The Cult of Busyness Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich
67 years old
Born August 26, 1941
Isabelle Oxley and Ben Alexander
Ph. D in Cell Biology
Rockefeller University
Political activist
Writes on social topics
Social criticism
14 books
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in
America – New York Times Bestseller
Columnist at New York Times and Time
Lives near Key West Florida
•Being busy = being successful
•No more hobbys, but more than one career
•Men attracted to busy successful women
Nickel and Dimed from the American Ruling
Busyness does not lead to success
Success can cause busyness
Busyness = less time for worthwhile activities
Come so far to lose everything worthwhile
“Success in United States culture is becoming more and more dependent on
personal image. It doesn’t matter whether you’re any good at what you do
as long as you say you’re good at what you do and look and dress the part.”
Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
Over the past twenty years, the media have devoted considerable attention
to Americans who are too busy to pause for breath. Yet it is likely that these
career-fixated, time-obsessed people are still a distinct minority. The
majority still follow the example of Homer Simpson: come home at 5:30, eat
supper, and watch television. What have you observed about people and
their attitudes toward work? Have you noticed any differences between the
way women approach this issue of work versus leisure time and the way
men do?
Tyler Durden: The things you own end up
owning you.
Obsessed with Busy
Tyler Durden on
Modern Society
Tyler Durden: Do you know what a duvet is?
Narrator: It's a comforter...
Tyler Durden: It's a blanket. Just a blanket.
Now why do guys like you and me know what
a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival, in
the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No.
What are we then?
Narrator: ...Consumers?
Tyler Durden: Right. We are consumers. We're
the bi-products of a lifestyle obsession.
Tyler Durden: It's only after we've lost
everything that we're free to do anything.
Pastime -agreeable activity
Monologue – long speech by one actor
Tribulations – cause of suffering
Ingestion - absorb something into body
Distractable – attention easily caught
Fey – irrational; supernatural
Incorrigible – unable to be corrected or
Conspicuous – attracting attention
Upwardly mobile – aspiring to higher class
Insignia – official symbol
Neurosurgery – operation on nervous system
Upscale - expensive
Feminization – make something suitable for
Shiftily - resourcefully
Dispersion – distribution of values
Demeanor – outward behavior
Adage – a saying
Slovenly - an offensive term meaning not
concerned about conventional standards of
personal hygiene and tidiness
Acumen – sharpness of mind
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