September 10, 2019

"The better you are at what you do, the more committed you are, the more you specialize, and the fewer options you end up with. It’s like the only way not to get trapped is to be a hobo."

Says a character in Nell Zink's "Doxology," which I've been reading.

And this is the thinking of the same character, a woman in her early 20s:
The internet was the hunting ground of pushovers, douches, and tools. Nothing and no one turned her on. Falling asleep at night, rather than review the nonevents of her endless days, she pondered her lost future. She had been raised to help save the planet, and she couldn’t. To help save the planet, she had to find out who was saving the planet and offer to help. Nobody was saving the planet. Was it all just a trick that had been played on her?

29 comments:

Oso Negro said...

Does she end up working the night shift in the lab at a manufacturing plant?

Michael K said...

I'm reading Henry Ford's autobiography. Sounds like him.

Ken B said...

It's true, and it's why I tell young men not to be a sex god. I am so constrained now.

Bob Boyd said...

There's no escape. Every hobo winds up a hobologist.

madAsHell said...

Was it all just a trick that had been played on her?

I think we re-discover slackers every 20-25 years.

If life is a simulation, then I think I know where the resource leaks are!!

Darrell said...

Volunteer to help Trump get re-elected. Save the world.

Robert Cook said...

"Volunteer to help Trump get re-elected. Save the world."

Well, which is it? Make a choice!

gilbar said...

oregon passed a high minimum wage, this led to self checkout grocery stores
this led to unions pushing laws to restrict self checkouts

What next? a law (and then, a wall?) to prohibit people from moving out or oregon?

Darrell said...

Cookie. it's BOTH. You Marxist cocksuckers destroy everything you touch. Trump delayed your plans. Let's hope SMOD comes the day you take power again.

mccullough said...

Specialization is for insects

rcocean said...

Wherever you go, there you are. You can give some Peeps a $1 Billion and they'll be unhappy & end up dead in a Jail Cell "Suicide". Other peeps are happy being Dharma Bums and making $10/hour.

LordSomber said...

"Punk rockers wanna get famous and save the world but get all confused and shit after 9/11."

Sounds legit.

madAsHell said...

You Marxist cocksuckers destroy everything you touch. Trump delayed your plans.

Marxist cocksucker is no better than playing the racist card.

I'm pretty sure that Cookie has never met Trump. Trump could card less about Cookie's agenda.

madAsHell said...

card less......yikes!!....care less

Mark said...

So -- Soylent Green is playing now.

To the hyper-density, uber-development regime here in Arlington, it looks downright sparse. Over-population and inadequate resources is a virtue here.

Sebastian said...

"Nobody was saving the planet."

Cuz the very notion is nonsensical. The planet is just there, it can't be "saved," and any claim that it can is misguided hubris. Since this is pretty obvious, the character realizes this, correct? Or does the reader need to suspend disbelief entirely and assume the character actually contemplates the notion seriously?

Limited Perspective said...

You could work hard at a lot of different things and either envy the specialist who was better than you at whatever you tried, or be satisfied that yes, I did build my own house while in business while being married and raising a family and having a vegetable garden and being a member of the church and the historic society and a political party and working on becoming a marksman and learning how to play the guitar and traveling and ... basically sucking at everything.

The regrets are, I wasn't excellent at anything. Except, maybe marriage.

traditionalguy said...

The explosion of bombs planted in NYC buildings by our own Government was a terrible reality. And until Trump became president no truth was allowed on the event outside of DC. Talk about a government colluding against us.

alanc709 said...

gilbar said...
"oregon passed a high minimum wage, this led to self checkout grocery stores
this led to unions pushing laws to restrict self checkouts

What next? a law (and then, a wall?) to prohibit people from moving out or oregon?"

That's the same reason why it's illegal to pump your own gas in Oregon. Nothing more tyrannical than a government that knows what's best for you.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I'm reading one of Scott Adams' books right now and he makes the same point, sort of. His observation is that the more skills you acquire, the more valuable you are. You don't have to be amazing at everything you do; in fact being pretty good at two skills is more valuable than being excellent at one.

Althouse is a great blogger and was presumably a great law professor. Two income streams + two sets of opportunities (she has the blogging to thank for Meade, for example) = better than one.

Mr. Pants has had a zillion different jobs and is great at many things; his current job is a VP at a large digital marketing firm; his e-commerce experience forms the bulk of his expertise but his many years of extracurricular involvement with Toastmasters led to his command of public speaking which opens far more doors in the business world than you might think. He can and does speak to audiences, frequently, and his ability to speak professionally and authoritatively makes him sound like the smartest and most competent guy you've ever met. Skill set A + skill set B = magic.

deepelemblues said...

That is some uninspired prose

To be kind

DavidUW97 said...

Save the world. By having children. Whom you rear with a deep appreciation for Western civilization. Everything else is secondary to this.

stlcdr said...

You only need to know more than anyone around you to be an expert. Or something like that.

John Lynch said...

BOY IT SURE SUCKS ADULTS HAVE TO MAKE CHOICES

Unknown said...

very nice

J Oliver said...

These clips could have been recorded out of the mouth of my youngest millennial daughter. She has paraphrased these thoughts many times.

Phidippus said...

The young lady asks: "Was it all just a trick that had been played on her?"

Yes.

Bill Peschel said...

"The internet was the hunting ground of pushovers, douches, and tools. "

Translation: "They're all phonies, except for you and me."

Whoops! Rewrite: "They're all phonies, except for me, and maybe you."

If I was her editor, I'd ask what pushovers were hunting for online. Someone to take advantage of them? I get the douches and tools part.

She sounds like Holden Caulfield in a skirt.

Biff said...

I've been told by wokescolds that "hobo" is no longer acceptable to use in polite conversation. Supposedly, it "stigmatizes a lifestyle" or something.