bright-sided by barbara ehrenreich

“We don’t usually talk about American nationalism, but it is a mark of how deep it runs that we apply the word ‘nationalism’ to Serbs, Russians, and others, while believing ourselves to possess a uniquely superior version called ‘patriotism’. A central tenet of American nationalism has been the belief that the United States is ‘the greatest nation of earth’-more dynamic, democrats, and prosperous than any other nation, as well as technologically superior.” (6)

this is an interesting place to start on a cancer meditation-i like it. i originally heard this author speak on this book on the philly free library podcast and yes, that will be one that i will be excited to have access to once again, when i have a computer of my own. i’m also not down with the idea of (breast) cancer as a rite of passage, and think we should shift our priorities to figuring out how our world is giving us cancer (hint-it could be in our environment and our self-image). i’m all for making the most of a situation, but come on-people are sold by the idea of “perking” up the other breast when you receive the implant that comes to “replace” the one you lost? let’s reconsider…

“Possibly the idea was that regression to a state of childlike dependency puts one in the best frame of mind for enduring the prolonged and toxic treatments. Or it may be that, in some versions of the prevailing gender ideology femininity is by its nature incompatible with full adulthood-a state of arrested development. Certainly men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not receive gifts of Matchbox cars.” (24)

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