Minireviews – Anxiety and chavs

William J Knaus - The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety (2008)

William J. Knaus – The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anxiety (2008)

I’m not an anxious person, with a few exceptions, but I used to be. I bugfixed myself by accidentally combining a set of techniques – self-awareness, changing how I thought, meditation, and gradual exposure to the things I feared – that I later learned are similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, and also, on a different level, to Stoicism. If I am sometimes impatient with people who complain that they’re helpless, it’s because I once walked out of my own personal mud-hole one step at a time. Paradoxically, it’s because I know it’s hard that I look down on you for saying it’s impossible.

Recommended: Yes. If I had had a book like this at the time, I could have gone about it in a more focused way.

Owen Jones – Chavs, The demonization of the working class (2011)

I’m confused by how British television portrays poor people. Which are insightful caricatures, and which mean-spirited? Living in a classless society, I can’t read the markers. Jones argues that it’s all mean-spirited. Unfortunately, this is one of those books that makes its point by quoting stupid pundits saying stupid things, then ties it all together with the author’s ideology, (ie. the Tories hate poor people). But it does have funny moments, such as when Jones writes that his real complaint against the comedy-drama Shameless isn’t the characters, but that it doesn’t Portray Poverty In Its Proper Political Context (ie. the Tories hate poor people).

Read: 23 pages, then skimmed the rest.

Recommended: No.

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