Culture, politics, occasionally technology, Astoria.
Maria Bamford, The Special Special Special (via thatjessjohnson)
I am a person who has had to figure out self-care late in the game. I have been, for most of my life, really bad at it — so bad they had to take me to the hospital, at one point, to teach me things like “you should always eat food” and “sleep is necessary for humans.” But I have also been working from home, and freelancing, for several years now, without collapsing into a puddle with skin at any point except those one or two times when I did. For the underemployed among us, I hereby share some tips that I have figured out.
- Every day should start (after breakfast or meditation or prosperity sacrifices to the great god Zorhoth or whatever it is you do) with something you do to earn money. If you have an article to write, you should be writing it. If you don’t have an article to write, you should be pitching. If you’re not pitching, you should be reading or watching or listening to something you need to read or watch or listen to for a piece. WHILE MAKING NOTES. AND ON DEADLINE. Consuming something because you “might write about it later” does not count. Sure, you could write about that one time you sat on the couch and watched an entire season of “Doctor Who,” but it would be an article called “The Saddest Day Ever: Knowing I Would One Day Die, I Chose To Kill Twenty-Four Hours of My Precious Human Life In This Fashion,” and people would only read it so that they could laugh at you and feel better about their own terrible work habits. So do not do that, is my point here.
- If you are not doing any of the above, you should be sending out resumes.
- Do this for as many hours as possible, taking breaks only to put food in your face so that you may live.
- During this time, the non-email sector of the Internet does not exist. Nor does TV. Nor does bothering your roommate and/or live-in partner. This may seem like a very strict and self-punitive course of action, because people in offices fuck around on the Internet all the time, and you know that, and what is the point of working from home if you can’t relax, but here is the thing: Those people also have a real office, with real, somewhat structured hours, and real in-person bosses, who can ask them for things in person and yell at them in person if they screw up. Having those things provides them with assurance that they are “working,” even when they are posting the latest news about which Internet memes amuse them on their Tumblargs. Having assurance that they are “working” provides them with “self-respect.” If you are not the meanest boss you have ever had, you will have no assurance that you are working, and hence no self-respect, and hence you will feel like a lazy failure. Self-discipline and self-care are not opposed, here. The one thing I keep learning is that they are pretty much the same thing.
- The portion of the Internet on which you can Google, Tumblr- or Twitter-search yourself especially does not exist, during these hours. My boyfriend Googles and Tumblr-searches me. My mother has a Google alert with my name on it. If there is something nice or important, those people will let me know. Googling yourself is like masturbating, except that in this instance, you are masturbating while also being Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive, so masturbating involves a lot of crying and feeling pathetic and alone and occasionally somewhat murderous, and also you don’t have an orgasm. Do you want to be Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive? No! So don’t go to an off-brand Denny’s to arrange to have your fickle mistress murdered by Jacob from Lost, and also don’t Google yourself, ever.
Dennis Potter’s final interview
As of this writing: Hulu: Tokyo Story, The Passion of Joan of Arc. Netflix: 8 1/2 Amazon: The Searchers
That’s less than half across three services (and neither of the top two). Netflix Streaming and Hulu Plus each cost $7.99. Amazon Instant Video is only available via an Amazon Prime Membership, which is $79, which is $6.6 a month. A combined $22.58 per month. And of course that’s without any extras.
The thing that strikes me about Lehrer’s observations is how trite and sweeping they were. Inspiration often follows frustration? Intuition is often wrong? I’ve seen that a million times, and in the case of Thinking Fast and Slow, stated with more rigorous science behind it. We want such sweeping statements about the human brain and how it works, and humility before the unknown is devalued in our culture right now. There’s a quote from Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia that I’ll dig up which explicates the joy of ignorance, of knowing how much there is to discover yet.
Hypocrisy note: I have not read Lehrer’s books, only his blog posts and excerpts from his writing.