A shocking number of young people in Japan aren’t having sex, and have no desire to get married:
“Marriage has become a minefield of unattractive choices. Japanese men have become less career-driven, and less solvent, as lifetime job security has waned. Japanese women have become more independent and ambitious. Yet conservative attitudes in the home and workplace persist. Japan’s punishing corporate world makes it almost impossible for women to combine a career and family, while children are unaffordable unless both parents work. Cohabiting or unmarried parenthood is still unusual, dogged by bureaucratic disapproval.”
Thursday is a great day to do that 1 thing you don’t want to do but also don’t want to continue thinking about doing. Friday is an acceptable day also.
My 1 thing for today is to clean my room and do some laundry (“do some laundry” = drop some laundry off for someone else to do) (Newwww Yoorrrrrrrrrkkkkk). Buy some toilet paper. Drink a lot of water since I’m getting sick. What else. Eat some vegetables. Take a shower, that’s a good one. Floss. You know, just generally take this day to do things that need to be done, in life.
This week also marks the countdown into absolutely-have-to-do-my-taxes-now-there-are-no-other-extensions territory. My brain sure will have fun thinking constantly about them yet doing nothing for the next two weeks! The deadline is October 15th. My goal is to have them done by the 14th. (bb steps.)
Do 1 Thing.
Nigel Branken lives in Johannesburg in South Africa and employs a domestic worker.
Where have you lived, Cat Burston?
Bayou Corne, La. residents have been shut out from their homes since a Texas Brine mining sink hole disaster released toxic gas in August 2012! Their lives suck because of it! Obviously! And the company is still mining ta-da! America!
(“The settlements come with no admission of wrongdoing—to the contrary, the company insists the town is perfectly safe, and that residents (some of whom have defied the evacuation order) are taking advantage of Texas Brine’s generosity by accepting weekly $875 stipends for living expenses while never leaving their homes. Only 59 homeowners have taken deals so far; others have signed onto a class action lawsuit against the company that’s set to go to trial next year.”)
Did you maybe momentarily think, $875, “that’s a lot”? Because I kind of did, and then I was like wait, no, this is VERY WRONG. That company has TONS OF MONEY and they RUINED LIVES. $875/week is not enough for that.
Jane Catherine Lotter wrote her own obituary. It’s beautiful. What a cool lady. (“I was given the gift of life, and now I have to give it back. This is hard. But I was a lucky woman, who led a lucky existence, and for this I am grateful. I first got sick in January 2010. When the cancer recurred last year and was terminal, I decided to be joyful about having had a full life, rather than sad about having to die. Amazingly, this outlook worked for me. (Well, you know, most of the time.) Meditation and the study of Buddhist philosophy also helped me accept what I could not change. At any rate, I am at peace. And on that upbeat note, I take my mortal leave of this rollicking, revolving world-this sun, that moon, that walk around Green Lake, that stroll through the Pike Place Market, the memory of a child’s hand in mine.”)
Where’d your last hundo go, Sarah Salovaara?
Today at Longreads: A full chapter from Among Murderers: Life After Prison, by Sabine Heinlein, which gives us a look into how convicted murderers look for work after being released from prison.
On Sunday the restaurant was slow, so I got cut from work early. I walked toward the river. The sun was starting to set and it was very pretty, and there were lots of people playing with babies and running and stretching and lounging in the grass. Some people were staring at the water and some people were staring at their companions and some people were staring at other people, like I was.
I walked along the water for awhile and thought about sitting in the grass, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to actually sit in the grass, so I kept walking. The path curved away from the river, I was getting to the piers now, the piers that are actually gyms and event spaces, so I walked away from the water, cut over. Maybe I’d head a little bit uptown to a rooftop bar I knew, sit with a cocktail. Or maybe I’d take a train home, sit on the fire escape with the bottle of rose in the fridge. I could go to a movie, it was hot, and I hadn’t been to the movies in awhile. What was playing, I wondered without touching my phone. So many options. Too many. I kept walking.
The further I got from the water, the hotter it got, the slight breeze dissipating. It was maybe 6 p.m. I passed some boutiques, some chain stores, a makeup store that I usually find it hard to resist, but I walked by. Well, there’s a decision, I found one thing I don’t want to do.
Then I walked by Mr Jonathan. He was sitting on a pipe, or an electric meter, a hydrant, his large body propped up on a stool that wasn’t a stool. He was wearing a football jersey, jeans. He was sweating. He looked hot. He looked miserable. Another lady was shaking her head no, walking away, when I made eye contact and stopped. I was waiting for the universe to give me something, and well, here it was, it gave me Mr. Jonathan.
My hypothetical $200.
Here’s a study: Dudes with sisters have more primitive ideas about gender roles than dudes without sisters, mostly because the dudes with sisters likely grew up watching their sisters do the dishes and dust while they got to, idk, play Madden.
And please recall: Dude CEO’s (are there any other kind, lol) who have daughters are more likely to have a smaller wage gap between men and women in the companies they run.
So, we must conclude: Have a son, but only one. And then make (“make”) that son have a daughter, but only one, and then we’ll be on our way to creating a super race of dudes who know women do more than housework and properly compensate them for it.
Three years ago Melissa Petro wrote a column for HuffPo about being a sex worker; as a result, she lost her job as a teacher. Today she makes her living writing and talking about sex work, by choice but also by necessity. She writes about the double standard for men and women after scandal for New York. (“I would be fine with Spitzer’s return to politics if sex workers were allowed the same dignity of returning to normalcy. But apologizing and getting my career back wasn’t exactly an option our society supports.”)
George Packer’s New Yorker piece on the speaking circuit for former presidents and secretaries of state and other people not named Clinton is delicious with details how who got paid how much for what. So good. Central to the piece is this quote from Harry S. Truman, who refused such engagements and spent many years after his presidency very poor: “I could never lend myself to any transaction, however respectable, that would commercialize on the prestige and dignity of the office of the Presidency.”
Packer writes: “Truman’s gesture now seems exceedingly old-fashioned. Today, no one refuses the money.”