Happy Thursday, loyal readers, and welcome! I get to work with teachers, which makes me happy, and a few weeks ago, one of my colleagues, who is in her mid-20s, told me something that got me thinking. She said, “I know how to work hard. That’s not the problem. It’s just that I don’t want to work hard all the time.” That sentiment is at the heart of today’s lead article, “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.” I can’t wait until you read it. It’ll get you to think, no matter which generation you claim.
+ Announcing: Pop-Up Article Club! Want to read and discuss a great article in person with other Highlighter subscribers? Eight of us will gather on Feb. 10, 2-4 pm, at The Highlighter Retreat Center in Oakland. Email me if you’re interested in signing up or if you have questions about this new endeavor!
A year ago (#124), I featured the article, “Millennials Are Screwed,” which challenged stereotypical notions that millennials are lazy and spend too much money on avocado toast. This provocative article by Anne Helen Petersen offers a theory about why millennials have trouble doing errands, registering to vote, and preparing food. They’re burned out from adulting because they’ve spent all their energy optimizing their lives. (34 min)
Go ahead, delete your Facebook account. But doing so won’t prevent your dependence on technology. No amount of minimalism or tidying up will slow down the effects of capitalism and the industrial world. (Besides, you like your iPhone!) The only remedy — according to anti-civ advocates, eco-extremists, and followers of Ted Kaczynski, who sent bombs to scientists 23 years ago — is to blow everything up. If we don’t, there’s no hope against climate change, and we’ll continue living in The Matrix. (33 min)
More than 1,500 monuments remain standing to honor the Confederacy. They’re not free, and not all of them are privately funded. Over the past 10 years, Southern states have charged their residents $40 million in taxes to maintain these monuments and to support groups that promote white supremacy. An example: Mississippi fourth graders go on field trips to learn “the honest truth, that slavery was good and bad,” that the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery, and that slave owners “loved their slaves” and ”treated them like family.” (24 min)
Everyone seems to be watching “Tidying Up” on Netflix, and I proudly announce that I’m on Episode 5. Except not everyone agrees that Marie Kondo(#51, #65, #101) sparks joy. In this review, Rosemarie Ho challenges Ms. Kondo’s approach. What if an item is useful but doesn’t spark joy? Isn’t clutter also the preservation of memory? (8 min)
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