- Starving Artist Trope — this trope is such bullshit. The idea that poverty/ hunger/ worry about bills is going to jump-start creativity is INSANE. It flies in the face of all common sense and everything we understand about psychology. I don’t understand how this idea was a) born and b) continues to thrive.
- How much is enough? — At the WPC-14, there was this one class where we were talking about wealth, poverty, and classism; and how to talk to children about these issues. One of the phrases that kept (appallingly) coming up in the session was, “How much is really enough? Really? I mean, poor people know how to do so much more with what they have — they really are richer in spirit.”
I wish I was making this shit up.
One lady actually said that children in Africa were happier, in a sense, than wealthy kids in America — because in rural African villages, she explained, they have emotional support from all the adults in the village. Someone is always there for them, no matter what.
Wealthy American kids, though, are often isolated — like Rapunzel in her tower. No real friends, and a parent who ignores them. It’s sad for wealthy white kids in their lonely tower of privilege.
Every time someone in the class said, “How much is enough, really? How can you measure wealth and love?” I would think, “$75,000. That’s how much is enough. Bills paid, groceries on the table, and a little left over to sock into savings. That’s how much is enough.”
* More recent studies apparently cite the magical number at somewhere between $50,000 – $75,000, depending on your local cost of living.
Even the poor have something very chic about them.” – Karl Lagerfeld, creative director for Chanel and Fendi, discussing India’s slum-dwelling, “elegant” women
After watching Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s kitschy film Amélie and taking in its bright colors and even brighter vision of Paris and love, it’s easy to want to drop everything and find a tiny apartment in Montmartre. There, you could ride around on a one-speed bicycle, work at a charming brasserie, and find love, perhaps even sport a cute lil’ bob like Miss Audrey Tautou (God bless her and that haircut).
Don’t we all pine for the simple life? The life of the baker or shoemaker or even the Parisian waitress like Amélie? After all, it seems so simple. When the rich, or even the middle class, imagine the lives of the working class or poor, they envision an existence that is uncomplicated, void of stress, pure, and moral.
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