83 Followers
5 Following
mephistia

attempting obscurity

I mess around with writing, but deep down I'm pretty sure I'll never actually get published because I treat it like a hobby and not a passion -- I write when I have time, instead of making time to write.

 

When I read, I prefer YA sci-fi/ fantasy as my go-to fiction reads. I tend toward this genre because I read fiction as an escape from the daily drudge of life. YA sci/fi-fantasy usually has more upbeat/ hopeful endings, while adult fiction of any genre (except romance) tends to have more depressingly realistic endings. Sometimes I read romance novels, but I really prefer the type with plot/ character development between sex scenes, and I don't like having to hunt for them.

 

In non-fiction, I prefer history, biographies, psychology, gender studies, social/applied sciences, and law/ public policy.

Currently reading

Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It
Lise Eliot
White by Law: The Legal Construction of Race
Ian F. Haney López

Which Side Are You On?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back, Revised Edition

Which Side Are You on?: Trying to Be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back - Thomas Geoghegan I'm kind of ambivalent about this book. We're reading it for a class, and I really vacillate from one chapter to the next on whether I find this book helpful or not. Geoghegan is definitely aware of his class privilege, so when starting out, I assumed he was equally aware of his race and gender privilege. He pokes fun at himself regarding the class privilege, and obviously struggles with his apparently conflicting desires to live comfortably while representing those who cannot afford the same comforts. His voice is often wry and sarcastic, which works since he's attempting to appeal to a reader on the same "class" level as him -- he's not trying to convince the union/ labor worker that unions are necessary, he's trying to convince the banker/ lawyer/ white collar worker.As such, he doesn't really ever outright commit to a view -- as a white collar labor lawyer representing the blue-collar laborer, you'd think he would. But he doesn't. He gets close, then backs away. His ambivalence forces the reader to examine their own preconceptions and determine their own answer to the question: Which side are you on? Geoghegan refuses to spoon-feed his reader the answer. This strength of his writing is also, unfortunately, it's major failing. His wry, sarcastic, and often self-mocking tone; his refusal to commit to a solid answer -- while both of these do well in forcing a white-collar, middle-class male to assess his the situation, it's a less successful tactic for women and minorities. I don't think Geoghegan meant to write almost completely to white men, and I don't think he's racist or sexist. I think this is just a textbook (hah!) example of white male privilege, and in this particular book, his lack of awareness about said privileges negatively impacted his very real irony in assessing his class privilege. It's hard to know when he's joking and when he's serious when he unself-consciously makes a statement about how racism impacted him (he's discussing a black labor leader he supported, and talks about how people would refer to said leader by the "n-word" (he types it out) in his hearing just to "see what his reaction was." By his own accounting, his reaction appeared to be silence.), and then he follows that up with a joke about his reaction to a class difference. It makes it hard to differentiate between when he's joking and when he's seriously just clueless, and (as noted) this negatively impacts the entire tone and voice of the book.As I said, I do not believe Geoghegan is doing this intentionally. It's just a side affect of privilege, and the concept of race/ gender privilege wasn't as examined when he was writing this book, so he likely wouldn't have really even had the thought to take it into account. It is a good read, though. I'd recommend it, though when recommending it to non-white or female readers, I add a caveat that it's sometimes hard to differentiate his wry voice from his clueless voice.