Me and Pam, Week 5

Fifth chapter of ‘Art and Soul, Reloaded’, and my efforts at the tasks set by Ms Grout.  Wow.  Seems like this is really a thing, at this point.

This week’s chapter is called – oh, fortuitously – Dare To Be Mediocre.  And the essay part, the bit of inspiration from Ms Grout before the actual tasks, is about how if you let go of an anxious worry about producing perfect results, then you’re free to fly, to take action.

Oh, my.  Has she seen my wolfy drawings?  It’s like this chapter was written just for me!

Moving on – right along!  The main task for this week’s chapter is, I quote, ‘Come up with the title (just the title) of your forthcoming memoir’.

Ehhh.  I do love a memoir.  By almost anyone.  Don’t matter if you’re a filing clerk with a couple of pugs and your most exciting hobby is joining the local Gilbert & Sullivan society.  Still love ’em.

Ehhh, so, – ‘Under The Bus’, I think.  Yeah.  Yeah.  We’ll go with that.

I guess now is the time for that promised simply appalling wolf drawin’, right?  Seein’ as how it fits with this week’s subject, and all.  Boy, it’s difficult to pick the least worst, though.  They’re all pretty bad.

wolf 3 - Copy

Hey!  As a thumbprint it doesn’t look too bad!  I’ll have you know.

Advertisements

What I’ve been reading – David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling GiantsDavid and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked the biblical stuff about David and Goliath – the interpretation that David’s victory was about the tactics and ruthlessness of the underdog, rather than a heavenly blessing, was very interesting. The chapter about the Northern Ireland troubles was very depressing though. I loved the bit about the Resistance in WWII France – the community that basically said, ‘We’ve got our Jews, you come get ’em if you want ’em, see what you get!’ was – well, almost funny, although you feel bad laughing at something so serious.

I often finish a Gladwell book feeling as if I’ve been entertained, but not sure what I’m supposed to have really learned. This is one of those.

View all my reviews

What I’ve been reading – Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really love this book, although I’m not sure why considering just how depressing it is. I think perhaps just because of that. Ehrenreich truly tells it like it is, and there’s none of the sugarcoating of economic abuse and exploitation that you get with even supposedly impartial media like the BBC and UK liberal press these days. Also I’m into it just because I love memoir beyond any reasonable point and every detail of Ehrehreich’s wilfully grim and dispiriting experiences is fascinating to me.

There is a temptation, as a reader, to keep second-guessing her choices, and the choices of her more truly blue/pink collar colleagues. To think and hope, wishfully, deludedly, that given the same circumstances one would do better, would rise above somehow and bootstrap one’s way up. It’s perhaps the same ‘blame the victim’ mentality associated with rape, bullying or whistleblowers – it feels so much safer to convince yourself that the system works, the target slipped up and was at fault somehow, and it could never happen to you. But it ain’t so, bud.

View all my reviews

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich – Goodreads book review

16424354411_81d24cdcca_z
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in AmericaNickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really love this book, although I’m not sure why considering just how depressing it is. I think perhaps just because of that. Ehrenreich truly tells it like it is, and there’s none of the sugarcoating of economic abuse and exploitation that you get with even supposedly impartial media like the BBC and UK liberal press these days. Also I’m into it just because I love memoir beyond any reasonable point and every detail of Ehrehreich’s wilfully grim and dispiriting experiences is fascinating to me.

There is a temptation, as a reader, to keep second-guessing her choices, and the choices of her more truly blue/pink collar colleagues. To think and hope, wishfully, deludedly, that given the same circumstances one would do better, would rise above somehow and bootstrap one’s way up. It’s perhaps the same ‘blame the victim’ mentality associated with rape, bullying or whistleblowers – it feels so much safer to convince yourself that the system works, the target slipped up and was at fault somehow, and it could never happen to you. But it ain’t so, bud.

View all my reviews

Image – DustinGinetz.Photography on Flickr, public domain.