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By snow_cat on A Conversation About Books and Money

@Nicole Cliffe But you are supporting small businesses too! These discussions seem like they usually revolve around the premiss that by buying on Amazon (the site,) you're always buying from Amazon (the huge corporation). This is false. I am an Amazon seller. 99% of the time my books are cheaper than buying straight from Amazon, and therefore people usually buy from me before they buy from Amazon. (If you click on "12 New from $7.99" or whatever, you are generally buying from a small seller, a charity, or an independent bookshop's online store. One of the reasons The Strand in NYC stays alive is because they sell on Amazon.) For me, I source the books myself and it's a fun hobby as well as a nice supplement to my income. Amazon takes a small percentage of my profits, but it's honestly worth it because they make everything so easy.

Posted on January 12, 2013 at 1:07 am 4

By wee_ramekin on Shouldn’t I Be Saving The World, Or Something?

I think a good thing to remember is that "changing the world" doesn't always happen because someone blazes a trail of light across the sky. "Changing the world" can be as small - and yet, as significant - as working to be a Good, Decent Human Being every single day. Working to break out of destructive patterns that exist in your life, for whatever reason. Working to be really and truly compassionate, to understand and empathize with others.

I take my mother as an example. She came from an inflexible and stifling family deeply steeped in patriarchy. She was a bit of a wild child in her youth: ran away from home, did some drugs, had an abortion, didn't complete college, married young. But when she had her first child, she was determined that HER GIRLS were not going to grow up being told they couldn't play sports, or learn to play the trumpet ("too masculine"), or that their only value was in the shape of their face/hips/breasts. My mother raised four girls into intelligent, confident women, going through a soul-sucking, crazy-making divorce and skating on the thin ice of near-poverty while doing so. Each one of her children is college-educated, hardworking, and able to support herself. None of us have experienced the tumult and pain that she did because of the uninformed choices she made when she was young and needed love and guidance from a family who couldn't/wouldn't give it. Through hard work and perseverance on her part, my mother not only raised four children, but she got her degree in a field she loves (Library Sciences). She is now the director of our town's library, which is the heart and soul of our small community.

Change the world? No, my mom didn't change the world. But she broke out of the unhealthy patterns she was caught in, and changed my world - and that of my sisters - away from the path it could have taken. Through her work at the library, she altered the fabric of her community in a positive way, no doubt influencing the lives of countless children and their families. And she did it by putting one foot in front of the other every day, and trying as hard as she could to make life better for her and her children.

I'm not saying you need to have kids or be a librarian to add goodness to the world, but I do think that's an example of how adding goodness on a small level has a ripple effect for the rest of the world.

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm 39

By sintaxis on What to Do With This Story?

Ugh, can we not with the whole "his father beat him too!"? Yes, we know that abuse repeats itself, but being a victim of abuse does not make a man have another "side" to the "whole story" about murdering his partner. It does not mean we're missing some integral part of the story by not knowing the gory details of the man's upbringing. Stop sympathizing with him; start sympathizing with the victim.

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 3:19 pm 4

By Kristen on Interview With a Virgin: Ben

After all the furor and backlash about Niceguysofokc, I just want to say that it is a hugely refreshing relief for me to read something from the perspective of a man who suffers from intense social difficulties and has trouble dating, and yet still manages to treat and to talk about women with enormous respect, sensitivity and thoughtfulness. Ben sounds so self-aware and thoughtful, and you could tell Jia thought so too. I am really impressed by this interview.

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 2:34 pm 58

By polka dots vs stripes on What to Do With This Story?

if he had ever thought his shotgun would have harmed another person, he never would have kept it.

This made me so angry. Guns kill people. Don't have a gun in your house unless you're comfortable with it possibly being used to kill someone, and it might be someone you love. If you didn't have a gun in your house? Ann is still alive.

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm 31

By Nicole Cliffe on What to Do With This Story?

@Nicole Cliffe How can we encourage young women to leave abusers so charming and manipulative that they can get your parents to visit them in jail after they kill you?

Posted on January 9, 2013 at 12:21 pm 30

By Megasus on "The January Cure"

"The January Cure" also sounds like a rehab program for the ex-boyfriends of January Jones.

Posted on January 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm 6

By Rock and Roll Ken Doll on Would You Know My Name, If I Saw You in Pyongyang?

Barbara Demick's 'Nothing to Envy' is a must-read, if you like to be depressed about stuff.

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 3:13 pm 2

By EpWs on Friday Open Thread

@Jane Marie Damn, Jane Marie, you were NOT KIDDING about that baby makin love. ON TOP OF THINGS, SHE IS.

(CONGRATULATIONS HOW WONDERFUL)

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 5:09 pm 4

By Nicole Cliffe on Friday Open Thread

SHUT UP, NERDS, JANE MARIE IS PREGNANT WITH A GODDAMN HUMAN BABY AND I AM TELLING YOU ABOUT IT. SMOTHER HER WITH YOUR FEELINGS.

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 5:01 pm 54