GET UNHAPPY!: Insightful, challenging article from the New York Times Magazine (which I found on Arts & Letters Daily) suggests that our problem is too much self-esteem, not too little. The author offers blend of psychoanalytic research, quick-and-dirty philosophy, and common sense. (Although she traces the history of the self-esteem movement to Ralph “Transparent Eyeball” Emerson, she doesn’t mention the Ayn Rand–> Nathaniel Branden–> self-esteem movement daisy chain.) My elementary school ran a self-esteem program called “I am soMEbody!”, promoted by Jesse Jackson himself, and I can tell you it did about as much for my self-esteem as a snorkel does for a Bedouin. If you want real insight into the “self,” why Americans are obsessed with it, and whether it should esteem itself, you could try Walker Percy’s Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book. Or you could just read St. Francis (“If God can work through me, he can work through anyone”; “Above all the grace and the gifts that Christ gives to his beloved is that of overcoming self”).

"Think Twice Before Calling the Cops on the Mentally Ill"
"Gay and Catholic" Book Extra: Two Frameworks for Supporting Weird Vocations
Time Considered As a Helix of Grimy Fingernail Clippings: Samuel R. Delany's Weirdly Prescient "Driftglass"
"Tom Stoppard Plays With God": I'm in AmCon
About Eve Tushnet

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