it was brisk, but I don’t like to get grass on my pants) and mowed front and back. Then an afternoon of grading with Deadwood on Blu-ray. It gets better with repeated viewings.
This morning I was up early, out the door early, planned my day early, and feel very satisfied with myself. Really quite tired, but profitably so, like there’s earned repose to look forward to.
Like a majority of college students, I didn’t belong to a frat or sorority. And like a majority of those, I had attitudes and prejudices about those that did. They weren’t terribly original, and I won’t recount them. I don’t have them anymore. Looking back with a bit of wisdom, Greek Life has a certain logic to it. It provides an extended family, with pertaining duties and obligations, to those who have just stepped away from their original family. It provides a social calendar and the support of one’s peers, at a time when those things are handy. A well-run frat or sorority provides leadership opportunities, academic standards, and service to the community.
But for people who never went Greek, a lot of the inside-baseball, hyperdramatic hysteria of Greek life – rushing, pledging, judging, competing — seems exactly that. Which may explain why Rebecca Martinson’s email rant to her sorority sisters has gone viral (scroll down to read the full text of the email). It’s the towering rage, with expletives used as punctuation, juxtaposed with the insignificance of the subject — her sisters failing to show adequate Sorority Spirit – that prompts hilarious reposting and now, even dramatic readings by actors.
Embarassments like this only have one kind of ending, and today Martinson resigned from her sorority. I likewise hope that Martinson learns from this, and that we all find someone else to abuse now that she’s paid the price for Internet notoriety. But when I read the email, I find myself wondering, did she have a point? Was there something, however trivial, that her sisters should have been doing, that they were not? And could she have found a way to express that which would have a) made clear how serious she took it, b) gotten the email’s recipients to respond in a way she thought positive, and c) NOT prompted anyone to make it public?
Well, let’s imagine that world. Let’s imagine that Martinson had angrily typed out her rant in, say, Microsoft Word, rather than an email browser, and then let it sit for a day, and then came back to it, and then revised her thoughts to something professional.
It may have looked like this:
Periods of time come when the thought of adding content to a blog puzzles the will. The evergreen political nonsense saps the spirit. Repeating the same arguments to the same applause sounds agonizingly dull.
Besides, it’s springtime outside. The human animal was not meant to remain inside shut up with People Being Wrong on the Internet when the trees bloom and the thermometer finally creeps above the magical number of 70.
And besides that, I’ve found an entirely new way to express myself.
Youtube posits this as the “Official video” of “Oh Yeah” the tune by Swiss electronica duo Yello. The track hit #51 on Billboard in the spring of ’87, and appeared in Ferris Bueller, Secret of My Success, and any other scene where the director wanted a montage expressing a character’s sudden overpowering desire. ‘Cording to Wikipedia, they had a whole slew of albums and such, and had regular hits on the UK charts and the US Hot Dance Club/Club Play Singles chart. Still most of us know them from this, if we know them at all.
Well they’ve put out an app that will make you a DJ.
Downloaded it on a whim, spent a few days playing with it. It’s genius: intuitive and idiot-simple.You can record any sound and turn it into a not-bad-sounding electronica song in a few minutes. I have done so, the results are silly.
That’s the first thing I made on the first day I messed with it. Nothing to it: theme and variation. The one’s I’ve done since are better, better enough that I download them to my iTunes and like them on repeated listens. I’ll post them somehow later: on Soundcloud, maybe. “Duke Bike Rider” is my phony rock-n’-roller stage name. We all wear different hats.
This is spring: your ears perk up and you try something new. Your life renews.