Everybody can do something better than you can

Rachel DiCarlo Currie explains Why We Need a Revival of Humility.  Here’s the money quote

Shortly before leaving the Senate, Kyl spoke to Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard and described a childhood trip to his local county fair in Iowa. Upon arriving at the fair, Kyl said, his father made sure that he saw the man who managed parking for the attendees. “He does that better than anyone else,” his father told him. “Everybody can do something better than you can.”

Everybody can do something better than you can. Imagine how much different our society would be if each of us embraced those words as a daily mantra.

That’s why I don’t tell the plumber, the tile guy, the yard guy, the pool guy, or my mechanic how to do his job.  If I was so friggin’ smart, why would I be paying these guys?

Tip from the Instapundit, where Sarah Hoyt has been on a roll lately.  Must be ’cause she just finished another novel.

Hipsterism, explained

Lesbian, or just hipster? Hard to tell these days.

I would need a heart of stone not to laugh (starting with the title, no less!).

Here’s my semi-obligatory lame joke:  A hipster is the sort of car owner who, when told to “Go fast,” starves himself for the rest of the week.

Tip from the Instapundit, who is hip, rather than hipster.

Maybe clothes DO make the man

Here’s a school program that’s so off-the wall it might actually make a difference: providing washing machines in public schools.  It’s early days, with little data collected, but compared to Michelle O’s disastrous school lunch madness, it’s an intriguing experiment with potentially outsize benefits.  Virginia Postrel might have some insight into ideas like this.

Tip from Happy Acres, who’s gotten this a bit muddled with the more general notion of personal hygiene* as a component of good sanitation and public health programs.

whitemansoap

* I’m usually very critical of do-gooders descending upon folks and telling them what to do “for their own good.”  I call that the Bwana Syndrome, and progressives thrive on it, at home and abroad.  However, Bwana says “wash your hands” seems eminently sensible to me.  Can “wash your clothes” be that much different?

Holy Brainstorming!

Francis Menton, the Manhattan Contrarian, has been kicking around a idea so radical it might actually work: giving Manhattan public housing units to their residents to kickstart them out of poverty.  What really caught my attention was this:

Well, what happened to the idea of making it possible for the poor to get out of poverty?  The residents of Manhattan public housing are living, breathing human beings who deserve the opportunity to escape from poverty and achieve success in the world; they are not animals to be kept imprisoned in a zoo for the viewing pleasure of their superiors.

Tip from Menton himself, discussing Ben Carson, which came from a tip at Maggie’s Farm.

You Crosstalk too much

I s-o-o-o wanted to enjoy Connie Willis’ latest book, Crosstalk, and I settled down in great anticipation to read her latest screwball comedy.  The characters and situations are familiar to Willis fans who liked To Say Nothing of the Dog, “Blue Moon”, or the underappreciated Bellwether.  There’s even one of Willis’ hilarious lists, this time D. B. Schwartz’ Rules for Lying, peppered throughout the book:

  • Stick to one story (p. 78)
  • Never say any more than you absolutely have to (p. 77)
  • Have a cover story ready in case people start asking questions (p. 108)
  • Keep your stories straight (p. 129)
  • Don’t look guilty (p. 130)

As well as some insights on the practice, such as”Any sentence beginning with ‘of course’ was automatically a lie…”, and a great quote from one of her faves

It is always the best policy to speak the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar.  — Jerome K. Jerome, The Idler’s Club

crosstalk

Having said all that, the book is not fabulous.  The heroine lets everyone from her nine-year-old niece to her mendacious fiance jerk her around, and her acceptance as a center of obsessive phoning, texting, and Facebooking exposes her as a lightweight.  Everyone with the exception of the (obvious) hero, the aforementioned D. B. Schwarz, is a child of (mainly female) white privilege*, screeching at each other about Princess Problems.  The story is overlong, too long to be concluded with the sort of feminist Deus ex Machina resolution that leaves everyone (except the fiance) living sappily ever after.

Coming after the conclusion of her four-novel plus love letter to the rapidly-being-overrun people of Great Britain (Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout, and All Clear), Crosstalk is a big letdown.  If you haven’t read any Willis, start with Bellwether or Doomsday Book, not this clinker.

*Willis is a softcore SJW, whose post-election stance is “I’m OK, you Trumpers are messed up.”  Oh, and I don’t live in a bubble.  Con safos, chica.