My Summer Lair featuring Meghan Daum (The Problem with Everything)
Published on: February 4 2020
My Summer Lair Chapter #142: Is This Book (In A Way) Thinking Out Loud?
From the 1992 song Tennessee by Arrested Development:
“Now I see the importance of history
Why my people be in the mess that they be
Many journeys to freedom made in vain
By brothers on the corner playing ghetto games
I ask you Lord why you enlightened me
Without the enlightenment of all my folks
He said cause I set myself on a quest for truth
And he was there to quench my thirst
But I am still thirsty
The Lord allowed me to drink some more
He said what I am searching for are
The answers to all which are in front of me
The ultimate truth started to get blurry.”
Make curiosity a habit; broaden your thinking so it’s not reduced or suffering from being black and white. One of the many inspiring takeaways from The Problem with Everything: My Journey Through the New Culture Wars by Meghan Daum.
A society is only as strong as its readers. On page 59 Meghan writes: “As I see it, the eye-roll GIF is the most cavalier and snot-nosed form of retort since “talk to the hand.” If you disagree with someone on ideological grounds, the reasonable response is to either lay out your own argument or, if the provocation is indeed too tiresome, disengage altogether. Disengaging does not make you, as they say now, “complicit in oppression” (or, as we used to say, “part of the problem”). It suggests you have better things to do, which, let’s face it, is the kind of suggestion that drives Twitter trolls and ideological opponents berserk. I can’t for the life of me see why a GIF of Emma Stone rolling her eyes in disgust is considered a substitute for a counterargument. I don’t see how saying “fuck” all the time makes you sound tough when it’s actually laziness incarnate.”
Whew this is refreshing. The wrong can “feel” like a loud majority but you are not alone. Those of us who’ve chosen rationality as our North Star (as opposed to the unsatisfying narcissism of retweets and likes) must find ways to rudder our pop culture slowly (painfully) back to intelligence. It’s not easy but it can and should be done.