Sunday Bloody NYT Sunday: Special Big Advice From Big Brains Edition
You know we have made no secret of our crush on New Pope, and today's New York Times gives us even more reason to cheer the current papacy. NEW POPE TRIGGER WARNING: Yes, we know the church is still terrible. Yes, we know he gave an anti-abortion speech a while ago that had the usual sturm and drang about that Catholic church bugaboo. But the fact remains that Pope Francis has pretty much come in like a lion and just stone cold trampled over Pope Benedict's narrow, pinched, Palin-quit-in-the-middle papacy and has a strong shot at being our new Pope John XIII Also, too, Pope Francis is now the one weird trick that conservative Catholics hate.
When Pope Francis was elected in March, Bridget Kurt received a small prayer card with his picture at her church and put it up on her refrigerator at home, next to pictures of her friends and her favorite saints.[...]
But Ms. Kurt recently took the Pope Francis prayer card down and threw it away.
“It seems he’s focusing on bringing back the left that’s fallen away, but what about the conservatives?” said Ms. Kurt, a hospice community educator. “Even when it was discouraging working in pro-life, you always felt like Mother Teresa was on your side and the popes were encouraging you. Now I feel kind of thrown under the bus.”
SHE THREW HIS CARD AWAY, PEOPLE! That'll show New Pope, what with his fancy not-murdering-the-gays and maybe-sometimes-talking-to-ladies stance. The New York Times article has much talking, many feelings, from conservatives with the predictable cries that he just doesn't hate certain people enough and that is going to lead the church to ruin, but by far the best person is the one that believes that New Pope will just outright kidnap ex-pope? former pope? quitter Pope Benedict.
Some conservative Catholics are sharing prophecies online that foretell of tribulations for the church. In one, an Irish woman predicted that Benedict would be held hostage. Others cite the German mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich, who wrote of a “relationship between two popes,” one who “lives in a palace other than before,” which some now see as a reference to Benedict, who resigned as pope early this year but still lives in Vatican City. During this time there arises a “false church of darkness.”
So New Pope used some mystical mumbo jumbo Catholic voodoo to get Benedict to step down so he could ascend to the papal throne, or whatever it is popes ascend to, but killing his career isn't enough -- he's going to have to kidnap Benedict and lock him in a dark church or something. Seems reasonable.
After those big feels from some thought leaders in the Catholic church, let's check out the deep insights of a secular fellow, one Bernard Tyson, the CEO of Kaiser Permanente. What great employee relations things do you do to stay at the top like Tyson?
I use a lot of analogies in my organization. I have a little airplane on my desk, and if I have to have a difficult conversation with somebody, I will say: “Put on your seatbelt. We’re going to be fine, but we’re going to go through some turbulence.” Feedback, to me, is a gift.
Analogies are always fun and relatable, people. The rich really are just like us, except for how they control multi-gazillion dollar health care companies. Besides being an analogy ninja, he's also got a really unique perspective on employees that no one has ever thought of before:
And I assess all my leaders on three dimensions: the head, the heart and the guts. I want to get a sense of the head — how do you think, how do you work, and how do you take in information and synthesize it to drive forward? Then I want to know about the heart. How do you relate to people? How do you get people excited about doing something?
Hmmm. That seems like something perfectly obvious that we are capable of thinking, but we probably wouldn't say that you should synthesize information and drive it forward, because that makes it sound like we are taking the information for a trip in our car. This is probably why we do not run multi-gazillion dollar health care companies.
After that bracing dose of innovative thinking, let's head on over to the Sunday Styles section, which is where the NYT has inexplicably stashed a long article about Gore Vidal giving all his money to Harvard -- which he did not attend -- and making everyone SO MAD about it. His family is suing to challenge the will and also is spending some quality time dropping hints that Vidal was a pedophile. That's a super nice Sunday Styles read. We are not going to even begin to weigh in on the veracity of the pedophile accusations except to say that calling your dead uncle a pedophile is prolly not the way to convince anyone that you should get his monies and IT DOES NOT BELONG IN SUNDAY STYLES.
While Sunday Styles has become a mish-mash of stories about powerful ladies and now, apparently, powerful gheys, there's nothing mish-mashy about that new Social Q etiquette column that we are obsessed with. OBSESSED. It is an always-reliable source of people whining about how they really want to do a terrible thing and they really want people not to mind:
For the last nine years, I have been raising an ex’s son as my own. I am about to become his legal guardian. I never married or had biological children, so this is probably the only official family event I will have in my life. I have gone to countless weddings, showers, brises, christenings — you name it — and have given generously and happily to my friends. If my family hosts a celebration for the guardianship, would it be wrong to strongly hint that equivalent, big occasion gifts are welcome?
The guy stuck with listening to these people gives this person a nice nuanced answer that boils down to "no, that would be rude and many people live their lives without giant gift-giving occasions." Our answer would be similar, except much shorter because it only takes 8 words to say JESUS FUCK NO WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?
Speaking of what is wrong with you, let's check in on Modo, shall we? MoDo has an interview with Sarah Silverman in advance of her upcoming teevee special. Silverman's special, we mean. Not MoDo. No one wants to watch a MoDO teevee special. Shudder to think.
Surprisingly, MoDo's interview with Silverman does not veer off into any oversharing about MoDo, and thank god for that. She does, however, make sure to quote Silverman's thoughts on Hillary, because she is probably literally congenitally biologically unable to pass up even the slightest shade about Hillz.
As Hollywood bowed down to Hillary Clinton, who swept through on a state visit with Chelsea on Friday, there seemed to be only one person here with any reservations.
“I want her to take a voice class,” Sarah Silverman said [...] “She’s so smart and has so much to say and can change the world but she’s” — here Silverman goes fortissimo — “TALKING LIKE SHE’S YELLING AT YOU. She sounds like a mom who’s yelling at you. And it triggers a response.”
MoDo, darling, if you don't think Silverman will be at the fucking comedic front lines to get Hillz elected, you are sadly mistaken. The rest of us simply aren't carrying a rabid hatred for Hillary simply because her husband slept around and failed to sleep around with us.
Thomas Friedman would like you to know he supports Obamacare because the Earth is flat, or maybe hot, flat, and crowded, and we all need to drive Lexus SUVs to the olive tree. Fuck it. We don't actually understand why he supports Obamacare. If we can untangle all the proactive synergizing, we think he is saying he is in in favor of the most wee bit of a social safety net because the middle class is basically fucking gone, but of course to Friedman that is actually cool because it gives us all these opportunities.
As a result, argues Manyika, how we think about “employment” to sustain a middle-class lifestyle may need to expand “to include a broader set of possibilities for generating income” compared with the traditional job, with benefits and a well-grooved career path. To be in the middle class, you may need to consider not only high-skilled jobs, “but also more nontraditional forms of work,” explained Manyika. Work itself may have to be thought of as “a form of entrepreneurship” where you draw on all kinds of assets and skills to generate income.
This could mean leveraging your skills through Task Rabbit, or your car through Uber, or your spare bedroom through AirBnB to add up to a middle-class income.
Yeah, hustling to do extra jobs or rent out our car or live at a friend's house while we rent out our hovel to strangers is so bracingly innovational we can hardly stand it.
Ross Douthat has an open letter to Chris Christie, and we are totes sure that Christie will get right on taking advice from the 1990s-facial-hair-rocking Ross. Douthat's advice is predictable. Don't be Jon Huntsman. Don't be Rudy Giuliani. In short, please don't be someone that lost. That is some excellent nuanced advice that no one else has probably ever thought of, Ross. Also, too, don't listen to your donors, Chris Christie, because if you kick the people that give you money right square in their teeth, they'll still love you when you propose a tax plan that favors the middle class. What color is the sky in Ross Douthat's world, do you think? Magenta? Teal? Puce? We're going with puce.
Thanks for joining on our ride through Obvious Advice Day at the NYT. Maybe next week we'll be lucky enough to have an all-Slate-style counterintuitive take Sunday paper and then we can really go to town.