Undercover as a low-wage worker

My very ability to work tirelessly hour after hour is a product of decades of better-than-average medical care, a high-protein diet, and workouts in gyms that charge $400 or $500 a year. If I am now a productive fake member of the working class, it’s because I haven’t been working, in any hard physical sense, long enough.

Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America



Housework isn’t gymwork

“If you want to be fit, just fire your cleaning lady and do it yourself.” “Ho ho,” is all I say, since… I can’t explain that this form of exercise is totally asymmetrical, brutally repetitive, and as likely to destroy the musculoskeletal structure as to strengthen it.

Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America

In other words, this is bullshit.

Harley Davidson’s Unique Selling Proposition

Seated next to the head of marketing for Harley Davidson Motorcycles, I asked the gentleman why Harley was the premium brand in the world of motorcycles, year after year. He responded:

We allow overweight middle-aged white guys to dress up in leather on the weekends and ride a Harley through small towns and villages scaring the hell out of locals.

That is about as succinct a description of a unique selling proposition as I have ever heard.


(Source unknown – but hey the writer is quoting some guy anyway).



Has social media stunted our ability to be social?

Social networking provides breadth but rarely depth, and in-person contact is what we crave, even if online contact seems to take away some of that craving. In the end, the online interaction works best as a supplement, not a replacement for in-person contact. The cost of all of our electronic connectedness appears to be that it limits our biological capacity to connect with other people.

Daniel Levitin, The Organized Mind


(Actually this might have been from Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance, I am not sure. Poor record keeping sorry)

Why loners kill people

Had he simply killed himself, as so many postings after the incident said he should have, Katou would not have been grieved or even missed. Only by killing someone else, as Akagi pointed out, could his life register in the national imaginary at all. To call attention to the ungrievability of his own life then, Akagi killed others who would be much more grieved than himself.

Unsourced – yeah sometimes I lose track of the author and title. It’s from some book on Japan (duh)

Visible Christians and their tips

The worst, for some reason, are the Visible Christians – like the ten-person table, all jolly and sanctified after Sunday night service, who run me mercilessly and then leave me $1 on a $92 bill.

Or the guy with the crucifixion T-shirt (SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO) who complains that his baked potato is too hard and his iced tea too icy (I cheerfully fix both) and leave no tip at all.

As a general rule, people wearing crosses or WWJD? (“What Would Jesus Do?”) buttons look at us disapprovingly no matter what we do, as if they were confusing waitressing with Mary Magdalene’s original profession

Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed


Which reminds me of the story of this asshole who didn’t tip but instead wrote on his receipt that he only paid his taxes to God, or something like that.

I wonder if it is causation or correlation. Did more churchgoing lead to more miserly behavior? (Not likely if concepts such as generosity, charity, and love for fellow human beings are preached) Perhaps its some other factor, such as demographics, that leads to both more visible “Christian” expressions and more miserly behavior.