Rage Yoga, Shrill Harpies, Dr. Fitbit, and Blood-Spattered Musicals
Good morning, poppets! One last plug: I’m speaking tonight in San Francisco at Odd Salon. Would love to see you there. Get tickets here and Learn Something Weird!
I’ve mentioned the book Disrupted by Dan Lyons a few times here. And while I enjoyed it overall, finding it closer to life than I’d care to admit (especially his look at how stock options as compensation means monopoly money you’re likely to light on fire,) I didn’t love the whole thing. And the stuff that I didn’t love continues to bug me a week later.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent ten years in marketing and communications, and those professions don’t exactly come off very well in this book and I'm pretty vain. And perhaps it’s because I am the textbook annoyingly sunny millennial he thinks is from another planet. And perhaps it’s because I’m one of those people who think that dick jokes shouldn’t be in every workplace. In comedic writers’ rooms, yes, as Lyons finds when he starts working on the Silicon Valley TV show. But I don't think there should be dick jokes in startups, a supposed comedic dearth he takes issue with, and especially not in startups that are so disproportionally headed up by male executives.
Erin Griffith’s take on Distrupted captured my unease well. Towards the end of her review, she writes
…[Lyons] describ[es] a woman’s laughter as “braying like a donkey,” and a critique of another’s “vocal fry”... gets reported by his female co-workers for making them uncomfortable after he discusses the issues he and his wife encountered while a “19-year-old German girl” live in his house as nanny… Later, writing for Valleywag, Lyons called a woman a “shrill harpy,” and was surprised when people found it sexist.
To his credit, Lyons discusses the managerial discrepancy issue at length, but the unspoken gender issue hovers over the entire book. There are no compelling female characters, other than his wife, and that imbalance hangs heavy in his account.
In January, a man’s Fitbit data helped his doctors determine when a heart problem had first started occurring. As a result of the wearable’s data, the medical team were able to determine that the problem was not a chronic one, thereby preventing him from going on a long-term drug plan. The experience was published in a medical journal, and the study’s co-author told BuzzFeed News, “if you’re wearing it, I’m going to interrogate it.” And while the Fitbit’s heart monitor has been criticized for not being 100% accurate, the tracked anomalies over time can show patterns.
In other news, patrons at Broadway’s American Psycho are getting more than a musically-styled take on narcissistic capitalist excess: blood spray from the show has been staining audience clothing! Having loved sitting in the splash zone for Evil Dead: The Musical, I know there’s nothing a show-branded poncho can’t fix.
And finally, Missivian Katelyn sent me a little something something to scratch my head over: there’s now a thing called Rage Yoga. Mmmkay.