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Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America
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October 2017: Society > Hand to Mouth by Linda Tirado - 1 star

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message 1: by Ellen (last edited Oct 05, 2017 10:11AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Ellen | 2134 comments I expected to read an eye-opening viewpoint of being poor in America. Instead, I read about an extremely angry, foul-mouthed, sarcastic, whiny woman who blames everyone but herself for the situation in which she finds herself. She is uber-defensive about how hard she has tried to find decent jobs, healthcare, etc. Of course it is hard; life is hard but at some point we all must own our contributions to our place in society. I know this is such a stupid thing for me to pick up on - the fact that she smokes and the reasons she gives for continuing. It helps her 'stay awake' and 'alert' for the harsh realities of working two jobs. Um, own it - you're addicted and like to smoke. I have read several reviews about the questionable veracity of the author's claims and I don't know whether they are true or not. I do know that this girl has a chip on her shoulder the size of Mt. Rushmore and it's hard to feel compassion for someone that angry at the world.


message 2: by Karin (last edited Oct 05, 2017 07:58AM) (new)

Karin | 6996 comments Thanks for the warning! I realize I "don't understand" smoking, but I always say that if you are living hand to mouth you need to give up smoking, alcohol, etc so you can pay your bills and perhaps even save up some money (if possible) to help improve your situation (use that saved up cigarette money to take a night school class eventually, etc). I had a friend in high school--lovely girl--whose parents couldn't always afford milk so they'd buy koolaid, but they always had enough money for beer. They were alcoholics. Plus her dad worked at the mill and made enough money for them to live in a better house, eat properly, etc (I knew a lot of people whose dads worked at the mill or were loggers, fishermen, etc, and all of them were able to live better than that on their incomes if they weren't alcoholics, and most weren't).


message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6431 comments Ellen wrote: "I expected to read an eye-opening viewpoint of being poor in America. Instead, I read about an extremely angry, foul-mouthed, sarcastic, whiny woman who blames everyone but herself for the situatio..."

Ugh.

Personally, I am with you with the smoking thing. I definitely think everyone is free to do what they want, but I can't imagine rationalizing it in the way you describe; it would turn me off to everything the person was saying.

I feel this way about my own eating of meat. I have lots of vegetarian friends, and they tell me the many good reasons I should not eat meat. And there's a lot of real reasons. But I like meat, and I eat it. It's not really justifiable. It's selfish and a choice.


message 4: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6431 comments Karin wrote: "Thanks for the warning! I realize I "don't understand" smoking, but I always say that if you are living hand to mouth you need to give up smoking, alcohol, etc so you can pay your bills and perhaps..."

I think you also make a good point. If you are economically struggling, smoking is not a good habit . . .very expensive, never mind the health care associated with it.


message 5: by Karin (last edited Oct 06, 2017 02:58PM) (new)

Karin | 6996 comments Anita wrote: "I feel this way about my own eating of meat. I have lots of vegetarian friends, and they tell me the many good reasons I should not eat meat. And there's a lot of real reasons. But I like meat, and I eat it. It's not really justifiable. It's selfish and a choice.."

Actually, humans are biologically omnivores, so it's not selfish to eat meat in moderation. I understand that people have reasons for not eating it, and that's fine (I tried stopping it, but cannot process non-heme iron, period). Our dentition, digestive tracts and many other things scream omnivore biologically. We eat only grass raised beef because cattle raised on grass do NOT over-produce methane, that's only cattle raised on grain in feedlots. And we're not the only omnivorous primates.

As for carnivores (which we aren't) have you seen this amazing video of what happens when top level carnivores were reintroduced to this national park? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5O...


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