I am Shirley Jackson and Shirley Jackson is me

As T.W.O. would put it, that’s overegging the pudding a tadge.  I’ll never publish the most notorious and universal short story in American history.  More intimately, my husband is not a Kavorka Man.

But she and I both are housewives with strong intellectual drives living in whitopias where household help is only for weird inferior women who can’t manage entirely on their own or micromanage the bleep out of that poor cousin they did have come by a few days a week.  She couldn’t get nice college girls because mother’s helping was beneath them in 1950 and non-college girls were from families that hadn’t moved in 50-100 years and so they didn’t have anyone “strange” come help.  People tend to think college towns are all the same, but they operate along a continuum.  And Jackson was not in a college town where the degree was a MRS.

She also put her kids in preschool, which was called “community nursery school” and which 10-20% of women used back then.  Exact data is had to come by because of terminology and lack of collecting data issues.  And even back then it was the middle and up stay at home mothers who used it part-time and the smaller pool of working mothers using it full time.

I have her sense of anxiety and frustration, but not her pretty solid domestic skills. Our children find us odd but loving.  There is a sort of weirdly beautiful e-drama online somewhere where one of Stanley Jackson’s coed affairs is bragging about it on salon or something similar and Shirley’s kids post comments defending their mother and whaling on the smarmy coed selling the only interesting thing about herself. I was touched by the love her kids (one of which I think was a grandparent by now) had for her and their respect for her hard work keeping their home so it could be an entertainment vehicle for dad.

Stanley Jackson was a literary critic and professor who tomcatted around and expected his wife to produce both domestically and intellectually, but was jealous of her ability to get thousands of dollars for a handful of stories about women and children and often the domestic sphere.

I 100% do not think I can compete with the mad literary skills of Mrs. Jackson, but it’s reassuring in a strange way to know that this literary ninja had some of the same struggles I, a much more ordinary housewife, have sixty or so years later.

It also brings me back to wanting to smash conservatives in the face for chronically declaring that there was no widespread frustration among average women in the 1950s and during the WWII era and that anyone talking about it was just a loser who was unhaaaaappppy or a communist.  Shirley Jackson wrote for Good Housekeeping, for pity’s sake.  She was not writing some edgy scandal stuff like Peyton Place.  And yet there remain in both sets of writing much the same sort of struggles of women trying to adapt to the rapid shifts in technology, social roles and relationships with men.

One of the anecdotes in her domestic memoirs is about a pregnant woman she meets at the hospital when she has her third baby who is running late on delivering and is relieved and happy to be free of household tasks for what in the anecdote is about two weeks and heading into a third.  General audiences of women wouldn’t have wanted to read about stuff like that if it didn’t seem real.  They were very quick to write letters where they believed something to be unrealistic in its slicing of life.

Anyway I’ve only just begun reading her domestic memoirs and that sensation of being drawn close in time to a writer across so many seismic changes in daily life is dizzying.

Why liberals want a high minimum wage.

Mildly updated variation on an increasingly evergreen theme.

They want lower class people to never have more than that.

To expand a bit, liberals desire a scenario where people with the wrong level of credentials make $15-20/hr and people with the right level of credentials make 100k or more.  Doctors can make six figures in a liberal’s world, but only if the pediatrician makes the same 300k as the surgeon.  And plumbers should never be able to make 100k, or house cleaners, or other blue collar work that doesn’t necessarily benefit from unions.

And liberals hate the idea of merit raises or raises based on experience (except in a union seniority context), so they want to lock in lower class people at a rate that will be both their ceiling and their floor (with only adjustments for inflation).  The liberals who dutifully promote “living wages” are the ones who’ll be holding the bag as jobs converge into those two massively income-unequal tiers based on acquisition of college degrees (even ultimately including what unionized labor remains).

Everyone should always just be paid “enough” for working, so no decisions have to be made about who worked harder, smarter or better to warrant additional pay.  I didn’t really get it until I noticed how liberals promoting ridiculous minimum wages never talked about how people could get raises and promotions and move up in the ranks under that new system.  And it’s because the people getting that $15/hr minimum wage aren’t supposed to ever have more, do more or be more.  And the surgeon should just want to do the extra training for the same pay as a pediatrician just because.

And of course, people with a BA should always make more than high school graduates with some hustle.

Some background on why I wrote this post : My experience locally especially, but even on the internets too, with most liberal-type people who want the high minimum wage is what I wrote. They don’t think you have to worry about raises and stuff if you just make it high enough (“living” enough) to begin with.

I live in liberalland where they nickel and dime the daycare and nannies they have but “support” “living wages” for “employees of big businesses”.

When I’ve lived in an upscale suburb, they didn’t want to pay for when the kid(s) were napping(!), even though the hourly wage they might offer was high, $15-25/hr is a usual range (I heard this both from women looking for nanny/sitter work interviewing with me *and* the nickel-and-diming women who hired them). I offered maybe a buck less or the same but I didn’t nickel and dime and would pay for days we didn’t need them but which were part of the schedule. It was still hard to find someone because people can’t do math or, perhaps, when you abuse people financially they develop Stockholm Syndrome when people wanting to pay fair wages for fair work come along.

Why Diversity is Bad for Sustainable Farming

Sustainable farming is all about the horrible exploitation of Mexican single mothers and slightly smarter brown women creating one middle-income job with benefits for themselves along the way as administrators of various “incubators” for small-scale vegetable farming.

What does it have to do with conservatives?  They could Notice that the stable farms producing local or regional food are not part of some baksheesh scam, but in fact are family enterprises that return profits and are mostly farmed by intact Christian families.  They could also point out that the “diversity” push is actively removing farmland from production and leading to less food produced over time, rather than more.  In the examples above, most of the land isn’t being farmed and what is being farmed is plots barely larger than a backyard garden.  The women farming those plots are worse off than actual sharecropping, because they’re never given enough land to make a full time income from, but they’re also not allowed to farm the entire plot as a group for the “incubator”.  It is the worst of independent “farming” of a backyard plot combined with all the regulatory hassles of having many masters as in a full-on collective.

There’s also fun stuff like requiring the immigrant single mothers to take college courses (that they have to pay for) to maintain access to the plots they do farm.

This is so horrifying I’m just going to put it up as it is and not try to expand on the numerous other examples of “sustainable” evil out there.