Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Panda Bear on the Efficiency Cycle and the Popularity of Children’s/Young Adult Fiction for Adults.

The Panda Bear took the afternoon off from work to celebrate her birthday. The Panda Bear likes taking afternoons off. It gives her time to think, relax and organize herself. In today’s world, time to think can be a luxury; in a rich country like the United States time to relax should not be such a rarity.

The Panda Bear went to the library. She has noticed with her eReader she does not need to take time off to browse through books (something she liked to do). The Panda Bear is not discussing the intrinsic value of the paper book versus the eBook. Part of the appeal of the eBook is that it saves time in this time starved world of ours. However, there is an efficiency cycle when new technologies become are introduced. Working people like a new technology because it makes life easier for them. The technology then becomes widely used and becomes a practical necessity. Then the powers that be decide workers no longer “need” so much free time and make everyone work harder. Therefore, a technology that is supposed to save labor can really be making people work harder in the long run. Someday the Panda Bear thinks that in the not so distant future the powers will increase the school and work week because people will no longer “need” the time to access paper books, magazines or newspapers. However, for now the Panda Bear enjoys the time savings of her eReader.

Since it is her day off, the Panda Bear has decided to devote herself to a light post. It has been widely commented recently how popular Children’s/Young Adult fiction is for mature adults. Series such as Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Hunger Games appeal to both the young and old. The Panda Bear confesses she has sometimes gone to the teen section for her reading materials and has read books for written children as an adult. The Panda Bear thinks these are some of the reasons that children’s/young adult fiction is popular with adults.

  1. “Family” and “child” friendly books always have to have some appeal to adults. Adults are the people who buy children these books and read it to them. As more of the adult population does not live with children/teens, adults are simply enjoying “family” pleasures without the children. 
  2. Adults now like stories of the supernatural, witches and vampires.
  3. The plot line in Children’s/Young adult fiction is stronger than in much contemporary adult fiction.
  4. Children’s/Young Adult Fiction has a larger potential readership than adult only fiction. 5. The language is simpler in Children’s/Young Adult fiction. Actually some of the simple language of the books makes the Panda Bear worry about the reading level of some teenagers. The Panda Bear and her friends were reading at adult reading levels in high school. For the Hunger Games series, the Panda Bear thought teenagers should be at a higher reading level.
  5. Children’s/Young Adult’s books have a “moral” to them. The Panda Bear was attracted to the Hunger Games series because it had a social message. Modern adult fiction is for the most part amoral. Adults enjoy reading stories with a moral to them.
  6.  Related to the above issue, Children’s/Young Adult fiction has less sex and violence then adult fiction. Adults may be embarrassed to admit it but they make like “cleaner” fiction. 
Though, it has nothing directly to do with Children’s/Young Adult fiction, the Panda Bear recently read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book “Flappers and Philosophers”, a collection of short stories that Fitzgerald must have written as a young adult. The stories are very good and quite easy to read. The Panda Bear highly enjoyed this book.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Panda Bear on Simplicity, Blogging and Home Repairs

The Panda Bear believes there is much stress in life. Some of this stress comes from things we need to do to survive. Sources of stress can be illness of us or family members, money, and jobs. For the Panda Bear a necessary source of anxiety will be working with Mr. Panda on home repairs. The Panda Bear finds home projects stressful and working with Mr. Panda compounds these problems as he is a perfectionist in dealing with home repair people so much so the Panda Bear worries that nothing will get done.

However, we should not be stressing out about things that are supposed to give us pleasure (at least not stresses out too much). These things are friends, hobbies, parties, entertainment and relaxation. If these things stress us out too much, one has to ask oneself if they are worth doing. If we decide to do these things, we must do them and approach them in a way that gives pleasure to ourselves. Often simplifying the activity and cutting out certain things will make the activity less stressful

An example of an activity that exists for pleasure but can give the Panda Bear stress is blogging. In this busy world of ours she must make time for blogging. Her mind goes in a blogging mode-something will happen to the Panda Bear and she thinks would this make an interesting blog post? Sometimes the Panda Bear will have to take a break from posting to get of out this should-she-blog-about-this subject- mental looping. She needs to do things that are totally relaxing for her. The Panda Bear plans to refrain from some political blog posts (though it has helped the blog in some blog rankings) because everyone is feeling some political/election fatigue.

Instead her future posts will be about her and Mr. Panda’s blundering attempts at home repairs and improvements. Winter is always an intense time of home activity for the Panda Bear and Mr. Panda because there are a lot of winter holidays. This winter they will begin an intense program of home improvements.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Panda Bear on Thanksgiving, Father Panda, and Improving Working Conditions

The Panda Bear wants to thank all her readers for giving her a purpose in life and lifting her spirits. The Panda Bear Blog is an international blog with subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Germany. It is about the life of one ordinary, salt of the earth, Panda Bear as she deals with the complexities of life.

The Panda Bear was going to blog about the problems of US workers whose jobs have gotten stale but because of the poor economy are unable to find new jobs. She thought because it was the day before Thanksgiving the company might let her go and hour and a half early so she can relax and enjoy the afternoon. However, the company only let her go ONE HALF HOUR early.

What it made it more unfair to the Panda Bear is that they gave everyone the same leaving time regardless of when workers started their work day. Thus some people got effectively two and a half hours off because they start work later than the Panda Bear. It made the Panda Bear very upset at work to think that even on Thanksgiving the company the Panda Bear works for could not give her more time off. Probably the company the Panda Bear works for would have gotten more work out of the Panda Bear if they had given her that hour and a half off. The Panda Bear is still very upset. The Panda Bear knows it is Thanksgiving and she is supposed to be grateful but all the Panda Bear feels is sad that she works for a major organization that is so stingy in giving the Panda Bear time off. She used to do some work extra sometimes on her own time. Now no more!!! She will only do what is required of her in terms of work time. Somehow, the Panda Bear has all these fantasies of making her organization regret the way the treated her.Readers, please note the Panda Bear started her work life very much as a company person Now she dreams of working for herself.

Of course this is a difficult time for the Panda Bear which may be way the Panda Bear is some upset at her employer. It is the time of year people are supposed to be happy and grateful which always make the Panda Bear feel sad and discontent. It is also the first holiday season without Father Panda (the Panda Bear’s father) who died in the summer of 2012. The Panda Bear has heard the first holidays after deaths are hard. However, the Panda Bear feels there is no vehicle of average workers to express their concerns about working conditions. It seems all books on managing and business are written from the manager’s not worker’s perspective. The influence of organized labor is in decline.   Employees are afraid to speak up . Recently a lot has been written how politicians live in bubbles and see only what they what to see. The Panda Bear thinks the heads industry and large nonprofits are probably surrounded by an even larger group of people who are afraid to tell them the truth.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Panda Bear on Election Fatigue and Household Chores

During the past couple of weeks the Panda Bear had a stress out-the first one she had in a long time.    Her day job was very busy and the Panda Bear worked some extra hours.   A friend came unexpectedly out of town for a visit.    There was a family event in Philadelphia November 3 which there was some confusion about whether it would occur and whether the Panda Bear, Mr. Panda and Mother Panda would be able to get there because of Hurricane Sandy(FYI, the event went off as planned and all the pandas were able to get there).   

Still, the event that made the Panda Bear most stressed out was the US election.   She is very relieved that they are over.   The Panda Bear finds it interesting that she found the elections so intense since she is not a politician and had nothing directly at stake in the elections.   Obviously as a concerned US citizen and as a blogger the US elections effect the Panda Bear.    However, the Panda Bear is not a politician so why did the elections effect her so much?

The Panda Bear thinks the constant barrage of information about the elections (which the Panda Bear acknowledges she has been a part of both in her blog and with her personal facebook account) was overwhelming.   The television, radio and internet were constantly having political shows and political advertisements.    The political campaigns were continually calling people to ask for their vote.   The Panda Bear and Mr. Panda were getting advertisements from the political campaigns almost on a daily basis.
Furthermore, there were the television debates to watch.    There were two close elections in the Panda Bear’s district for which the Panda Bear felt she needed more information on the candidates to make an informed choice.   Thus, the Panda Bear had to spend some evenings in her already busy schedule to watch television debates.

The Panda Bear gladly accepts the stress, information obtaining requirements, and work involved in having a participatory democracy.   However, the Panda Bear is frustrated with both the low level and at times poorly informed political debate that is occurring in the US.   Though the Panda Bear considers herself to be slightly left of center, she thinks liberal establishment in Massachusetts has become extremely closed, intolerant and monopolistic.    She dislikes both the Democrats and Republicans and thinks Americans should be more open to third party candidates.   For all the time, effort and money that gets put into US elections, the Panda Bear feels she should have better choices in candidates.   Indeed, in Massachusetts the Panda Bear often has no choice in candidates since it is essentially a one party (Democratic) state.

The good news is that with the elections being over, the Panda Bear can devote herself to her dreaded household chores.   As readers of the Panda Bear Blog know, the thing that the Panda Bear hates most is household chores.  The Panda Bear regrets taking so much time off from work in the summer because it was too hot to do much work in her apartment.   The whole apartment needs to be cleaned and reorganized.   The Panda Bear has resolved now that the weather is cooler and the elections are over she can quit procrastinating over her home chores.    It will be an exercise in self discipline to devote her to hateful home improvements.  

On to home chores for Panda Bear!!!