I have a very Socratic approach - I pummel the designers with questions, so when I get them to step back from the work and look at it with me, they'll eventually see what I see, coming to it fresh and unencumbered. That's always very gratifying because they feel a responsibility and an ownership of a solution.
As Cindy Sheehan was gathering public sympathy as the Gold Star mom against the killing in Iraq, the Republican party decided to import an easier target to pummel. So they brought over the 'I-salute-your-courage, Saddam' religious fundamentalist crack-pot who can't tell us where the money went.
Uh-oh, " Moni sang, and nodded her head in Chantal's direction. "I think someone's a wee bit upset with us." She turned and walked a few steps backward. "Careful, " I said. "We're not out of range." "Have no fear, Super Brain is here." Moni whipped out her calculator, holding it up like a shield. "What are you going to do, daze her with denominators?" "Maybe. But first I'm going to pummel her with my Pythagorean theorem.
Throughout their lives, women try to pummel their bodies into some phantom ideal shape that exists only with a lot of airbrushing. ... I don't blame men for this. Men seem to go for us no matter what size and shape we are. I blame capitalism. No, really. The consumer must constantly be in a state of anxious low self-esteem so that she will constantly buy lipsticks and girdles to make her feel cuter.
Belief and confusion are not mutually exclusive; I believe that belief gives you the direction in the confusion. But you don't see the full picture. That's the point. That's what faith is. You can't see it. It comes back to instinct. Faith is just up the street. Faith and instinct, you can't just rely on them. You have to beat them up. You have to pummel them to make sure they can withstand it, to make sure they can be trusted.
Once in a great while, she was distressed by the way she looked. As she was rounding the bend to forty she would write to Avis DeVoto that whenever she read Vogue she "felt like a frump... but I suppose that is the purpose of all of it, to shame people out of their frumpery so they will go out and buy 48 pairs of red shoes, have a facial, pat themselves with deodorizers, buy a freezer, and put up the new crispy window curtains with a draped valence." Julia was able to deconstruct the disingenuous motives that drive women's magazines with the ease she normally reserved for deboning a duck, seeing quite clearly that while ostensibly offering inspiration and useful advice, the stories and articles quietly pummel the reader's sense of self, the better to drive her into the arms of the advertisers.