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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

An open letter to unemployed scholars who know French and Latin

Dear unemployed scholars,

Did you know that Jean Bodin's complete Six Books of the Republic has not been translated into English since 1606? That, as you may have noticed, was a long time ago. English has changed a lot since then. Plz get to work.

Love,
Miss Self-Important

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dear universe, please stop writing articles about Gen Y's First World Problems

People, there is a world-historical crisis afoot: twentysomethings have to work multiple part-time jobs in order to live in really expensive apartments, take vacations, and avoid contravening their values, which include being happy by not working in an office. Because, really, what is their choice:
But full-time jobs don’t suit everyone. Ms. Gassman, for example, has been offered a full-time job at SoulCycle, complete with full benefits, but she doesn’t want it. “I wouldn’t be able to go on auditions in the middle of the day,” she explained. “Of course, it stresses me out not to have health insurance, but what is my choice? Work in an office and be unhappy? Being happy is a superhigh value to me.
But, as it turns out, a studio on the Upper West Side is also a "superhigh value" to her.

In case readers persist against all reason in finding their motives puzzling, anthropological experts on the native habits of this exotic tribe are available to answer your questions:
Professor Snyder at Southern Cal doesn’t see multiple job-holding as a trend that will disappear anytime soon. “The likelihood of this generation devoting their professional life to just one job or career at the same time is simply counterintuitive to their worldview,” he said. “I think we would be seeing this generation pursuing multiple jobs and careers at once even in a robust economy.”
Oh, it's counterintuitive to their worldview. Ok then. "The Economy Sucks" is the evident pretext of this article, but the actual argument is, maybe the economy sucks, but more importantly, some people prefer to be full-time visionaries (or, “aesthetic consultants”) and only part-time employees, even if that equation doesn't quite resolve in favor of their savings account, whatev.

I realize this is kind of a Styles style piece, but what are we to learn from all these laments about the supposed predations of "the economy" that are actually about the poor decision-making skills of twentysomethings. Is the economy bad, or are the people who volunteer themselves for these articles morons? Does the NYT really want to pose this as a mutually exclusive proposition? This is undermining my effort to argue that labor ought to be compensated (isn't the NYT onboard with that? it is unionized, after all) so that vapid people who don't want real jobs can navel-gaze about their difficult trade-offs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Skokie in the NYT!

Admittedly, a passing mention in an otherwise uninteresting article, but I'll take what I can get:
The Rev. Michael J. Garanzini, president of Loyola University, a Jesuit university in Chicago, said of Mr. Patel’s group: “They don’t have the knowledge base or experience in theology, but they have provided the data on where our kids are. The world we grew up in was all Irish, Italian and German. Now it’s Vietnamese, and Poles and Jewish kids from Skokie. We are not automatically able to reflect on their reality.”

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

An open letter to purveyors of faux leather vintage goods on Etsy

Dear purveyors,

The little ruse whereby you call pleather items "vegan" is clever, but ultimately ineffectual. By these standards, high fructose corn syrup and nuclear bombs are also vegan. Just tell me if the leather is real or not.

No love,
Miss Self-Important