Posts Tagged ‘Levi Johnston’

The Outliers by GladwellThe people who stand before kings may look like they did it all by themselves.  But in fact they are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.  It makes a difference where and when we grew up.  The culture we belong to and the legacies passed down by our forebears shape the patterns of our achievement in ways we cannot begin to imagine.” “Outliers: The Story of Success,” by Malcolm Gladwell  

The world seems to be conspiring against me.  Seems to want me back on medication.  Do you have any idea how hard it is for someone who is bipolar just to get out of bed some days?  The highs are tolerable, but the lows, those deep periods of depression are often unbearable.  

But the world demands that we get out of bed regardless of our frame of mind, get dressed, try to be productive.  And so I do.  I shower, I shave, I get dressed.  I turn off the TV because I cannot bear to hear all of the mindless conjecture about Michael Jackson.  Was it murder?  Suicide?  Assisted suicide?  Accidental drug overdose?  

Later, in my car, out on the open road and trying to let the cool breeze and sunny day lift my spirits, I am again badgered by the public radio station with details of deaths in Iraq, nuclear threats from North Korea and the latest unemployment figures.  Then there are special reports about global warming, AIG’s request to give out more bonuses, and the state of California’s mandatory furloughs (really?  furloughs?) and its unfortunate need to hand out IOU’s instead of checks. 

I really want to be well informed.  But at what cost?  For whatever reason I am sensitive to such negativity.  It doesn’t trigger sadness in me.  It doesn’t trigger anger.  It detonates any sense of hope and that triggers depression. 

So I’ve turned everything off, at least temporarily.  I just need a brief respite from all the negativity.  Some time to regroup.  To rebalance my energy.  Then I can tackle that global warming issue or go shopping to try and help Schwarzenegger refill the state coffers.  

New York MagazineBut as I sort through the mail I come across the latest issue of New York magazine.  That should lift my spirits, I think.  I’ll flip through it and get some ideas for a trip I’m planning in August.  Perhaps find a new restaurant or pick out a couple of Broadway shows to see.  Sadly, instead, only a dozen shiny pages into it, the will to live becomes a distant memory. 

An essay on Levi Johnston makes me want to go back to bed and bury my head under the covers.  This seems to me, given my current state of mind, the exclamation point on the downfall of society.  It is the epitome of granting a person celebrity status for no apparent reason. 

I guess it’s true, that being rich and successful is predicated by luck more than anything.  So why bother?  If you believe what Malcolm Gladwell has to say, and he has some pretty interesting details to back up his speculation, good fortune is the basis for success.  And while he focuses his comments on the rich and famous, there is no denying the same applies to the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker.  Or the high school hockey player form Wasilla. 

The sense of possibility so necessary for success comes not just from inside us or from our parents.  It comes from our time: from the particular opportunities that our particular place in history presents us with.” “Outliers: The Story of Success,” by Malcolm Gladwell 

The truth is, I don’t mind wallowing in relative obscurity.  I have a roof over my head and food on the table, and that is a lot more than many do in what is supposed to be the greatest (or at least the wealthiest) country on the planet.  And I don’t begrudge anyone their fame and fortune.  If it’s deserved.  But perhaps that’s relative too. 

Perhaps I wouldn’t be so depressed by the news that Levi is getting movie deals and book contracts if someone could give me some (any) justification as to why? 

And in case you’re wondering, that is NOT a rhetorical question.

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