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I'd like Elizabeth to write a new book-- a companion piece to Ehrenreich

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MonteLukast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 05:37 PM
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I'd like Elizabeth to write a new book-- a companion piece to Ehrenreich
One about true positivity. Like she's exhibiting now-- staying in the political game, opining on bankruptcy law and health care.

That new book by Barbara Ehrenreich-- Bright-Sided, about toxic and coercive "positivity"-- is one that I hope both JRE and EE are reading assiduously.
Because the time is ripe right now-- with the sweat lodge tragedy, Oprah's reputation slipping due to both her vaccine stance and her Palin promotion, and the growing realization by more and more Americans every day that The Secret-type thinking is nothing but a big racket. The time is ripe for an authoritative voice to spell out the dangers of the wrong kind of positive thinking, and what the difference between the wrong thing and the real thing is.

Because most Americans are so discombobulated and confused by time pressure and an over-glut of information, that we lost track of the difference years ago.

And not knowing the difference thoroughly leaves us all vulnerable to James Arthur Ray types.

Who better to speak of this subject, than someone who has been hurt by a person buying into our cultural values of positivity at any cost?
Who better to illustrate the utter moral bankruptcy, even lunacy, of prosperity-gospel-type thinking-- and offer a pathway to REAL abundance, joy, and connectedness as a counterbalance?

I saw Barbara on Jon Stewart the other day, and I LOVE that she brought up the "positive moods increase your immune system performance" meme. I love that she took aim at this thought that has become gospel to any doctor taking a mind-body approach to medicine. Which has plenty of validity.
The danger of this thought, of course, is the corollary: that thinking anything but happy thoughts actively harms your immune system, and that you bring any illness on yourself if you're anything but a constant Mary Sunshine.

Didn't you-know-who say something to the effect, during one of her interviews last year, that Elizabeth brought her cancer on herself through not being positive enough?

:mad: :nuke:

Completely loathsome and hideous.

JRE should have dropped her like a f****in' hot potato the MINUTE he heard anything like that pass her lips.

But if he didn't, I can see why.

The constant coercive drumbeat of smiley-facedness. Mandatory in corporate America, hanging over our heads at the doctor's office... making us wonder if insurance companies are going to someday devise a test, not unlike the hiring personality tests, to see if we're happy enough, if we're socially connected enough, if we're getting enough sex. And charge us higher premiums if we fail to clear that threshold. Of course they would!

For the last 15 years, the message from the medical media has been consistent:

People with lots of friends are happier.
Married people are happier.
Religious people are happier.
People who have more sex are happier (emphasis mine).
People who believe in "something outside themselves" are happier.

Leading on to...
Happier people are healthier.

And you'd be a fool NOT to listen to, and follow, any message or social more that says X, Y, or Z will make you healthier, so you'd better do it. We have to maintain SOME control over our health, after all.

Elizabeth, you're the best person I know to teach us how to resist this bullshit, this fake authenticity, this sham healthiness. We've lost track of what REAL happiness looks and feels like. We're prepared to listen to any self-appointed guru who tells us it's for our health and our future.
As your husband was.
As three people were in Sedona, enough to kill them.

Remember, too, that Ehrenreich endorsed your husband. She speaks your language. She could give you pointers on tackling this subject.

If I know one thing about happiness, it's NOT supposed to be a thing that enslaves us.

One last point: something else that makes you uniquely qualified to write about this subject. Your ill-advised quote a couple of years ago, where you sais you have made more joyful choices than Hillary Clinton. Even you yourself had drunk the Happy Kool-Aid at some point. And it came back to sting you.

There's nobody more qualified to speak out on a toxic cultural meme than someone who once believed in it. Nobody.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-21-09 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well said. Thanks.
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benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-26-09 07:23 PM
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2. Interesting
I've not read the work, but probably should.

I've come to one conclusion about the other woman, as EE would call her. I've decided to refrain from using hostile derogatory language such as calling her a "skank." EE is refraining from such language. I'm going to call her the Gold Dust Woman when I'm out of words to describe the other woman because that's what describes her well, after the song by Fleetwood Mac. As supporters of EE (and still the ideals of JRE), we are not doing them a favor in displaying our anger and frustration about a derailing of JRE, who is not likely to ever be on the political scene again.

Speaking of the positive spirits, please drop by Benny's World if you have time. I have a post up about EE's testimony last week for the Senate, and an inspiration-driven story about a local family who has been devoting all of its time to helping the poor.


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