by Conor Friedersdorf
Paige knows what makes no sense to her:
The rat race. Society at large glorifies it, most people engage in it. Those who don't are labeled marginal, antisocial and excluded. It permeates everything. And yet, it is the rat race, in its more extreme manifestations, that is probably responsible for the over-consumption that is resulting in the destruction of the planet. It also dehumanizes people and the way they view other people. It removes principle in favor of advancement, etc., etc. Problem is that it appears to be genetically ingrained, part of the process for determining who is the fittest member of the herd, the alpha dog of the moment, if you will.
A corollary is cars as status signal. I've never understood that one, though at least a luxury automobile has more utilitarian value than a diamond, the ultimate sucker's purchase. (There are competitors. Lots of them.)
Brian has an eccentric pet peeve:
Hula Hooping. Not the standard twirling it around ones waist, mind you. But taking the time for learning to swing one around your neck, arms, or forehead is amazingly irrational, absolutely absurd, closing in on offensive, definitely silly and nonsensical, utterly counterproductive, and, potentially, morally wrong.
This I cannot abide. My friend Anjuli traveled around India paying her way partly by drilling holes in a larger than average hula hoop, pouring in paint, and hooping it out on canvas that surrounded her on three sides. It looked pretty cool, and it paid. (I am terrible at hula hooping.)