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