New York Times Analysis on Poverty and Web Searches

This summer, The Upshot conducted an analysis of every county in the country to determine which were the toughest places to live, based on an index of six factors including income, education and life expectancy.

In the hardest places to live – which include large areas of Kentucky, Arkansas, Maine, New Mexico and Oregon – health problems, weight-loss diets, guns, video games and religion are all common search topics. The dark side of religion is of special interest: Antichrist has the second-highest correlation with the hardest places, and searches containing “hell” and “rapture” also make the top 10.

…religious web searches that are relatively more popular in places where life is harder have such a dark cast… They are not just about religion but about apocalyptic religion,”

-David Leonhardt

Laundromat Flattery

I was at the laundromat this morning wearing the ugliest and most ill-fitting shit I could find, hoping I could wash my linens in peace.

A guy rolls up right next to me while I’m loading my washer and starts folding his clothes. The following conversation ensues:

Guy: “Where your husband at, girl?”

Me: I ignored him

Guy: “Have a beautiful day.”

Me: “Why would you think any woman would desire this kind of interaction in a laundromat? It’s obnoxious.”

Guy: “I was just trying to be nice.”

Me: “Being nice isn’t asking a woman doing her chores where her husband is.”

Guy: “I told you to have a beautiful day.”

Me: “No, you only said that after I ignored you.”

Guy: “I was just trying to make a joke.”

Me: “I don’t know if this is new for you, but jokes are supposed to be funny and make people laugh. Neither one of us laughed.”

Guy: “I ended it by saying to have a nice day.”

This is without a doubt an example of male privilege and the entitlement to say whatever they want to women whenever they want. Women are supposed to then do one of two things 1- politely respond with a coy smile or giggle or 2- humor him and engage in dialogue

When we don’t do one of these two things, men’s egos are hurt and their entitlement is challenged which makes them angry and lash out with a clueless misogynistic response that is illogical because they didn’t have to think about what they were saying before they interrupted your day to say it.

I encourage women to respond to these daily catcalls and verbal attacks with logic and curiosity.

Mrs. Clinton then issued an unusual public statement, saying that she had called the president to reassure him that she had not intended to attack him, and that she looked forward to “hugging it out” with him at a party hosted by Vernon E. Jordan Jr. on Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday night.
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama sat at the same table during the party, a birthday celebration for Mr. Jordan’s wife, Ann, at the Farm Neck Golf Club. The president and his former top diplomat ate surf ’n’ turf and pasta, but White House officials declined to say whether they hugged.

New York Times

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.

David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)