These are just a few of the things I found interesting this week.
This post about poor people and status symbols. This quote is particularly powerful and it resonates:
Why do poor people make stupid, illogical decisions to buy status symbols? For the same reason all but only the most wealthy buy status symbols, I suppose. We want to belong. And, not just for the psychic rewards, but belonging to one group at the right time can mean the difference between unemployment and employment, a good job as opposed to a bad job, housing or a shelter, and so on. Someone mentioned on twitter that poor people can be presentable with affordable options from Kmart. But the issue is not about being presentable. Presentable is the bare minimum of social civility. It means being clean, not smelling, wearing shirts and shoes for service and the like. Presentable as a sufficient condition for gainful, dignified work or successful social interactions is a privilege. It’s the aging white hippie who can cut the ponytail of his youthful rebellion and walk into senior management while aging black panthers can never completely outrun the effects of stigmatization against which they were courting a revolution. Presentable is relative and, like life, it ain’t fair.
This post from Real Simple came up in my news feed Sunday evening, when I was feeling quite a bit of angst and unease about the week to come. There are a few things in there that I could start doing. I particularly like the to-ignore list.
Ever since I found a link to it in another blogger’s post, I’ve been loving The Bitter Southerner. This week’s offering is a photo essay about the duality of the South. We think of the South as this grand old dam, with the historic mansions and the genteel manners juxtaposed with the vibrancy of places like Atlanta and New Orleans. Underneath the polish, though, there is a whole different world that exists in tandem with the prosperity and the movement. These are photos that I’d like to take.
This post from Thought Catalog about things we need to start making time for again. I agree with many of them whole-heartedly, particularly 1, 3, 4, 5, 9, 16, and 17.
The Guardian’s update on Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing gives me lots to think about. I particularly like Jeannette Winterson’s list of 10 and Phillip Pullman’s statement.