The Chairs Are Where the People Go: How to Live, Work, and Play in the City

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Jul 5, 2011 - Philosophy - 192 pages

Should neighborhoods change? Is wearing a suit a good way to quit smoking? Why do people think that if you do one thing, you're against something else? Is monogamy a trick? Why isn't making the city more fun for you and your friends a super-noble political goal? Why does a computer last only three years? How often should you see your parents? How should we behave at parties? Is marriage getting easier? What can spam tell us about the world?

Misha Glouberman's friend and collaborator, Sheila Heti, wanted her next book to be a compilation of everything Misha knew. Together, they made a list of subjects. As Misha talked, Sheila typed. He talked about games, relationships, cities, negotiation, improvisation, Casablanca, conferences, and making friends. His subjects ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. But sometimes what had seemed trivial began to seem important—and what had seemed important began to seem less so.


The Chairs Are Where the People Go
is refreshing, appealing, and kind of profound. It's a self-help book for people who don't feel they need help, and a how-to book that urges you to do things you don't really need to do.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kjreed - LibraryThing

Wasn't a big fan of the book. It's kind of like reading someone's blog - in fact, it would have been better as a blog. Some brief flashes of insight (organizing an un-conference was useful), but ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JesseTheK - LibraryThing

Blog-ish utterances of a community leader as transcribed by a delighted follower. Some wisdom here but the subject position is tiring. Read full review

Contents

Kensington Market
103
Keeping People Quiet
108
Feeling Like a Fraud
110
Negotiation
111
Fighting Games
113
What Experimental Music Is For
118
These Projects Dont Make Money
119
Seeing Your Parents Once a Week
122

Miscommunication Is Nice
20
The Gibberish Game
21
The Residents Association
23
There Are Some Games I Wont Play with My Friends
36
Social Music
37
Manners
39
How to Improvise and How Not to Not Improvise
42
The Crazy Parts
46
Charging for My Classes
48
What Is a Game?
50
Spam
51
Margaux
55
Charades Homework
56
Harvard and Class
59
The Rocks Game
66
Some Video on the Internet
68
People Who Take My Classes
70
Shut Up and Listen
71
Is Monogamy a Trick?
72
The Conducting Game
75
Sitting on the Same Side of the Table
78
Seeing My Friends Drunk for the First Time
81
A Decision Is a Thing You Make
84
All the Games Are Meant to Solve Problems but Problems Are Unpleasant
89
Home Maladies
90
Keeping Away People Who Would Be Disappointed
92
The Happiness Class
93
The ConvergeDiverge Game
98
Going to Parties
101
Asking a Good Question
123
A Mind Is Not a Terrible Thing to Measure
125
Doing One Thing Doesnt Mean Youre Against Something Else
128
Get Louder or Quit
129
Why Robert McKee Is Wrong About Casablanca
130
Conferences Should Be an Exhilarating Experience
132
Improvised Behavior
139
Storytelling Is Not the Same Thing as Conversation
140
Introducing People in the Classes
141
Making the City More Fun for You and Your Privileged Friends Isnt a SuperNoble Political Goal
143
Seeing John Zorn Play Cobra
145
Impostor Syndrome
148
Nimbyism
149
Conducting from the Center of a Circle
151
Why Noise Music?
153
Absenteeism
154
Failure and Games
155
Why a Computer Only Lasts Three Years
156
What Are These Classes For?
157
Who Are Your Friends?
159
Neighborhoods Change
160
Atheism and Ritual
162
Social Capital
164
Sitting Down and Listening as a Role
165
Everyones Favorite Thing and Unfavorite Thing Are Different
167
Finding an Ending
168
Wearing a Suit All the Time Is a Good Way to Quit Smoking
169
Acknowledgments
175
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

MISHA GLOUBERMAN is a performer, facilitator, and artist who lives in Toronto.

SHEILA HETI is the author of three books of fiction: The Middle Stories, Ticknor, and How Should a Person Be?. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney's, n + 1, and The Guardian. She regularly conducts interviews for The Believer.

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