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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

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20

The Promise of Misery

Communal revenge against the apostles of positivity

(missing author)

3
terms
2
notes

by Becca Rothfield

? (2018). The Promise of Misery. The Baffler, 41, pp. 20-28

(adjective) suffering from extreme poverty; impoverished / (adjective) deficient / (adjective) totally lacking in something specified

22

distinguish the wealthy wheat from the indigent chaff

—p.22 missing author
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

distinguish the wealthy wheat from the indigent chaff

—p.22 missing author
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

a brief moral saying taken from ancient or popular or other sources, often quoted without context; as an adjective, means either given to aphoristic expression, or just referring to an aphoristic expression

23

The sententious tracts of the Gilded Age had always been aimed at breadwinners and would-be financiers, which is to say, at men

forgot

—p.23 missing author
uncertain
2 years, 10 months ago

The sententious tracts of the Gilded Age had always been aimed at breadwinners and would-be financiers, which is to say, at men

forgot

—p.23 missing author
uncertain
2 years, 10 months ago
24

Perhaps the purpose of this whole song and dance is to convince the marginalized that they are to blame for their own marginalization—to prevent ill-treated female caretakers (and of course the bulk of caretakers are female and many of them are ill-treated) from comparing notes. Or perhaps self-help is supposed to insulate men from the unseemly display of female frustration. “It is often a requirement upon oppressed people that we smile and be cheerful,” writes philosopher Marilyn Frye. “Anything but the sunniest countenance exposes us to being perceived as mean, bitter, angry, or dangerous.” Whether it is designed to sabotage sad women or console uncomfortable men, the happiness industry has gone a long way toward stigmatizing public admissions of suffering. The self isn’t even the one that self-help is helping: it merits its name only insofar as it perpetuates the illusion that social problems are located at the level of the individual—only insofar as it isolates the marginalized, sealing them off from the social body.

—p.24 missing author 2 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps the purpose of this whole song and dance is to convince the marginalized that they are to blame for their own marginalization—to prevent ill-treated female caretakers (and of course the bulk of caretakers are female and many of them are ill-treated) from comparing notes. Or perhaps self-help is supposed to insulate men from the unseemly display of female frustration. “It is often a requirement upon oppressed people that we smile and be cheerful,” writes philosopher Marilyn Frye. “Anything but the sunniest countenance exposes us to being perceived as mean, bitter, angry, or dangerous.” Whether it is designed to sabotage sad women or console uncomfortable men, the happiness industry has gone a long way toward stigmatizing public admissions of suffering. The self isn’t even the one that self-help is helping: it merits its name only insofar as it perpetuates the illusion that social problems are located at the level of the individual—only insofar as it isolates the marginalized, sealing them off from the social body.

—p.24 missing author 2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) a painkilling drug or medicine

25

pain belongs in therapy, fortified by the anodyne paintings and muted by the padded walls

—p.25 missing author
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

pain belongs in therapy, fortified by the anodyne paintings and muted by the padded walls

—p.25 missing author
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
27

Here’s another way of understanding why the “self” belongs in self-help. Self-help concerns the self because it excludes others—because it actively discourages acts of intervention or compassion. Self-help is for selves because it is selfish on the giving end (that is, the not-giving end) and lonely on the receiving end (that is, the not-receiving end). It isn’t hard to see that the shame that attends female unhappiness compounds the initial unhappiness, which might have been bearable. It was bad to fear planes tilting up the steep sky, bad to ascend the uphill days, but it was worse when men told me to jettison my anxiety. Then I was anxious about being anxious in addition to just being anxious. Then my unhappiness wasn’t just unpleasant but also unspeakable, and I had to choke on it whenever I tried to gulp it back.

—p.27 missing author 2 years, 10 months ago

Here’s another way of understanding why the “self” belongs in self-help. Self-help concerns the self because it excludes others—because it actively discourages acts of intervention or compassion. Self-help is for selves because it is selfish on the giving end (that is, the not-giving end) and lonely on the receiving end (that is, the not-receiving end). It isn’t hard to see that the shame that attends female unhappiness compounds the initial unhappiness, which might have been bearable. It was bad to fear planes tilting up the steep sky, bad to ascend the uphill days, but it was worse when men told me to jettison my anxiety. Then I was anxious about being anxious in addition to just being anxious. Then my unhappiness wasn’t just unpleasant but also unspeakable, and I had to choke on it whenever I tried to gulp it back.

—p.27 missing author 2 years, 10 months ago