Monday, October 12, 2009

Faux Writers

A few days ago there was the article on "don't be a snitch." Right, let the thugs, slugs, dopers, thieves, vandals and worse take over your neighborhood because if you snitch you ain't cool. So I was wondering, according to some on the Left drugs are brought into the country by the wealthy, the government/CIA, so, since we the people cannot stop the rich CIA government kingpins and cartels, what if ALL the nickel and dime pushers stopped dealing dope, they're not getting rich and only going to jail anyway - would that help? Or would rich folks be on the corner selling the drugs they bring into the country? Would you snitch on the rich?

Then what greeted me yesterday? Barbara Ehrenreich's latest book, her 20th book I think, in Alternut: Brightsided: The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Sample reviewers : " Ehrenreich at her provocative best—poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage." "Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—contributed directly to the current economic crisis."

Ehrenreich, with a PhD in biology, is one of those successful writing activists covering the usual topics of healthcare, women's issues, worker issues, social equality; marched with ACORN, passed out some leaflets, etc. A socialist who has written Dancing In The Street, which she describes as a scholarly work, on how the ruling class suppress our "festivities and ecstatic rituals."

Basically, we are inhibited and melancholic because elites suppressed our community bump and grind festivals.

With the help of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) she is founder and director of United Professionals. It must be a sign of achievement when one can found and direct a "nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization." (It could mean that success needs another tax shelter, but one could practice Naderism frugality or Gore-ism, where you donate most of your "scholarly" income to your own nonprofit organizations and businesses.)

Barbara produces the type of writing that on the surface appears to have merit, if you're a member of the shallow club. To members it will make sense, mean something, have a point. Actually, even on the surface it's nonsense; the writer has a catchy title for a trendy topic and writes a book, and the only point is the pointy head of anyone who can read meaning into the idea that "they" continue to oppress you and your rituals, that positive thinking has undermined America, that you have been baited and switched in your futile pursuit of the American dream (the dream is only greedy white capitalist folks anyway). Fortunately, no one would accuse activists of positive thinking.

Ehrenreich connects unhappiness and even the current economic crisis to the culture of self-help books, evangelical preachers, pop psychologists, and the ideology of "positive thinking." Hmmm, wouldn't evangelicals be practitioners of the ecstatic rituals she claims have been suppressed?

Her own political preachy psychobabble brand of activism, as many of her genre today, often begin a spiel with the economic effects on black folks, and as white activists usually do, insert vague hints of rightwing white boys with sheets ready to blame the Negro.

Have you noticed, since the Civil Rights era, when richer-than-you white radicals/bourgeois need a really dumb audience they appeal to black folk fears? I mean ... it's almost as if blacks have to remain downtrodden so's disgruntled white activists have a poster boy of oppression when they need one.

Although writers/activists of Ehrenreich's sort pontificate on how our lives are totally controlled by the wealthy elite, because the elite own everything - politics, the media, finance, business - for some inexplicable reason these wealthy owners allow the oppressed classes to have icons, icons who explain how the system continually exploits them. Left leaning writer activists and their publishers of course would never exploit their followers ... oh wait a minute, is that positive thinking? ... no Bubba, I believe that's an ecstatic ritual all the way to the bank...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laugh! Had one myself recently when I blew the dust off an old paperback, "Your Erroneous Zones" and came face-to-face with the grinning mustachiod Dyer, last spotted on PBS promoting Source and young song birds.


Kate-A said...

Ah yes, Wayne Dyer. Reminded me of the dusty old "Passages" and the sexpert Shere Hite, et al.

I always wanted to call that "erogenous zones." That may be a book by one of them. ;)

Anonymous said...

Well, had I not double-checked, my post would have read "erogenous" because that is what I have always called it and I was none too pleased at having to retrain the brain for that fool.

Alas, the cover on "Sex and The Single Girl" is pretty well faded, but I haven't had to spend a dime for get well, rich and happy books since the early 1990s.


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