Robyn, Meet Polly – AKA The Search For Non-Stupid Culture Coaching

One of those moments of serengeti. Serengeti? Serendipity, that’s the word. Oh dear god, someone save us all – I really relate to the following confession penned by Robyn on XOJaneUK:

IS BEING BUSY MAKING ME STUPIDERER? I’m a full-time-jobber, a freelancer, and an unlikely gym-bunny, and I’m worried that it’s affecting my wosscalled. Intelligence.

I don’t have time to read dense prose anymore, so I just read quick snippets of things on the train (generally Reddit). Instead of the oppressive films where French couples shrug at each other until one of them stabs the other (you know the sort), my televisual habits almost exclusively involve falling asleep in front of awful 90s action movies on Channel 5.

In an effort to combat the exact same problem, I’ve been filling my bag with copies of Scientific American and Cosmos magazine for my daily train ride for weeks now. I’m terrified that cerebral atrophy is merely one talkback radio show away (to paraphrase TISM).

For example, I’m halfway through both The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond… AND that dreadful new Beautiful Creatures novel (because it had a picture of EMMA THOMPSON on the cover. Honestly. No judging, please. I hate myself enough as it is).

I’m also watching Nikita: Season Two in the background while writing this. I’m doomed, I tell you. Doomed.

Thankfully, Polly may have an answer, with CultureCoach:

“If only I had a personal trainer. I would be motivated to do everything if I had a personal trainer. I need a personal trainer. I need a personal trainer for culture…. I need a Culture Coach!”

This was a thought process that I had on a Melbourne loo that has spiralled out of control as I got more and more excited about it. Finally I have a way to start tackling the world of the arts without fear of being totally overcome by the sheer weight of things and stuff. When there is so much out there, where can you start? How can you possibly hope to get through it all? Manageable chunks.

Check out Week One and Week Two of Culture Coach to get started (I’m already ahead with the film suggestions and The Magnetic Fields listening, thank hades). Feel free to add your own suggestions to the comments. Wits Will Prevail!

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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