An admitted foot twiddler, hard-worker, and fast talker, this nerdlette has long been told her problems–both physical and mental–were the result of an “over-stressed” lifestyle.
so it was with remarkable pleasure that I read Peggy Orenstien’s piece, Stress Test in the NY Times.
Orenstien argues that Americans, particularly women, over-attribute our diseases to stress. Much like hysteria and the wandering uterus, the ambiguous stress seems to have a distinctly oppressive undertone. Its so hard to do what you are doing–working, being a parent, being a modern woman–that you are harming your body. The insidious underlying suggestion–nature did not intend for you to be living the way you do. And your physical illness demonstrates that you are unfit to cope with modern life.
We of the postfeminist generation grew up being told we could do anything, be anything, if we just put our minds to it. Yet, if we have the power to create our own fates, wouldn’t the corollary be that we’re also responsible for our own misfortunes? And, in a kind of double magical thinking, shouldn’t we be able to cure ourselves using the same indefatigable will?
Susan Sontag noted that a culture’s maladies are apparent in the emotional causes it attributes to illness. In the Victorian period, cancer was “caused” by excessive family obligations or hyper-emotionalism. In the 1970s it was “caused” by isolation and suppressed anger. So the assertion that stress underlies 99 percent of illness may indicate more about the healthy than the sick. Stress is our burden, our bogyman, and reducing it is the latest all-purpose talisman against adversity’s randomness. And maybe it helps. Maybe meditating and letting go of my anger at people who drive for miles with their left-turn signal flashing would improve the quality of my life, if not its length. Or maybe it would be more the equivalent of forcing a New Yorker to live in rural Maine.
Living in very very laidback California beach towns, I struggled for years with the feeling that I was somehow “high-strung” or “over-anxious.” I felt emotionally immature or faulted in someway as I squirmed and read on the beach–took to hard partying and loaded on extra-curriculars.
When I left college, I adapted–found a job that put me in constant touch with outside visitors and researching outside places. It wasn’t until I got to New York, and found myself immersed in a city with almost endless cultural activity, that I realized I was not emotionally flawed–just really fucking bored!
sunset shot of eliasson’s gates and a little manhattanhenge action from chelsea….also
Ikea came to Brooklyn and I followed like a lemming over the cliff. I came away with a new shelving unit and set of great post-urban landscape photos. Since marveling at the flaming smokestack light shows on family trips through Gary Indiana, this nerdlette has been a sucker for post-industrial detritus..
oh joss, keeping summer spicy!
ONE WEEK ONLY! AN INTERNET MINISERIES EVENT!
“Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog” will be streamed, LIVE (that part’s not true), FREE (sadly, that part is) right on Drhorrible.com, in mid-July. Specifically:
ACT ONE (Wheee!) will go up Tuesday July 15th.
ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th.
ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th.
All acts will stay up until midnight Sunday July 20th. Then they will vanish into the night, like a phantom (but not THE Phantom – that’s still playing. Like, everywhere.)
New wave pioneers Devo are suing McDonalds for copyright infringement. The infringing item: a happy meal toy named New Wave Nigel who sports the signature red flower pot hat. A tie-in to American Idol, Nigel sings a Devo-esque song.
“This New Wave Nigel doll that they’ve created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it’s copyrighted and trademarked, bassist Gerald Casale told AAP.
“They didn’t ask us anything. Plus, we don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly offended.”
Now I know that I risk sounding like a snob, I hate American Idol. I find the whole program tiresome, grating, and downright vile. If the show was just mean mockery of clueless and desperate countrymen, I could ignore it like so much Jerry Springer, but the winners feel like spiritless drones.
Look, I am totally unabashed about my love for certain pop culture and television items. This just happens to really not be one of them.
So I say to Mark Motherbaugh (in addition to high-five on the rugrats theme) whip them boys, whip them good.
Studio Monte Rosa is a special mountain hut, which has been planned for the Swiss Alpine Club (SAC) by the Department of Architecture. In the middle of a natural reserve with extreme alpine conditions, yet energeticaly to 90% self-contained and self-sufficient.
In splendid isolation, on the edge of a glacier in pristine wilderness, the hut will be able to host 125 guests in the restaurant and hotel with very little environmental impact. The four floors will be realised in a wooden pre-fabricated structure. The realisation of bio-gas generation for human waste recycling is also being considered.
Also its really spectacularly beautiful