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Garret Vreeland
174 followers -
Continuously generating eclectricity.
Continuously generating eclectricity.

174 followers
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
It is a 'hammock' of support we expect to enjoy, without ever thinking about it. I was made particularly aware of just this issue two weeks ago. I observed a young man cleaning toilets at an establishment I work with, and something about the light brought up a memory that cast a shadow across that light.

I cleaned toilets and cleaned motel rooms in between years of college at a national park (a privilege in itself). Thanks to 'white male privilege', I went from toilets to directing managers in the halls of the Fortune 100. That young man will likely never have that opportunity because of his ethnicity and perceived education level. And who knows? He might do better than I.

I've been musing upon the thought for days now ...
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
Rainer Marie Rilke, "Letters to a Young Poet", may help you at this time. The last few, perhaps, more than the first. Try #7.
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
Richard Bach, writing to his months-previous self (who'd just had his car repossessed): "You survived because you decided against quitting when the battle wasn't much fun ... that was the only miracle required. [snip] Please don't waste your time worrying or being afraid."
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
You know, it's funny - serendipitous. I've begun trying to write a book on my experiences blogging - I've threatened (!) to do so for a while now. Just two nights ago, I came across a post similar to this in my archives. I left it in draft mode, because I feared the response. You have more guts than I did!

I suppose my area of interest these days is in how we express our character through text. Authenticity, and how you create it. But those who are authentic these days don't seem to get any traffic. Influencers, with their 'Fakebook' and 'Finstagram' posts, heavily doctored, sickeningly sweetened prose, are at the fore today. They won't always be; the bounceback is already under way.

Where to set your personal 'filters', that's a more difficult problem. I draw the line at things I would not say in public or to strangers. As I've said elsewhere, working in an Elton John lyric, "If you post outside of the courage of your convictions, then you’re better off dead if you haven’t yet died."

Then again, there's Audrey: "What is in other people's minds is not in my mind. I just do my thing."

And I think that's as good a rule for weblogging as any.
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
I feared mistakes so, when I was in college. Only later did I realize the value of making better mistakes faster. I realize this won't help for an important dissertation, but the ability to cycle through really good mistakes ('learning opportunities') has helped me climb the knowledge curve faster.

I should have understood that earlier in life; I had a childhood friend in school who feigned being a borderline-incompetent. The teachers went out of their way to give him extra instruction, gave him special consideration. Bloody brilliant - he went on to earn two Engineering degrees.
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
Wishing you a very Happy Birthday from New Mexico, Mollie!
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
Some backstory you may not be aware of, but might assist in understanding why this was made:

1. America fetishizes WWII. It was used as a propaganda tool during the Vietnam War to reinforce our 'rightness' ... reflecting back to our last great 'moral win.' So those of us born in the 50's and 60's have a built-in admiration for all things WWII. Whenever America is 'down', Hollywood hauls out the WWII scripts.

2. American schools don't generally teach anything about this 'first' Dunkirk episode. It's new to probably 95% of Americans. We usually only hear about the landings before storming across Europe. For those who follow British TV, "Foyle's War" introduced this history pretty well, without being overly maudlin.

3. Hollywood has a soft one-upmanship contest going on for the 'most realistic battle'. (Do we need another 'Saving Private Ryan'?) Not just in visuals, but in feel. Unfortunately, just about all the WWII generation are dead now, so noone can tell them what it was actually like anymore. This idea of 'good war' is a hard one to kill.
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
You probably have no time for ... 'elective' ... reading. But I can recommend "The Closing of the Western Mind; The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason" by Charles Freeman.
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
Right after college, I worked on Wall Street for a year and a half (different life, feels like). Being the nosey person I am, I asked everyone what their majors were. The analysts (as opposed to brokers) were mostly English and Philosophy (!) majors. No MBAs. My take was, you have to be able to write, you have to know human nature, you have to be able to think. Who better, than an English major? Depending on how important one believes Wall Street is, you could say English majors run the world ...
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Garret Vreeland commented on a post on Blogger.
I believe you have the right of it. In high school, with my speech impediment, I feared judgment, teasing and pulled inward becoming a loner. Today, through Facebook and becoming reacquainted with some of my old peers, I realize how much I missed. I find myself apologizing for my own lack of ... well, it's hard to express exactly ... 'generosity' is the best word I've found. I wasn't generous to others, but worst of all, I wasn't generous to myself. Experiences during the college years woke me up to how much I was missing out of life.

Better to risk and craft a compelling life, than to not risk and stagnate. Take occasional negative judgments as "water off a duck's back." Howl the eternal yes.
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