Barbara Ehrenriech is the woman who wrote Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. The first video is a shorter, funner version of the second video, which is the actual interview it was taken from. I have not watched the fourth video yet.

Tags: Barbara Ehrenreich, attitude, positive thinking, skepticism

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Has anybody been rubbing the Beck/Faux/Teabagger noses in the Gulf thing yet? The "socialism" that terrifies them is the only thing that could have prevented it.
Do they only know what mops and buckets are for? I'd rather ram the leaking wellhead up their asses. A big oily enema is all they need to get rid of the shit they're full of.
I'm betting a fair number of the trawler operators down there are small business owners that are card carrying teabaggers - if I was a reporter, that's who I'd be tracking down.
I remember the Native-American wannabes, and their claim that for the Earth to keep surviving, all we have to do is pay attention to it/keep wanting it to survive.

There are some things that I would absolutely love if they were true. Unfortunately they're not, and they're harming things more.
Maybe if we all went down to the gulf and smiled at it things would be all better.
Barbara kicks ass! I've read a couple of her books and seen a few other interviews and have come to really like her style. She's very informative without becoming preachy.
I liked Nickeled and Dimed and her editorial columns. She has a good understanding of people. I'll have to check this book out too.
Corporate America is full of gunpoint-positive-thinking on all levels. I've known people who pointed out problems with printers and copying machines that they knew how to fix. They were repeatedly ignored, and eventually fired for being troublemakers/complainers. Most corporate behavior is a giant facade and everyone knows it...the emperor's new clothes. You're supposed to have a boundless source of positive attitude despite being under scrutiny 24/7. (I realize my having this cynical realistic attitude is a major detriment to my getting a job. I envy my friends that don't have it.)

For me getting laid off turned out positive after I got done being depressed about it b/c I had savings, lived with family, and got to do some things I wouldn't have gotten to do if I was working. These "getting laid off is a good thing" seminars (given by the very people who just laid you off?!) are completely out of touch with the average person, though, being that most people have little to no savings, more expenses, and lived paycheck to paycheck. There is no positive side to that. ("Being homeless is actually a good experience--you're free of the responsibilities of owning a home?!)

Outsourcing specialists have also used positive thinking: "We're just freeing Americans up so that they have something better to do." Kind of hard to do all these better things when you don't have a job.

What (realistic) positive thinking can do: make you feel confident enough to try something, which may end in a desired outcome, or it may not. Make you feel happier in general. What it can't do: manipulate the physical world to do your bidding (even though everyone has opposing wishes) or make huge, complex problems magically go away.

Either way, positive or negative thinking don't come from a vacuum and a person who's had terrible experiences can't honestly turn on a happy switch. If "the secret" were true, why did negative thinking start existing in the first place? People would have begun life wishing for things and getting them.

Gunpoint positive thinking really is a great way to shut people up. Basically negative thinking becomes thoughtcrime, and anyone who does think negative will probably be driven to feel even worse. Judgmental optimists (what I call the Rhonda Byrne types) have the same system as religion. With religion, it's "your prayers weren't answered b/c you don't have enough faith" and with judgmental optimism it's "you're not getting what you want b/c you're not really thinking positive". It's a perfect system b/c no one can prove that they were thinking positive/had enough faith. I despise these people.

Ehrenreich also talks about excessive pessimism. There is also "depression chic" in some of our subcultures. It is equally dishonest and it's usually people taking things for granted. I've known people in 3rd world countries who worked 7 days a week and had a better attitude than some angsty teenagers. For shit's sake, if you have something good, acknowledge it! Just don't pretend everything is great when it isn't!
Hah, I love it when their own tightwaddedness comes back to bite them in the ass. I think that's what happened with the whole economy...they tried to save money by outsourcing or using machines instead of people, and then there weren't enough employed people to actually buy their products.
What I don't get is how your comment can jog Jaume's memory about a comment someone else made back in 2009 about toilet paper.

Jaume, do you have a photographic memory? Do you have that disorder where you never forget anything? You do this all the time. It's almost like magic.


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