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Please wish me luck as I try to read 20 books before the end of the year so that I can buy a new book ASAP! Also if I manage it I’ll have more than tripled my reading goal and be not far off of my last big reading year of 2015! I’d like to end the year having read almost 100 books!!! Also I know my bookshelves want that for me too!

Also I have two essays to write before the 4th and 5th of January with 100% and 75% of my grade respectively. So I’m definitely going to need all the luck I can get haha

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Jia Tolentino, “We Come From Old Virginia” from Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
But the choice is not always between being sincere and untruthful. It’s possible to be both: it’s possible to be sincere and deluded. It’s possible—it’s very easy, in some cases—to believe a statement, a story, that’s a lie.
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I don’t know if this is a hot take or not but Mel Gibson had absolutely no business making the passion of the Christ a) not badly historically in accurate and b) in fucking ARAMAIC why the fuck has an Australian actor made me put subtitles on to a film??? Some of its in Latin???? Wtaf???? Absolutely uncalled for!! Also it’s way too long!!

Why did my Jesus lecturer recommend this film? Why am I watching it right before bed? Why am I doing my essay on the topic this film covers??? Why is the film weirdly good????

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Jia Tolentino, “The Story of a Generation in Seven Scams” from Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
It would be better, of course, to do things morally. But who these days has the ability or the time? Everything, not least the physical world itself, is overheating. The ‘margin of refusal,’ as Jenny Odell puts it, is shrinking, and the stakes are getting higher. People are so busy just trying to get back to zero, or trying to build up a buffer against disaster, or trying to enjoy themselves, because there’s so little else to count on—three endeavors that could contain the vast majority of human effort until our depleted planet finally ends it all. And, while we do this—because we do this—the honest avenues keep contracting and dead-ending. There are fewer and fewer options for a person to survive in this ecosystem in a thoroughly defensible way.

I still believe, at some inalterable level, that I can make it out of here. After all, it only took about seven years of flogging my own selfhood on the internet to get to a place where I could comfortably afford to stop using Amazon to save fifteen minutes and five dollars at a time. I tell myself that these tiny scraps of relief and convenience and advantage will eventually accumulate into something transformative—that one day I will ascend to an echelon where I won’t have to compromise anymore, where I can really behave thoughtfully, where some imaginary future actions will cancel out all the self-interested scrabbling that came before. This is a useful fantasy, I think, but it’s a fantasy. We are what we do, and we do what we’re used to, and like so many people in my generation, I was raised from adolescence to this fragile, frantic, unstable adulthood on a relentless demonstration that scamming pays.
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considering the similarities between both of my essays on narratives, discourses, and representations, perhaps references to Goffman’s work on Stigma, and Bordieu’s symbolic violence would be relevant?

writing about social problems associated with framing and narratives around race. I’m choosing to discuss mental health in black people, such as how the “black male and violent” narrative leads to misdiagnosing blacks as schizophrenic, inaccessibility to talkative therapies, and greater involvement of police services. there’s also the “unintelligent black” narrative, a perpetual discourse that goes as far back as the 1800s which is internalised in mental health practitioners and guides their decision to deny black people talkative therapies because they lack the insight to cooperate.

Mental health is seen as an individual problem, in the same way that poverty is. Yet there are structural inequalities that exist in our society’s institutions that go completely unrecognised. It is, in my mind, a vicious cycle. Black people deal with racism which creates their mental health issues or worsens it in some cases. But they can’t seek immediate help because the mental health service is not representative of them and is Eurocentric.

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Henry David Thoreau, Walden
The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.
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Jia Tolentino, “Pure Heroines” from Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
The heroine’s journey, or her lack of one, serves as a reminder that whatever is dictated is not eternal, not predestined, not necessarily true. The trajectory of literary women from brave to blank to bitter is a product of material social conditions. The fact that the heroine’s journey is framed as a default one for women is proof of our failure to see, for so long, that other paths were possible, and that many other ones exist.
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Jia Tolentino, “Pure Heroines” from Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion
This, perhaps, is the heroine’s subtext: the presumed universality of her own straight whiteness is the literary heroine’s shallow revenge. There is another tradition, one of deprivation and resistance and beauty. […] But these stories are, in every case, animated by very particular modes of socially imposed difference. They do not cohere into an un-narrative. Just as the heroine’s text is constrained by cultural inequities that the unmarked male experience can never speak to, nonwhite and nonstraight literary women are constrained in a way that the heroine’s text can never account for or reach.
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