Pointing out something that I noticed because thesetwo posts happened to come up next to each other on my dash—
It’s really interesting to me the way that our assumptions about certain things highlight the differences between our era and the early 19th century. The posts that I linked have to do with the question of what those Amis who are students would have been studying. As tenlittlebullets points out in the first one, in fact it’s very unlikely that any would have been students in an area other than law or medicine. Prouvaire, as the son of a wealthy family, would almost certainly not study music (which I believe at this point— correct me if I’m wrong— was still most often a career passed down in families, and not wholly transitioned from industry to Art).
I point this out not to fact-check people, but to focus on a bigger and more interesting divergence of culture: people in the early 19th century simply did not think about choice, education, and careers in the same way that we do. In our time, it’s a very common idea that people choose their education based on their own personal interests. If you like art, you study art. If you like music, you study music. If you like literature— and so on. This may or may not be related to your eventual career— probably moreso in the sciences. And while we recognize that some people choose their careers based on expectations (from parents who want a doctor or lawyer for a child, or because of a need to take over the family business) this is not the dominant narrative— and is most often depicted in media as oppressive to the individual.
“So much of the way the present world is managed is through – not even systems – its organizations, which are boring. They don’t have any stories to tell. Economics, for example, which is central to our life at the moment … I just drift off when people talk about collateralised debt obligations, and I am not alone. It’s impossible to illustrate on television, it’s impossible to tell a story about it, because basically it’s just someone doing keystrokes somewhere in Canary Wharf in relation to a server in … I dunno … Denver, and something happens, and that’s it. I use the phrase, ‘They are unstoryfiable’.”
“No one is arguing that enjoyable work should be less so. But emotionally satisfying work is still work, and acknowledging it as such doesn’t undermine it in any way. Refusing to acknowledge it, on the other hand, opens the door to the most vicious exploitation and harms all workers.”
By keeping us focused on ourselves and our individual happiness, DWYL distracts us from the working conditions of others while validating our own choices and relieving us from obligations to all who labor, whether or not they love it. It is the secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment. According to this way of thinking, labor is not something one does for compensation, but an act of self-love. If profit doesn’t happen to follow, it is because the worker’s passion and determination were insufficient. Its real achievement is making workers believe their labor serves the self and not the marketplace.
Yesterday I was in the middle of an all day crying session, but I really really needed to get my niece a gift for her birthday. With no other option but to leave my apartment, I went to Build-A-Bear in a full on cry mode and I am SO…
This is one of my favorite standup clips. It’s John Ramsey, a very funny comic from Austin Texas, doing a set on a Kenyan late-night show. Standup is largely about relating to the audience and establishing points of common reference with them — your first job is to draw a circle around yourself and them to establish what you all have in common. So to see Ramsey do standup in a foreign country, for an audience he shares so little with, and partially in a foreign language is incredibly impressive. And he gets laughs!
He writes about the experience here, and writes about his process developing material that worked for a Kenyan audience, in these three pieces:123. Super interesting.