C. Wright Mills Orders Another Cosmopolitan

January 30, 2009
Posted by Jay Livingston
I passed the night crying while he berated me for – of all things – not supporting his quest to play some college drinking game.
So writes Laney, the former girlfriend of a young Wall Streeter after her introduction to F.U.B.A.R. She calls Megan, her best friend, who has a similar tale of woe. Megan had recently learned that her parents were getting divorced.
The news was devastating and I justifiably fell apart a bit.. My FBF (Finance guy Boyfriend) . . . just couldn’t deal. . . .. A deal that he had been working on for the last year had fallen through, so he couldn’t talk about my parents’ divorce. He needed to go home and catch up on Gossip Girl (seriously). . . Fortunately that’s when Megan called to talk me off the ledge.
It’s unlikely that Laney and Megan, crying and on the ledge, respectively, had been reading C. Wright Mills.
The sociological imagination enables its possessor to understand the larger historical scene in terms of its meaning for the inner life and the external career of a variety of individuals.
Nevertheless, the young women get together for “two hours of psycho-analysis and brunch at Market Table,” and emerge with this rather succinct version of the sociological imagination.
Our FBFs’ recent bad behavior and sudden lack of basic manners had nothing to do with us, it was the recession.

Mills: “They sense that within their everyday worlds, they cannot overcome their troubles, and in this feeling, they are often quite correct.”

Laney and Megan: “We felt our relationships were being victimized by the economy and there was nothing we could do to stop it.”

Mills’s response to the crisis he saw was a commitment to political action and “intellectual craftsmanship” (to social science and writing). Laney and Megan take a similar path. According to the story in Tuesday’s Times, they formed a support group, Dating a Banker Anonymous. And. . . .
Not knowing what else to do, we did what enraged yet articulate people have done since the beginning of time. We started a blog.
You can find the blog here.

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