It may seem simple, but making your bed is quietly one of the most important daily rituals a person can have. I promise, it will change your life. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it’s not. Those of you who already do it know exactly what I mean.
First and foremost, making your bed forces you to get out of it. That’s not necessarily a small feat, especially if you’re suffering from depression. Not only are you out of bed, but you can’t get back in. It’s a line of demarcation that officially starts your day.
More than that, though, it’s a ceremonial act of respect for oneself. It’s a deliberate measure of control that you can always take, even when the rest of your life is complete and utter chaos.
Do it. Every damn morning. It only takes a minute, but it will have a cascading effect that subtly improves everything else about the rest of your day, right up to the moment when you get to crawl back in to a well made bed at night.
When I think of all the truly successful people I’ve known in my life, the ones who really have their shit together, all of them — every last one — routinely make their beds every single morning. This is not a coincidence.
We are not so mysterious. If you want to get to know someone infinitely better, meet their parents for five minutes. We are attracted to people who were loved in the ways we were loved as children. We are attracted to people who are lacking in ways we understand.
–Drew Zandonella-Stannard, “What We Have Going for Us“
Lost in Distance 01, 2010, You Jin
It may be the best of time as well as the worst of time. The rapid development of science, technology and economy in China brings about great increases in information communication, consumption culture and consumer desires. So the younger generation in China is not only basking in these benefits but also bearing the cost of all these changes and upheavals brought by resulting from the development. In this important period of scientific development and social transformation, people’s lives, lifestyles and environment undergo great changes, which not only constraints and influences contemporary man’s psychology and behavior, but also affects people’s daily life and the tastes and discourse in artistic creation. With his sensitivity and practices, You Jin is contemplating and reflecting on this epoch.
Moreover, what is noteworthy about his works is that the language of dots, lines and segments which is orderly amid chaos, mechanical but controlled, symbolizing the characteristics of modern information technology (coded, mechanized, controlled, pluralistic and self-disciplined) as well as the possible hidden dangers.
–Xia Yun, Language Generation from Chaotic Code
My theory on porn for women is it’s just porn. Why is there porn explicitly only for women? By saying there needs to be porn for women, you’re basically isolating women as a gender, and saying, ‘This is how women should think. This is how their sexuality should be.’ It’s counterproductive (from what I understand) to the equality movement. Who says that one woman’s take on sexuality is the right way to think? One woman might like to watch a film with high production value and beautiful sex. Another might like some BDSM things with beating, degradation — and it doesn’t mean either is right or wrong. Pornography is made for individuals to find what they enjoy, and what turns them on. There’s no market research on this because sexuality is always developing, growing, and evolving. You could talk to a million people about what they like in porn, and you’re going to get a million answers of what a million people like in porn at that moment.
–James Deen, quoted in “James Deen, The World’s Favorite Porn Star, Talks About Sex”
I’m a fan of adult performers who can describe their industry and how they feel they fit into it. Unsurprisingly then, I like a lot of the quotes featured in this article on Deen, some because they are interesting conversation starters that I don’t completely agree with.
Two to hold on to:
- The above quote seems to be in response to the query of if he makes porn for women or perhaps feminist porn. Deen’s answer draws out some interesting questions to me on if “feminist porn” is best understood in terms of its content or in its company structure. Having female directors and camerawomen probably does cause a trickle-down effect on what types of storylines and acts are created and captured. But as Deen notes above, it is probably far too simplistic to assume women are a monolith who have all the same desires for their porn consumption.
- There is also a section on this article where Deen critiques arguments on the negative effects of porn:
“Well, adult entertainment is just that. It’s entertainment. It’s not a curriculum. It’s not educational. Did Justin Timberlake give me unrealistic expectations of dancing abilities and singing abilities? It’s like saying, I watched the Bourne Identity and thought I could drive a Mini Cooper everywhere. It gave me unrealistic expectations of what it means to drive.”
I would counter that Deen misses the fact that in lieu of other outlets that reasonably teach about sex, sexual preferences and possibilities, porn often occupies the role of sex education. To say it shouldn’t be, while easy to agree with, ignores the fact that porn is often the only access adults and young people have to learn about sex, making it different than other forms of entertainment.
At one level, one might shrug: companies die every day; new ones are born. That is part of the dynamics of capitalism. So, too, for cities. Maybe Detroit and cities like it are just in the wrong location for the goods and services that 21st-century America demands.
But such a diagnosis would be wrong, and it’s extremely important to recognize that Detroit’s demise is not simply an inevitable outcome of the market.
For one, the description is incomplete: Detroit’s most serious problems are confined to the city limits. Elsewhere in the metropolitan area, there is ample economic activity. In suburbs like Bloomfield Hills, Mich., the median household income is more than $125,000. A 45-minute drive from Detroit is Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan, one of the world’s pre-eminent hubs of research and knowledge production.
Detroit’s travails arise in part from a distinctive aspect of America’s divided economy and society. As the sociologists Sean F. Reardon and Kendra Bischoff have pointed out, our country is becoming vastly more economically segregated, which can be even more pernicious than being racially segregated. Detroit is the example par excellence of the seclusion of affluent (and mostly white) elites in suburban enclaves. There is a rationale for battening down the hatches: the rich thus ensure that they don’t have to pay any share of the local public goods and services of their less well-off neighbors, and that their children don’t have to mix with those of lower socioeconomic status.
The trend toward self-reinforcing inequality is especially apparent in education, an ever shrinking ladder for upward mobility. Schools in poorer districts get worse, parents with means move out to richer districts, and the divisions between the haves and the have-nots — not only in this generation, but also in the next — grow ever larger.
Residential segregation along economic lines amplifies inequality for adults, too. The poor have to somehow manage to get from their neighborhoods to part-time, low-paying and increasingly scarce jobs at distant work sites. Combine this urban sprawl with inadequate public transportation systems and you have a blueprint for transforming working-class communities into depopulated ghettos.
Adding to the problems that would inevitably arise from such poorly designed urban agglomerations is the fact that the Detroit metropolitan area is divided into separate political jurisdictions. The poor are thus not only geographically isolated, but politically ghettoized as well. The result is a separate, poorer inner city with a dearth of resources, made even worse because the industrial plants that had provided the core of the tax base are shut down.
–Joseph E. Stiglitz, “The Wrong Lesson from Detroit’s Bankruptcy“
What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly.
Do all the other things, the ambitious things – travel, get rich, get famous, innovate, lead, fall in love, make and lose fortunes, swim naked in wild jungle rivers (after first having it tested for monkey poop) – but as you do, to the extent that you can, err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been. Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.
—George Saunders‘ convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013
I’d rather be a good person who makes people happy than a dick who wins a Nobel by 32.
–Olivia Wilde, from her advice on turning 30
Forty years ago, most cities (including Detroit) had a mixture of wealthy, middle-class, and poor residents. Now, each income group tends to lives separately, in its own city—with its own tax bases and philanthropies that support, at one extreme, excellent schools, resplendent parks, rapid-response security, efficient transportation, and other first-rate services; or, at the opposite extreme, terrible schools, dilapidated parks, high crime, and third-rate services.
The geo-political divide has become so palpable that being wealthy in America today means not having to come across anyone who isn’t.
Detroit is a devastatingly poor, mostly black, increasingly abandoned island in the midst of a sea of comparative affluence that’s mostly white. Its suburbs are among the richest in the nation. Oakland County, for example, is the fourth wealthiest county in the United States, of counties with a million or more residents. Greater Detroit—which includes the suburbs—is among the nation’s top five financial centers, the top four centers of high-technology employment, and the second-biggest source of engineering and architectural talent. Not everyone is wealthy, to be sure, but the median household in the region earns close to $50,000 a year, and unemployment is no higher than the nation’s average. The median household in Birmingham, Michigan, just across the border that delineates the city of Detroit, earned more than $94,000 last year; in nearby Bloomfield Hills—still within the Detroit metropolitan area—the median was more than $150,000.
The median household income within the city of Detroit is around $26,000, and unemployment is staggeringly high. One out of 3 residents is in poverty; more than half of all children in the city are impoverished. Between 2000 and 2010, Detroit lost a quarter of its population as the middle-class and whites fled to the suburbs. That left it with depressed property values, abandoned neighborhoods, empty buildings, lousy schools, high crime, and a dramatically-shrinking tax base. More than half of its parks have closed in the last five years. Forty percent of its streetlights don’t work.
If “Detroit” is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, “Detroit” has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy.
In other words, much in modern America depends on where you draw boundaries, and who’s inside and who’s outside. Who is included in the social contract? If “Detroit” is defined as the larger metropolitan area that includes its suburbs, “Detroit” has enough money to provide all its residents with adequate if not good public services, without falling into bankruptcy. Politically, it would come down to a question of whether the more affluent areas of this “Detroit” were willing to subsidize the poor inner-city through their tax dollars, and help it rebound. That’s an awkward question that the more affluent areas would probably rather not have to face.
–Robert Reich, “Detroit, and the Moral Bankruptcy of America’s Social Contract“
While the pathway for discovering and consuming female nudity was ingrained in the adolescent male experience, girls had no such network for viewing sexy images. When we did see them, we were positioned to think about ourselves in front of the camera, not behind it; when we watched porn, men watched us.
…I have now advanced to watching porn all by myself—but when it comes to penis appreciation, I feel like I was never really given a fair shake. I grew up in a world where I was repeatedly told that those types of images were not for me, and where male nudity was framed in the context of male assault as much as it was female desire.
–Amanda Hess, “Naked men! Ew! Weird! Gross”
This point is particularly underscored by one of the comments in the orginal post. A, presumably gay, man notes the strangeness of the split that he finds the image of a naked man attractive, while many straight women will attest otherwise.
Hess’s observation from when she started college is also interesting.
I ended up seeing more penises without my consent—a man exposing himself on the Metro; a dude masturbating in broad daylight in the middle of the sidewalk—than I did by choice.
Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes. Everyone else is struggling.
–Tina Fey, Bossypants