Category Archives: Culture

Eat the Whole Bag, Realistic Advice For a World On Fire

Eat the whole bag, because let’s be honest, that bag of chips is all you can afford for dinner. Guess you shouldn’t have bought that Starbucks as you rushed between jobs.

Finally, the inspirational book of life advice we all really need to survive the dumpster fire our world has become!

Because if you’ve survived high school without getting shot to death by a classmate, and survived college without drinking yourself to death or getting shot to death by a classmate, then you deserve to eat the whole damn bag of chips.

Chances are you’re going to grad school now because that’s what you were conditioned to do. And since you have zero financial literacy and don’t realize you’ll be graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in student debt that will financial and emotionally cripple you for the rest of your life—if you manage to survive grad school without getting shot to death by a classmate or random stranger at Walmart. So go ahead, live a little; eat the whole damn bag of chips.

Go ahead and eat that whole damn bag of chips, because you’re going to spend the rest of your life working six jobs and still earn less than your parents. And through it all you’ll blame yourself, having been raised under the false assumption that if you had just worked harder everything would be ok.

It won’t.

So go ahead and eat the whole damn bag….

After all, the planet is going to literally cook us all alive next week so that the ten people who control 99% of the world’s resources can buy another 100,000 square foot house they’ll never visit.

The updated edition also includes the essays:

“Coffee Will Kill You Instantly…. And Other Things We’ll Tell You the Exact Opposite of Next Week”

“Red Wine Will Cure Your Coffee Cancer…. And Other Things We’ll Tell You the Exact Opposite of Next Week”

“Avocado Toast Is Why You’re Poor”

“10 Things Millennials Have Ruined Because Wages Are Half of What They Were 40 Years Ago”

“Suck It Up, A Cure-All Guide to Mental Health”

“Your Insurance Only Covers WebMD; You Have Cancer”

…and a new poem from Lewis Black called “You’re All Fucked! / Love, Baby Boomers”


The original cover this post is based on is for “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”, a collection of inspirational essays from Penguin Books. Based on those who contributed to the book, I have no doubt that these essays are full of actual positive advice from social, political, and cultural icons who have dedicated their lives to fighting for the very things I’ve mocked with my fake inspirational advice book and the essay titles included. For anyone who didn’t find this funny, I’m sorry; I was being foolish, and I was very hungry at the time.

However, I fully support eating the whole bag of chips.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb for “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”:

“Graduation day is a pivotal moment. After a lifetime of learning, and at least three years of studying, we’re thrown headfirst into the unknown world of adulthood.

That day – and the months afterwards – are full of possibilities. They can feel thrilling and rudderless, dreamy yet terrifying but it’s the perfect time to reflect on the past and look at what’s still to come.

In this collection of carefully curated speeches, Barack Obama, Gloria Steinem and Tim Minchin and many more share their advice for graduating students who have gone on to shape the world we live in. This little collection is perfect for anyone seeking inspiration, no matter which life stage they’re at.”


And just so we’re being completely honest with each other, I just ate an entire bag of chips while writing this.

Advertisements

Considering Potential, Adversity and Alice Childress

I came across a post the other day referencing the Biosphere 2 project and a surprising discovery scientists made during the experiment. Within the completely perfect and balanced contained world of the biosphere the trees appeared healthy and thriving but none would grow to maturity. Before they could reach maturity however, the trees would topple over.

The scientists realized that within the biosphere there was no wind, there was no pressure or adversity exerted in the trees. They grew without resistance, without hardship, without adversity. The easy explanation is that the wind forced the trees to grow stronger, deeper roots to fight the outward forces of nature and their surroundings, but the truth goes far deeper than that.

It was more than strong roots the trees needed to rely on and develop, it was a tougher skin. There is a layer of wood known as reaction wood, or stress wood, that the biosphere trees were not developing. This layer allows the trees to adapt and to branch out in directions and at angles that would otherwise not be structurally sound in order to find the sunlight and other resources they need. In a perfect world they didn’t need that stronger layer, that muscle and fortitude. They grew fast and straight and collapsed under their own weight, too weak to maintain themselves because they had never faced any adversity, had never had to fight. They could never reach their true potential because they had never been challenged to do so.

I was reminded of this a few days later when lookin through my materials on Alice Childress, an author, playwright, actress and woman of color who worked fiercely for four decades in theater and on Broadway addressing social issues through her work during a time when she was denied basic civil rights. She began her career in 1949, writing and starring in the one act play, ‘Florence’ which touched in many of the themes that would define her career and the social causes she would fight for; the empowerment of black women, interracial politics, working-class life.

“My writing attempts to interpret the ‘ordinary’,” she said, “because they are not ordinary. Each human is uniquely different. Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice. We are uncommonly and marvellously intricate in thought and action, our problems are most complex and, too often, silently borne.”

Reading the Intentional and Not So Intentional Absurdity of Catch 22

I never had to read Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22” in high school but chances are if it had been assigned I wouldn’t probably wouldn’t have finished reading it. The novel is a too-long absurdist, occasionally funny, often sickening accurate and poignant, novel set during the Second World War, of a bunch of men screaming louder and louder because no one is listening them, while sexually assaulting most of Italy.

Weaving throughout the narrative exploration of a myriad of damaged soldiers is the emotional and psychological cost of toxic masculinity, on those wallowing in it as well as to everyone they come in contact with.

The greatest expression here of this cultural malignancy is the bureaucracy of war; whereas war is wage to provide a hierarchy for men to exploit one another, and that bureaucracy is then maintained to continue to wage a futile and pointless war that creates victims as much in those who are bombed as those who are bombing. Perhaps those who order the bombings can be said to be immune to the effects of this culture and the war it wages in reality, but they most certainly have a form letter explaining to  “Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. —” that it is they who are the real victims in all of this. 

But I also have to wonder how the new Hulu adaption of the book will address the cultural and sexual shortcomings of the book in today’s Me Too and Time’s Up movements. Or will that charming and wistful reminiscing of the good old days when a fraternity gang raped two underage girls be excised entirely from the retelling?

Catch 22 Hulu series

It’s certainly a difficult book to read, and one difficult to say was enjoyed, despite the humorous moments. But for its stark, absurd illustration of the power of communication, miscommunication and misdirection to corrupt and damn, and the effects of war, of unchecked and unrestrained aggression it is an important story to experience. And one that, despite being dated in some aspects, is just as relevant today in the lessons that still need to be learned and the warnings to be gleaned.

Follow me on Goodreads to see what else I’ve been reading.

Friday's Thoughts

Cries. Laughs. Eats. Sleeps. Thinks we should live life like flowers do.

Adventures of a Bibliophile

nevertheless, she persisted

Milk + Beans

Spill it - you know you want to.

Narcissistic MIL

Life with a personality disordered mother in law.

Stories For All

Aspiring Writer. Short Stories. Poems.

The Griffin | Canisius College

The voice of Canisius College since 1933

the716dailynews

THE 716 BUFFALO NEW YORK

Preferred Services of WNY

Proudly serving Buffalo and Western New York for all your home improvement needs.

%d bloggers like this: