One Two Three
- Laurie Frankel
- My last highlight
- Number of highlights
I spend a lot of time listening. As a result, I might be the world’s leading expert on annoying conversational tics. The list of irritatingly misapplied clichés people utter would take me more hours to type out than I have left to live, but near the top is the conversational gambit “There are two kinds of people in this world…” There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who split the world into two kinds of people, and the ones who know that’s reductive and conversationally lazy. With this exception: There are two kinds of people in this world. People who can expect to, strive to, feel entitled to be happy. And people who cannot. The rest of the dichotomies are meaningless beside that one. Look through history for the latter. Look around your town or city. You will find us everywhere. We are legion. Of course, everyone’s unhappy sometimes. But some people’s barriers to happiness are considered surmountable. They resolve to get in shape, find a therapist, make time for family, read more, go back to school, save money. We advise them, if they are our friends or our family, to find a new job, go to yoga, quit drinking, move out, try online dating, hire a personal stylist, buy a bigger house. You deserve it, we say. Put yourself first for a change. You be you. Whereas some people are unhappy and that’s okay with us. It seems unreasonable, in fact, that they should expect to be anything else.
armed with a brand-new college degree and the unearned optimism of quarter-centenarians.
Russell E. Russo, Esquire, knocked on lots of doors before Nora’s. Some people did not answer on principle; they did not open their doors to strangers wearing neckties.
But as the lecture goes on, I slowly realize the industrial revolution is a war. Mrs. Shriver wants it to be revolution like the Renaissance we left a couple months ago—great leaps forward made by humans being clever. But the more she talks, the clearer it becomes: the revolution in “industrial revolution” is like the revolution in “American Revolution,” revolution like war. It remapped small towns and big cities and nations, destroyed communities, willfully refused to consider the long term in favor of immediate blood and power, and demanded the sacrifice of scores upon scores of soldiers for the glory of the men getting rich. It was the industrial revolution that conscripted towns like mine and consigned their citizens—us—to the bottom of every pile yet to come.
“The Lord works in mysterious ways,” says Pastor Jeff and all pastors everywhere when presented with completely logical but impossible-to-answer questions like mine.