high-minded drivel

high-minded (adjective) - refined; cultured; particularly civilized. drivel (noun) - senseless talk; nonsense.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A freshly pressed post just for you

Tradition! Here in our little village of
Anatevka, weaaaaaaahhhhh peepperrrrr
It is now the third day after Thanksgiving, and after hunkering down in our homemade bunker with 12 gallons of water and a shotgun during Black Friday, it's now time to come out and update the blog.  In truth, Dad and I actually ventured out mid-morning on Black Friday, but it was to get a few tools at places like the local hardware store and Sears, not to rush the gates at Best Buy and Target.  The hardware store and Sears were definitely busier than usual, but old fat guys looking at tools lends itself to more of a "milling" pace than a "rabid" pace.  And they keep their guns in the beds of their pickups trucks rather than bringing them into the store.

Black Friday shopping is not a tradition that our family has ever engaged in.  For me, it's rather unsettling to read about the latest religious-induced trampling at a temple or mosque in India or the Middle East, and then realize we have the same thing here....but for game consoles.  However, our family does participate in other standard Thanksgiving traditions, like consuming turkey, and napping, and being thankful for turkey and napping.  We also watch some football, that most celebrated of American sports, although sitting around watching TV compels us to get outside and exercise or do yard work for part of the day as well.  Because if there's a feeling that reverberates in our souls just as strongly as thankfulness, it's guilt.  Ha!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just so you know, this blog post was made from scratch

You....want....career advice?!!!
A couple days ago I started reading a book titled Shop Class as Soulcraft by Matthew Crawford.  The basic point of the book, if I'm interpreting it correctly after the first two chapters, is that society over time has developed an unreasonable aversion to work that falls into the categories of "crafts" or "skilled trades." While students are in high school, we promote college as the better path and discourage them from actively pursuing a basic trade, believing that life will be harder and less lucrative for them if they go into a trade.  But more recently people have started realizing that "knowledge jobs" are not as secure as once believed, and even worse, the individuals pursuing those careers find that they are not only unsatisfied at work, but woefully unable to be self-sufficient.  Crawford calls for a new look at manual work, and recognition of the fact that it can be satisfying, secure, and even lucrative.

Here are a few early passages from the book so that you can read some of Crawford's own words...

The satisfactions of manifesting oneself concretely in the world through manual competence have been known to make a man quiet and easy.  They seem to relieve him of the felt need to offer chattering interpretations of himself to vindicate his worth.

Craftsmanship means dwelling on a task for a long time and going deeply into it, because you want to get it right.  In managementspeak, this is called being "ingrown."  The preferred role model is the management consultant, who swoops in and out and whose very pride lies in his lack of particular expertise.  Like the ideal consumer, the management consultant presents an image of soaring freedom, in light of which the manual trades appear cramped and paltry.