Feb 3

“One of our time’s great sociological questions is why we filled downtime back up with work, and the reason is it’s better than alcoholism. At some point during the Truman Administration home life became more stressful than work life, where stressful is defined either as hysterical drama or rheumatismy boredom, and by Reagan II the home was no longer a respite from modern society’s incessant demands to produce or at the very least a place to get a nap. Home became work, it became a work, and not coincidentally this parallels precisely the history of homework. (“But don’t you think kids get too much homework nowadays?” Sure, if you’re doing it for them, you have become so myopic about your kids’ possible trajectories that not only do you think faking their grades is their only hope, you think that will work.)”

“Work, email, and Target’s hours, expand to fill the time available, by request. We took one look at the void and lack of interesting 5pm TV and started texting to anyone as fast as we could. The truth is we’re not overwhelmed by work emails, we just laid them on top to make it seem like we’re buried in work. Here’s your #OWS update: work doesn’t bleed over into home because capitalism is evil, work bleeds over to home because we have no idea what else to do at home, and thank God we can blame it on work. “But capitalism reduces human relations to market relationships.” Oh my god, feed Bobby for a second, I have to totally tweet that.”

“So because social media is mostly a waste of time, we should shut it off and be more present in our offline relationships?”  No, that’s what the internet paid Randi to tell you so that the default=plugged.  This standard criticism of social media and texting is backwards: it doesn’t detract from real life relationships, it represents a much desired break from them.   Having to be with someone, especially someone you’re not having sex with, especially someone you’re not having sex with anymore, is very, very hard; having people see you, especially when you’re not amidst the symbols that you believe form your “real” identity– say, a hedge fund trader who has to be home with the kids or a pretty girl in a sweats at a supermarket– this is a kind of exposure far more embarassing than any selfie.  What if they confuse that as the real you?

“(“You know, you could use an editor.”  You could use some free association, it may help you see unconscious connections which drive your life.  “I find that weed helps.”  Amateur.)”

“Texting and social media’s slowness gives them their power for this purpose.  You read a text, and it lingers, it keeps your attention because it’s all there is; and then you respond with a piece of your real self, and wait for a response… what’s happening is time travel– while you are on pause, the rest of not-your life goes faster.  It is far more efficient at killing time than a phone call.”

“The book itself isn’t meant to be read, it can’t be read, it can only be hurled.”

“However, not all women are the target demo of Randi’s lip synching, the CEO of General Dynamics is a woman, I think she has a higher security clearance than the entire Senate, and I know for a fact she builds alien spaceships, why not interview her about how she uses social media to promote her brand and make connections and break ceilings?  Because there’s no Like button for hard work or triple integrals, which is doubly interesting because calculus was invented to make hard work easier.”

“The easy “male” criticism is to say that too many baby pictures reveals her head isn’t in the game, she’s not focused on capitalism and destroying the competition so her boss can make more money.  “Wait, what?”   Don’t overthink it, it’s a magic trick, you’re being permitted to debate the consequences because you’ve unknowingly accepted the form of the argument.”

“It’s not that babies are more interesting to women than men, it is that babypictures are more interesting to women than men.  Men would rather look at a picture of a used condom than a baby, this is a scientific fact.  They get that the baby is precious to you, but there is nothing otherwise in a pictureto connect to.  Furthermore, showing a baby picture to a man is an aggressive act because it demands a reaction, you showing him a picture of your baby is entirely for your benefit and not at all for his, it is a dare, in much the same way as a woman on a first date telling you she doesn’t play games is a dare, a dare you shouldn’t take, trust me on this, overpay the check in cash and run.  I’ll grant that there is some level of bonding that occurs between women over baby pictures, worth exploring later, but not for men: men will only (and rarely) show photos of their children doingsomething, the activity is what represents the kid as kid and them as a parent.  Showing a man a baby picture is equivalent to showing a woman a picture of his car.  “A #baby is more important than a car, dontcha think?”  Yes, but a picture of a baby isn’t more important than a picture of a car.  “Yeah, but–”  I know.  Logic is mean.”

“In the world where the media postulates social media as an absolute requirement of the modern era– the era where everything is fetishized– no one is permitted to make the distinction between a value and the picture of a value, they are made equivalent, so daring to criticize Randi’s baby pictures is made to sound like misogyny or misobaby.  It’s not. I love food but if you ask me to look at a picture of a food I will poison your toothpaste.  Be careful: the point is not that a woman shouldn’t post her baby pictures, the point is that the system cannot profit from her baby except as a photo, so that in order to get them to do it more– to be online more– the system teaches them to overvalue the photo; and this must necessarily be at the expense of the object itself.  #porn.”

“But sexism can be run in the reverse, too, for women’s “benefit.”   Example: We say things like “the public has a ravenous hunger for celebrity photos,” but this is demonstrably untrue, paparazzi pics are almost entirely a product for the female demo, no man wants to see a picture of any of the Kates or their babies or their homes.  However you will never hear this said out loud in the media, they will tell you (and you will parrot) that the greedy force that creates the paparazzi is “America” or “the public’s obsession with celebrity”– men are lumped in with women.  Men’s relationship to celebrity  after teenage years is completely different, the pictures matter much less than “information”– a pic of Lebron is worth way less than his stats.

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