Re: Balls

1

All obvious jokes banned.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:22 AM
horizontal rule
2

I don't want to bother saying something earnest about how awful Patterson is, and Labs just launched a preemptive strike on what I was going to say. Now I have to go think of an un-obvious joke.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
3

Goddammit, Fontana.

I get that it's a self-help book and so has to compete with the lowest common chakra/dietbook/martini success book, and I'm sure it's helpful to someone, but I'm a little peeved with the idea that the only problem women have getting ahead is that they act like such girls.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:36 AM
horizontal rule
4

snark, I know nothing about Patterson, so can you give us the short version of his awfulness? Just a bad novel writer, or other?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
5

Shut up, you cynical bastards! This quote WARMED MY HEART!

Although friends can be a little bit of a rubber ball as well. And let's be honest, for the types that make it big integrity often is too.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
6

I've got three bowling pins. Are you telling me I'm doing this wrong?


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
7
"unabashedly hard-charging though with a feminine twist . . . use tactics like flirting to woo colleagues and conquer rivals."

Because flirting is limited to feminine-kind, you know.

Jesus, those books sound simply unbearable.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
8

6: Not if you learn to incorporate the Chainsaw of Fulfillment.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
9

snark, I know nothing about Patterson, so can you give us the short version of his awfulness? Just a bad novel writer, or other?

He's the Thomas Kinkade of mass-market novelists, which is saying something. (Former marketing executive who realized that people in the publishing industry didn't realize books could be marketed like Colgate and made a fortune.) His books are dreadful, and I say that as someone who has a high tolerance for potboilers: I enjoy Stephen King and early Tom Clancy or John Grisham books, but... just read it. He singlehandedly made mass-market paperbacks dumber, which is impressive to do at this stage of the game.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:47 AM
horizontal rule
10

That quote is actually rather cheering in relation to my current work situation.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
11

Fuck, I'm over here playing tiddlywinks.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
12

Although friends can be a little bit of a rubber ball as well. And let's be honest, for the types that make it big integrity often is too.

And family isn't? Once "Integrity" gets transmuted into rubber I'm pretty sure it's possible to find or create a family that is one extravagant gift away from forgiveness for many long years.

What are "Family" good for, anyway? Oh, that's right, organ donation. Let's go ahead and pencil "rubber" on that "Health" ball while we're at it.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
13

Am I violating my own prohibition or just the laws of decency if I make a remark about Armsmasher violating me with a bowling pin?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
14

Easy for an ad exec and millionaire novelist to suggest the Work ball bounces - I'm pretty sure if I fumble the Work ball, the Health and Family balls at least will go skittering under the couch too. I spent my college years juggling Friends and Integrity (and Drugs), but this clown's onto a different act now.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
15

9 gets it right.

I once had a thing for the Richard North Patterson books and, being 14, sometimes found myself with a James Patterson book by mistake. Far worse.

I get that it's a self-help book and so has to compete with the lowest common chakra/dietbook/martini success book, and I'm sure it's helpful to someone, but I'm a little peeved with the idea that the only problem women have getting ahead is that they act like such girls.

They might also love too much, Cala.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
16

Easy for an ad exec and millionaire novelist to suggest the Work ball bounces - I'm pretty sure if I fumble the Work ball, the Health and Family balls at least will go skittering under the couch too. I spent my college years juggling Friends and Integrity (and Drugs), but this clown's onto a different act now.


Posted by: marichiweu | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
17

I have found that if you drop the Work ball enough times, it gets pretty badly dented and gouged.

I have lots of problems with "follow your dream, live with integrity" advice, because while I think that people should do that and I also think that many people hurt themselves badly by being too career- and money-oriented, you can also overdo it in the more idealistic direction, and even in the best case there's risk and often significant cost.

As a result, the total body of what I say about these things, taken as a whole, makes no sense at all unless a lot of context is provided.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
18

Patterson isn't kidding, guys. I've seen it happen, and it ain't pretty.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
19

13: I dunno but I think we've found a replacement for trolley problems.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:04 AM
horizontal rule
20

Money can't buy happiness, but happiness can't buy drugs.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
21

20: But dope will get you better through times of no money than money will get you through times of no dope.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
22

17: Seriously. Drop that Work ball too often or at the wrong time and it can do really bad things to the Family, Health and Friends balls. And you know, if it puts you in a desperate enough place, dropping the Work ball probably makes it alot harder to keep your grip on the Integrity ball, too.

Believe me, I can tell people around the office that my kid comes first, and they can all nod supportively and all that. But not managing to hold on to a decent job isn't going to do Rory any favors.

(Um, which makes me think that should be my last comment for awhile... )


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
23

This entire post violates the analogy ban.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
24

Patterson wrote an interesting book, The Day America Told the Truth, about popular beliefs, morality, etc. Paperback novelists probably know more about that stuff than most. IIRC the premise was similar to the Nine Nations of North America somebody mentioned in an earlier thread, and divided the country into "moral regions."


Posted by: Michael Vanderwheel, B.A. | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
25

I buried my work ball. Buried it alive!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
26

But dope will get you better through times of no money than money will get you through times of no dope.

The early positive results on this question disappeared during from longitudinal study. "Longitudinal" can be as little as three months. Kaeto Kaelin and The Dude were outliers in an unusually favorable environmental niche.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
27

Easy for an ad exec and millionaire novelist to suggest the Work ball bounces - I'm pretty sure if I fumble the Work ball, the Health and Family balls at least will go skittering under the couch too.

So true.

OK, so we're juggling sticks of dynamite, all connected by a string ....


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
28

Yeah, on reflection the quote is bullshit to the extent you (a) have dependents, (b) have less marketable skills, (c) have health or other problems that make you vulnerable, etc., etc.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
29

If you just forget about the Integrity ball, it becomes much easier to focus on the other four.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
30

OK, so we're juggling sticks of dynamite, all connected by a string ....

Taking my cue from the post, I am unilaterally declaring a temporary Analogy Dispensation, along the lines of the Christmas Truce.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
31

So: you're juggling tied-together sticks of dynamite, and you're surrounded by candles, and you're on a bus that has to keep going at least 50mph or it explodes, and it also has a sprinkler system you need to activate to dampen everything into safety.

The sprinkler system represents Buddha-nature, though I'm sure you got that.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 9:45 AM
horizontal rule
32

Rubber balls do lose their bounciness over time, right? And if you're having to deal with the erratic bouncing of the work ball, it does make it more difficult to keep the others in the air.

In short, all objections to this analogy are groundless.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
33

And your mouse-orgasm bank has enough setoffs in it to justify carelessly let 20 innocent or 40 nasty schoolchildren die, but not 30 / 60. Every day you get another innocent school-kid setoff, but you've been juggling for a long time already. Ten of the schoolchildren are starting to get nasty.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
34

As the other comments have shown, the analogies given in self help books fall apart very quickly if you think about them to much.

Still, two facts about the self help industry really stand out:

(1) They are basically in the same business as philosophy: trying to help people move towards the good life.

(2) For all their intellectual bankruptcy, they do the job more successfully than philosophy.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 11:28 AM
horizontal rule
35

My best-seller will be entitled Self-Help Writers Are From Uranus.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 11:40 AM
horizontal rule
36

They are basically in the same business as philosophy: trying to help people move towards the a good life by some definition.

They don't all do a bad job at that, it's true.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
37

They are basically in the same business as philosophy: trying to help people move towards the good life a good life by some definition a vision of the good life close enough to be recognizable as good.

How about that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
38

37: Excellent, I'll go for that. Leave aside questioning the underlying assumptions, go with the world you've got, and figure out how best to manage your way through it. They can be okay at that. It's not what philosophy is after, I don't think, so philosophy would kind of suck at it for most readers. No surprise.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
39

btw, this is sounding like some kind of knee-jerk defense of philosophy, and it's not. I seem to have lost track of what examination and pursuit of the good life means for (professional?) philosophy if self-help books admittedly provide it more readily.

We don't have to go on with this; just a curiosity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
40

34: For all my efforts, my cynicism cannot surpass insider cynicism.

I went to school with the author of "The Cinderalla Complex". Big strong small-town guy, stoical like everyone else around here but a big gay, it turned out. Never saw him again but once after he left town.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 12:12 PM
horizontal rule
41

Actually, it was "The Good Girl Syndrome", $5.00 on the net. The Good Girl sounds like rhe Nice Guy's wife.

His father ran a chicken factory farm. How gay is that?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
42

I seem to have lost track of what examination and pursuit of the good life means for (professional?) philosophy if self-help books admittedly provide it more readily.

Philosophy still has a decent sense of examination and pursuit of the good life, but it has lost all track of its audience. (In the States, this happened with the explosive growth in size and prestige after WWII.)

I think Dewey was the last home-grown American philosopher who had some sense of the right audience for philosophy. The kangaroo people gave us Singer, but I know he isn't a popular figure on this blog.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 12:44 PM
horizontal rule
43

Who is the right audience for philosophy according to Dewey? I am interested in knowing.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:13 PM
horizontal rule
44

Hookers, grifters, malcontents. You know. The beats.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-08 8:15 PM
horizontal rule