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We Learn Nothing: Essays de Tim Kreider

We Learn Nothing: Essays (edição: 2013)

de Tim Kreider (Autor)

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2351286,701 (3.91)4
A "New York Times" political cartoonist and writer presents a collection of his most popular essays and drawings about life and government hypocrisy.
Título:We Learn Nothing: Essays
Autores:Tim Kreider (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2013), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

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We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons de Tim Kreider

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, everlastingjoy, tim_mo, kvschnitzer, Zoester, ChadM.Crabtree, KarenFunt, Reynik, rick_saenz

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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I didn't expect to like this collection of essays as much as I did. Maybe it had to do with a recent break-up and a certain openness to hearing what Kreider said about relationships, about connecting with people, about heartbreak and being young and growing up. Based on his political cartoons, I wouldn't have ever picked up this book, but I would have missed out on a satirical, sarcastic, funny, and poignant collection of essays that talked about varied subjects, from the Tea Party, being friends with a man who becomes a woman, listening to and ignoring the "lone voice of reason," arrested adolescence, and being an adult. Many of the essays are tinged with the emerging adulthood viewpoint, and perhaps that is why they speak so strongly to me at this time.

"Young adulthood is an anomalous time in people's lives; they're as unlike themselves as they're ever going to be, experimenting with substances and sex, ideology and religion, trying on different identities before their personalities set. Some people flirt briefly with being freethinking bohemians before moving back to the suburbs to become their parents. Friends who seemed pretty much indistinguishable from you in your twenties make different decisions about family or career, and after a decade or two these initial differences yield such radically divergent trajectories that when you get together again you regard each other's lives with bemused incomprehension. You're like two seeds that looked identical, one of which turned into a kiwi and the other into a banyan" (124-125). ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
This is comical. The most banal observations offered as some wisdom for the ages in the most pretentious language imaginable. The author appears to be some kind of proto hipster squared, pampered and aimless with nothing to drive him away from teenage level nihilism. ( )
  TeaTimeCoder | Dec 23, 2020 |
Well-written, thoughtful essays. Leans left. ( )
  FannyBurning | Aug 14, 2020 |
I took a lot of notes for this book, but this gist is this. Tim Kreider is a fantastic writer, but a dingaling. He’s very much a centrist liberal with a rejection of “PC culture” and thinks people should hew to the categories of his adolescence. His use of gender pronouns is awful during the otherwise quite good chapter on his transwoman friend. Some could be excused for getting us in the mindset he was in at the time while learning new things about his close friend, but still, you don’t consider someone a s/he. That’s not a thing, never was a thing. He talks about her wearing women’s clothes before she came out to her friends as her “grading our papers on Borges in drag”, which simultaneously misunderstands and misrepresents drag and the plight of a closeted transperson. He uses a dead name a lot while narrating this story, and calls her being trans “delusional” before he adapts to it. He even says he feels, after her surgery, and I quote, “I felt the same way some lesbians must when one of their number suddenly ups and marries a man, defects to conventionality, Not just abandoned but betrayed, as if one a besieged cadre had deserted.” Tim, you are describing bisexual people, first of all, and the rest of that is fucking gross. Honest, yes. Well written? Eh. But gross. And the whole “my heterosexuality is hanging by a thread” remark to her while rubbing lotion on her back in the hospital is fucking *awful* and shows just how little he understands. He positions her as being “free of all the corporeal baggage of chromosomes, hormones, and footwear.” Fuck, man. Awful.

The way he relates to women is abhorrent. He others them constantly and there are way too many examples to cite.

He also takes a lot of dings at gay people. He calls himself a “fag, not gay” in one of his comics, and says “I feel like a closeted homosexual having to smile tightly through his coworker’s jokes about fags.” I don’t think you’ve experienced that. “We’re the Red States’ feckless, ineffectual, faggy compassionate side...” Hmm. No. Not an okay thing to say. This was never okay to say this millennium, let alone ever. He shits on poly people. He maintains the status quo delineating male and female relationships with regard to their openness and self-referencing. He describes an unmediated bipolar person as “insane.” He equates changing a tire and throwing a football with being a man.

There’s a lot of Protestant guilt and hidden depression laden throughout his recollections. He probably should’ve gotten help much earlier. He had the money.

The writing is good. There are good bits in here. It’s worth reading ultimately as a reflection of some good human feelings, albeit coming from someone who does not understand inclusivity or the modern world, but one a world died a little while ago, but whose corpse is still warm. ( )
  jtth | May 4, 2020 |
Damn, I hate when I have to second-guess/reevaluate/reconsider/realize I may have been wrong. It has recently happened twice. The first was reading Feck Perfuction by James Victore. Hated it on my first reading but began to wonder if the fault (dear reader) was in myself, not the book. I gave it an appropriate amount of time, started re-reading, and, voila, 180-degree change of perception.

Yesterday I finished Kreider’s collection of essays, We Learn Nothing. It was work to read it, I was not entertained, I was not enlightened, and I was ready to savage it as another ponderous collection of New York Times essays. (Not as bad as reading the New Yorker, but, still.)

Today, I went back to record some of the dog-eared pages. (An aside: As I read, if something strikes me, I will note it and then, once I’m through with the book, take a look at what I have noticed.) What I noticed in this book was striking. And, much more quickly than in the example above, I realized there was a whole lot more here than I first thought. Looking past my conceptions/misconceptions about what I was reading revealed ideas, concepts, and writing that were worth the time.

I have not seen evidence for this book to move from two stars (my initial impression) to a glowing five stars plus. There are times when an essay, a section, a paragraph, even a sentence is a bit much – going on longer than I feel is necessary. And I cannot connect with or feel that certain revelations/discussions/concepts are ones I can care about.

But it is a book (and, more importantly, writing) that bears rereading, paying attention to what is being said. There is value in some of the stories being told. But it is the details within those stories – the thoughts and ideas, the expressions, the sentences, the sections that will be dog-eared – that have the most value.

I’m moving this book from my stack of “read” (a very large stack where things are hard to find) to “take another look” (a smaller stack that is right there next to my desk to occasionally grab my attention.) And, further, I would suggest you read this book. And, when you do so, take the time to find the gems that are scattered within. ( )
  figre | Jan 5, 2020 |
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A "New York Times" political cartoonist and writer presents a collection of his most popular essays and drawings about life and government hypocrisy.

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