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

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                                                                                                                                                By Michelle Goldberg Posted on October 11, cheapest prices on viagra 2009, cheapest prices on viagra Printed on October 15, cheapest prices on viagra 2009 http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/rdbook/1849/ Last month, cheapest prices on viagra 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, cheapest prices on viagra who have lots of charisma but no professional qualifications, cheapest prices on viagra are setting themselves up as ersatz gurus to their questing peers. Cheapest prices on viagra 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, cheapest prices on viagra well versed in self-help and New Age spirituality, cheapest prices on viagra and who are finding a way to make a living preaching to eager audiences, cheapest prices on viagra mostly female, cheapest prices on viagra” reported the Times. Cheapest prices on viagra One 31-year-old member of this eager audience is quoted praising her spiritual tutor Gabrielle Bernstein, cheapest prices on viagra a 29-year-old former nightclub publicist who lectures on using the “laws of attraction” to “manifest” one’s desires. Cheapest prices on viagra “A lot of women look up to her, cheapest prices on viagra” the student says. Cheapest prices on viagra “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, cheapest prices on viagra acidulous new book, cheapest prices on viagra Bright-Sided: How The Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. Cheapest prices on viagra A broadside against exactly the sort of pabulum peddled by Bernstein, cheapest prices on viagra Bright-Sided reveals the historical roots and conservative uses of the positive thinking movement, cheapest prices on viagra showing how it encourages victim-blaming, cheapest prices on viagra political complacency, cheapest prices on viagra 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, cheapest prices on viagra it must be because you didn’t try hard enough, cheapest prices on viagra didn’t believe firmly enough in the inevitability of your success, cheapest prices on viagra” writes Ehrenreich. Cheapest prices on viagra “As the economy has brought more layoffs and financial turbulence to the middle class, cheapest prices on viagra the promoters of positive thinking have increasingly emphasized this negative judgment: to be disappointed, cheapest prices on viagra resentful, cheapest prices on viagra or downcast is to be a ‘victim’ and a ‘whiner.’” It’s satisfying, cheapest prices on viagra in a cranky contrarian way, cheapest prices on viagra to watch a writer as smart as Ehrenreich take aim at something as universally revered as dogged optimism. Cheapest prices on viagra Yet while America’s obsessive positivity might be risible, cheapest prices on viagra it initially seems like a stretch to describe it as dangerous. Cheapest prices on viagra Nevertheless, cheapest prices on viagra Bright-Sided makes a surprisingly convincing case that positive thinking—which essentially teaches that one’s thoughts, cheapest prices on viagra properly harnessed, cheapest prices on viagra can control physical events in the world—is often delusional and sometimes actively dangerous. Michelle Goldberg, cheapest prices on viagra a contributing editor at Religion Dispatches, cheapest prices on viagra is the author of the New York Times bestseller Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism, cheapest prices on viagra and of the forthcoming The Means of Reproduction: Sex, cheapest prices on viagra Power and the Future of the World, cheapest prices on viagra to be published in April by Penguin Press. View this story online at: http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/rdbook/1849/