July 17, 2014

"Put yourself on cruise control and go into limbo for a year... forget about success for a while..."

"... get yourself an ordinary job, an ordinary place to live, and live without worrying about what Americans call, in uppercase, the Future."
Get a dead-end job... Tell your employer the truth: that you’ll be around only a year or so, but promise to work hard....

Live alone....

Have a radio for emergency news, but no TV. Read, read, read....

Stay chaste during your limbo year. Sex ruins reflection and self-knowledge....

35 comments:

The Crack Emcee said...

Living like a poor person.

Things Rich People Like

rhhardin said...

Success is only a feminist goal.

Guys are more likely to like their jobs. The process is the goal.

traditionalguy said...

On Walden Pond. Brilliant new idea. Ring the bell and quit. And also eat vegan while you are in your stupor.

Sounds like the perfect vacation for introverts who recognize no duties to others.

MadisonMan said...

Take my advice:

Move away from your house. Rent it out. Find a place far from the city, in the middle of nowhere, just a shack, really, and live there for a year. Eschew all forms of medication, including antibiotics. Eat only what you can scavenge from the forests. Drink water from the stream a mile away. Die from exposure.

It'll be worth it!

Eric said...

I love Florence King.

Ann Althouse said...

This advice made me think of one of my favorite poems, by Alexander Pope:

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.

cassandra lite said...

I already did all that, as a teen. Which was why I couldn't wait to grow up.

This reminds me of Greens who romanticize tons of horseshit in the street.

DanTheMan said...

OMG! Stop the pressess. I agree 100% with Crack.

Surely this is a sign of the End Times.

Michael K said...

Better advice would be to join the military and learn to be an adult.

Skeptical Voter said...

Hey cruise control is how I'm going to get through the remaining part of Obama's second term. If I can just pretend he doesn't exist, I might make it without tearing my hair out.

Robert Cook said...

"Sounds like the perfect vacation for introverts who recognize no duties to others."

"Duties to others"?

What are you...some kind of collectivist?!

tim maguire said...

It's called taking a year off before college. Rich person's problem? No, anybody college bound. I highly recommend it, it's the last chance you'll get before retirement and comes at a time when the lessons learned will last a lifetime.

And why can't we talk about things that aren't relevant to poor people? Of course we can, we do all the time. This is one of those objections so absurd that even the person making it doesn't buy it.

traditionalguy said...

Cookie @2:37...You know the answer. All social life is collectivist. Consider family, extended family, Home Owners Assn.,Church Sunday School Class, Bank Board, political campaigns, fund raising for Boy Scouts, fund raising for Christian Evangelical missionaries...the list goes on and on.

Which is why we don't need any stinking socialists to take over the world. We do life better ourselves. We apply common sense and set much better goals than a socialist hoax cover for Malthusian Exterminations to steal the lands of the weak.

Richard Dolan said...

So it makes you think of Alexander Pope?

It reminded me of Pico Iyer's book about Japan (the Lady and the Monk), where he describes various Seekers after Truth who head for Kyoto to discover life's core through zen meditation. Iyer talked about one in particular, a conservatory graduate of Oberlin, who sold his instruments and moved to Kyoto in search of the Answer. He spent seven years in a zen monastery, only to succumb to the siren call of a Japanese woman with whom he had been having an illicit affair and fathered a child. Alas, all that meditation made him impossible to live with, but he did accomplish the seemingly impossible in uniting in interest his zen masters at the temple with the lady-love he betrayed them for (and then broke up with her soon after moving in).

Putting himself into the limbo of zen meditation according to the strict regime of his Kyoto temple turned our erstwhile Oberlin grad into a sex obsessed wanderer, unable to maintain a sustained relationship with another.

Just further proof that limbo is not a place you want to be.

Eleanor said...

I live near Walden Pond. It's about a mile from the center of Concord. Thoreau was a fraud. He wasn't out in the "wilderness'. He lived close enough to his family to go home for dinner and get his laundry done. But the idea is quaint, as is this one.

Scott M said...

Yes.

Lower your standards. It will do marvelous things for your self-esteem.

Carpe the hell out of that diem.

Just Mike said...

thanks for the poem. didn't know it. loved it

Anonymous said...

A woman who would graduate from college in 1957.

Wonder how big her trust fund was.

Sigivald said...

"Things Rich People Like"?

Florence King made and makes a living as a writer, and not a super-famous one.

And without, to my knowledge, some Rich Husband type to pay her way.

Thus rich is unlikely to describe her, though I don't know the details of her finances.

I realize this is hard to believe, but some people honestly do seem to like that kind of life.

(And I concur with others upstream - unless the person doing this has a family to support, they have no "duty to others" it would interfere with.)

Anonymous said...

The Crack Emcee said...
"Living like a poor person.

Things Rich People Like" to tell us to do.

They will take the dead end jobs from the ordinary people who need to do the dead end jobs to earn a living.

Let them eat cake.

averagejoe said...

This is what president Barry the Bear is doing right? Checking out, going down to the Shake Shack for burgers and fries, sucking down brewskis with his worshippers, jetting off to drum up some dough from his wealthy acolytes... Oh yeah, some possible tragedy might have happened somewhere, but you know who really sucks- Republicans!

Wen said...

Green

Moose said...

I'll tell my family I'm finding myself. They'll understand...

MaxedOutMama said...

I found myself ruefully reflecting that as good as this advice basically is, the "dead-end jobs" are no longer so plentiful, and what jobs many will get will not even get these individuals a room in a house.

Times are so tough that living alone is flat-out unaffordable for many, esp. if the individual graduated with college loans.

But the "cut the media, read, read, read" advice is still excellent.

MaxedOutMama said...

MadisonMan - I had a tough day, and thank you so much for the belly laugh!

Ah, yes.

rcommal said...

Ordinary jobs.

I've "threatened" for years to list the jobs I've done specifically for pay (meaning, the intent was not to just do something, but to do it for money for myself, as opposed to having to do work, before that, no choice, for which I occasionally got a bit of candy money) since I was in mid-middle school, which collection is quite the mix.

I've held off because, God knows, it's not my kid's fault that a) I had a kid so late and b) that I had so many experiences that would be inappropriate to shove off on him. What a different time, and he already has to do stuff that makes him weird, by today's standards.

--

Anyway, I get the point, and I am glad for it (because there are features of it both quite appropriate and fruitful)

AND

also

LOL.

rcommal said...

Blogger The Crack Emcee said...

Living like a poor person.

Things Rich People Like

7/17/14, 12:58 PM
Blogger rhhardin said...

Success is only a feminist goal.

Guys are more likely to like their jobs. The process is the goal.


---

Well, dang to the wow.

(All those jobs schooled me about juxtapositions, which, again, makes me all the more grateful for the experiences at a young and then, later, younger age.)

rcommal said...

Happy the man, whose wish and care
A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
In winter fire.

Blest! who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease
Together mix'd; sweet recreation,
And innocence, which most does please,
With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.


Great, GREAT, comment, Althouse. In a different time, I would have said "perfect."

The way you sometimes turn corners on irony, observation, assumption and satisfaction does still intrigue me enough, to this day, to inspire me to return to your blog however sporadically and even cynically. Believe it or not (and I say you should) that's true.

--

(That said, given that you have an "eponymous blog" which you have nurtured and tended as a garden, an art form and as a virtual child for more than a decade now [and a significant decade, bloggerwise], I can hardly think that you think the following is a beacon or stance for you:

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
Tell where I lie.
"

--

Honestly.

rcommal said...

Times are so tough that living alone is flat-out unaffordable for many, esp. if the individual graduated with college loans.

Wasn't, isn't, it a relatively recent notion that individuals ought to be able to afford to live alone?

Surely THAT didn't become an entitlement that now has been betrayed as well?

rcommal said...

I strongly recommend *not* eschewing **all** medications. I also strongly recommend being skeptical about antibiotics, especially since both the full generation and the half-generation before me were profligate both in terms of demanding and using antibiotics and in failing to employ skepticism about them, leading to serious, verifiable issues.

We're not talking Jenny McCarthy here, folks, when it comes to antibiotics.

We're talking about too many of...

Curious George said...

"The Crack Emcee said...
Living like a poor person.

Things Rich People Like"

You lost crack at "job".

Anonymous said...

I wanted to do this when I was 22. Unfortunately I had student loans and credit card debt. Great advice for a trust fund kid though.

Anonymous said...

Get a dead-end job... Tell your employer the truth: that you’ll be around only a year or so, but promise to work hard....

Useless advice. If you say you're only going to be around for a year, you won't get hired in the first place.

Peter

Anglelyne said...

I get the impression that Sigivald is the only one here who read the piece and knows who Florence King is. (The rest is mostly one-track-mind projection with Crack, natch, leading the way.)

She was no trustafarian or gap-year dingbat, or, lol, mystic seeker, and it's comical to see her read that way. The plan did involve supporting oneself. Her advice is dated because there is no abundance of easily-obtained "dead-end jobs" available for young people in America now. But it was sound for its time and for the type of career she wanted to pursue.

rcommal said...

Anglelyne:

Your impression is at least incomplete.

Long-time reader of King, here. Looked forward to her columns--the original "corner" [that's a layered cultural reference, btw] at the back of National Review back in the day. Bought a number of her books many years, now, ago and they're still around, somewhere.