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Barbara Ehrenreich's Bright-Sided Explores the Dark Side of Positive Thinking

                                                                                                                                                By Michelle Goldberg Posted on October 11, buy discount diflucan 2009, buy discount diflucan Printed on October 15, buy discount diflucan 2009 Last month, buy discount diflucan the front page of the New York Times style section ran an inadvertently depressing story about a group of young life coaches sometimes referred to as the “spiritual cowgirls.” These hip young women, buy discount diflucan who have lots of charisma but no professional qualifications, buy discount diflucan are setting themselves up as ersatz gurus to their questing peers. Buy discount diflucan They charge hundreds of dollars for sessions that combine new age atmospherics with the kind of power-of-positive thinking nostrums that made a phenomenon out of The Secret. “[N]ow there is a new role model for New York’s former Carrie Bradshaws—young women who are vegetarian, buy discount diflucan well versed in self-help and New Age spirituality, buy discount diflucan and who are finding a way to make a living preaching to eager audiences, buy discount diflucan mostly female, buy discount diflucan” reported the Times. Buy discount diflucan One 31-year-old member of this eager audience is quoted praising her spiritual tutor Gabrielle Bernstein, buy discount diflucan a 29-year-old former nightclub publicist who lectures on using the “laws of attraction” to “manifest” one’s desires. Buy discount diflucan “A lot of women look up to her, buy discount diflucan” the student says. Buy discount diflucan “We need this guidance and we are searching for this guidance.” Bernstein’s audacity in marketing herself as a sage appears to be matched by the piteousness of her customers. The Times story is evidence of the timeliness of Barbara Ehrenreich’s bracing, buy discount diflucan acidulous new book, buy discount diflucan Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Buy discount diflucan A broadside against exactly the sort of pabulum peddled by Bernstein, buy discount diflucan Bright-Sided reveals the historical roots and conservative uses of the positive thinking movement, buy discount diflucan showing how it encourages victim-blaming, buy discount diflucan political complacency, buy discount diflucan and a culture-wide flight from realism. “The flip side of positivity is… a harsh insistence on personal responsibility: if your business fails or your job is eliminated, buy discount diflucan it must be because you didn’t try hard enough, buy discount diflucan didn’t believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success, buy discount diflucan” writes Ehrenreich. Buy discount diflucan “As the economy has brought more layoffs and financial turbulence to the middle class, buy discount diflucan the promoters of positive thinking have increasingly emphasized this negative judgment: to be disappointed, buy discount diflucan resentful, buy discount diflucan or downcast is to be a ‘victim’ and a ‘whiner.’” It’s satisfying, buy discount diflucan in a cranky contrarian way, buy discount diflucan to watch a writer as smart as Ehrenreich take aim at something as universally revered as dogged optimism. Buy discount diflucan Yet while America’s obsessive positivity might be risible, buy discount diflucan it initially seems like a stretch to describe it as dangerous. Buy discount diflucan Nevertheless, buy discount diflucan Bright-Sided makes a surprisingly convincing case that positive thinking—which essentially teaches that one’s thoughts, buy discount diflucan properly harnessed, buy discount diflucan can control physical events in the world—is often delusional and sometimes actively dangerous. Michelle Goldberg, buy discount diflucan a contributing editor at Religion Dispatches, buy discount diflucan is the author of the New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, buy discount diflucan and of the forthcoming The Means of Reproduction: Sex, buy discount diflucan Power and the Future of the World, buy discount diflucan to be published in April by Penguin Press. View this story online at: