Tag Archives: outliers

political rant (a little all over the road)

I don’t often get into arguments with people who have different politics than I do. I find it exhausting. Perhaps I get too emotional around it all… but the thing is, we’ll never change each others minds, so why bother. That doesn’t mean I’m not politically active or I don’t enjoy a healthy debate. My rants normally take the form of poetry.

But I finally have to say something to the right wing in the U.S…

This tea party thing (sponsored by FOX “news”)… you know, I take no issue with a protest. Protest your hearts out. Just don’t be hypocritical when you do it. When we were all protesting the president we didn’t vote for, we were being “unpatriotic” and aiding the terrorists! When you’re protesting, it’s your duty! Now you’re all you have to listen to us, we’re mad! Well, we were mad, too. But you lost this time around, and as John Stewart says, it’s supposed to taste like a sh*tburger.

I also think it’s irresponsible for FOX “news” reporters to go around calling President Obama a fascist. Especially when they don’t even know what the word means. They’ve also called him a socialist… in the same sentence! Which is it you nitwits? They’re two different things. Fascists are anti-liberal/anti-socialist as much as they are anti-capitalist.

One protester was holding a sign of an Obama hitler. Hello? Hitler was a fascist and totally against democracies and socialism or anything claiming that all working people deserved equal reward. Hitler persecuted the communists, who waged war WITH the U.S. against the Nazis…

When they accuse Obama of being a socialist, I always laugh, though. For one thing, I’m more of a socialist than Obama will ever be. Secondly, the fact that the word “socialist” is used to frighten people, like they’re going to lose all their STUFF!  Socialism isn’t evil any more than capitalism is. The thing is that people have to make either system work and the problem with people is that we’re human.

(Besides, the U.S. already has some social welfare programs. Did you know that part of your taxes pays for books that anyone can get for FREE from the library? It’s true! We’ve got to stop this, you don’t want to pay for poor people’s books, do you? Let them buy their own books!)

I find it so odd that the right wing think reaching out to other world leaders, collaboration, and taking care of all the citizens of your country is a weak and bad thing. Individuals are not islands. But that’s the pervasive attitude of many Americans.

The U.S. is extremely ego-centric. There’s a great sense of adventure and individualism, but there’s also this sense of self-entitlement and of “me against you.”  It’s every-man-and-woman-for-him-and-herself-gotta-protect-your-STUFF-don’t-touch-my-STUFF! Why would I want to help that lazy guy who lost his house or that fat dude who had a heart attack? There’s this attitude that everyone is soley responsible for their own success… and if you’re not successful, well then you’re just lazy.

If you want to read a super book about how individuals are not the sole makers of their success, check out Malcolm Gladwell’s book OUTLIERS.  It demonstrates how people succeed through the opportunities given to them by others, and through the circumstances that lead to those opportunities.

I think a country is only as healthy as its least fortunate individuals. We should raise each other up. That’s how I envision a proper community working. We would be stronger for it.

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Filed under politix, rant

10,000 Hours

I just picked up Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and I love it already. I love it when anyone can make me see anything in a different way. I love when people uncover things that are right in front of us, simply by asking the right questions.

Chapter Two is all about the “10,000 Hour Rule,” which has been proven over and over again to be the magical amount of time one needs to practice something in order to master it. (practice meaning “purposefully and single-mindedly” doing the thing “with the intent to get better.”) In one particular study of a group of top violinists, it was discovered that there were NO “naturals”  – people who had gone effortlessly to the top while practicing much less than their peers – and NO “grinds” – people who worked harder than everyone else but still didn’t make top ranks.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard something similar. Poet Peter Rabbit once said that you have to write for 10 years before you can call yourself a writer. 10 years at 20 hours of practice per week (or 20 years at 10 hours per week) equals 10,000 hours.

I’ve often wondered why I felt “mediocre” in a lot of things and master of little. It’s likely that I’ve flitted around doing so many different things. There is a lot to be said for focus.

I realized recently that I’ve had my 10,000 hours of poetry. Would I call myself a master? I’m not sure. I’m definitely more confident about my poetry than any other form of writing. Screenwriting would come next, then novel writing.

Is there anything you have done for 10,000 hours?  Do you consider yourself a master?

(hey, I just realized… I’ve had over 10,000 hours of sleep!  Am I a dream-master now?)

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Filed under on my bookshelf, random poop, serious play