Douglas Brooks and Amy Ippoliti Talk About Making Money

Picking up on yesterday’s theme, this video (shared by Dyspeptic Skeptic) has been stirring up emotions around the BabaHQ, and a little on the site in yesterday’s comments, so I thought I’d bring it to the front.

Just a few points about what’s discussed:

1. When asked about money and worth and its relationship to yoga, Brooks tends to tow the line that yoga needs to come into our contemporary age, as if to suggest that yoga came about in a culture devoid of money, and that accumulations of wealth are a modern occurrence. The fact is, people have been clamoring after money and hoarding it since someone decided to exchange one thing for another. It was definitely the case in the culture(s) where something that looked like “yoga” arose. And yet, this is a common trope within contemporary commercial yoga culture, and is one that is very misleading.

First, yoga (however you define it) arose in a culture that knew wealth and incredible socio-economic divides. I mean, the frickin’ Buddha was born into royalty, for goodness sake. The initial impulse that eventually lead to his subsequent realization came from witnessing the economic split in his culture. Hasn’t anyone seen The Little Buddha starring Keanu Reeves?

The Middle Way

The Middle Way

To suggest that the teachings of yoga occurred at a time when wealth and commerce were not issues is totally erroneous, and is a talking point mostly used to justify one’s own economic position.

2. This video doesn’t address what’s really being questioned. This point made by “The Babarazzi” in the comments, still stands:

“What’s so silly about this video is that it ultimately proposes a bit of a strawman argument. As if to say that making money from teaching yoga is the point of contention. I don’t know really anyone who says yoga should be free (I actually know a few people, but they are a true minority). From my perspective, what’s most contested in yoga discourse is the rationalization of wealth accumulation through yogic endeavors. When wealthy yogilebrities say “I should be able to make a living teaching yoga” their standard of living is usually WAY above the standard in the US. It’s wealth. Which is not even to say that wealth accumulation is inherently anti-yogic (though I believe that in order to acquire wealth one will usually step outside the practice), but rather that it is a definite site of temperature shifts and tensions.”

3. Here’s an “article” of ours responding to Sadie Nardini (who responds in the comments) about the difference between wealth and “making a living.” In this piece we state:

“[T]his is NOT about making money. This is about mocking the culture of money.

4. And yet, what I find most troubling about this video is that it’s basically built on a lie. Amy talks good shop about wanting to bring the discussion of money and yoga into the room, as does Brooks. However, it’s clear that both have already made up their mind about the issue and appear to want to frame any discussion of the matter within the limits of their own conclusions. They basically say, “Hey. It’s OK to accumulate wealth from teaching yoga. Now let’s talk about why it’s OK.” There seems to be no interest in a significant unpacking of what it means to accumulate wealth in an Empire, accept as it relates to it being OK, and can be substantiated by Ganesh.

As I said in my interview with Where is My Guru (min. 78), what’s most interesting to me is to start by accepting (even if only as an exercise) that not everything can fit under the rubric of “yoga.” And, not only is that OK, but it’s actually useful and ultimately beneficial to us as practitioners, as it makes room for people to have open-ended discussions about the nature of money, the nature of commerce, without having to constantly justify one’s participation in it.

This one-drop deserves a serious wheel up wheel up wheel up wheel up!:

48 comments

  1. Garuda

    IMHO any time you rely on your students to be a sustainable entity, your teachings are essentially compromising the integrity of the teachings. When is it that what you tell the student is something that they needs to grow? and when is it that what you tell the student is what the studio needs to grow…?

  2. wondering

    wolves in sheeps clothing

  3. Jody Greene

    What interests me here is that the conversation Douglas and Amy are having about wealth is almost entirely speculative. The only people making anything that could remotely be described as “wealth” in the yoga industry are people who started “schools”–John Friend, Baron Baptiste, Bikram Choudhury, et al (interesting that this is a boys’ club, and I don’t know whether Ana Forrest makes bank or not). Also some of the folks who start studio chains (yogaworks, core power), but you’d be surprised how many of the major studio owners in any given city are not making much money either. Especially now that the yoga bubble has kind of burst and most everyone has moved on to … CrossFit and Zumba.
    As to the rest of the yogalebrities, the ones you so adorably and brilliantly rib in these pages, most are barely sustaining themselves. Don’t believe me? Believe me. One of the funniest things about the confluence of coaching discourse and the yoga industry is all this ridiculous windbagging about how it’s ok to get rich teaching yoga. It may or may not be ok–this would be another conversation–but almost no one IS getting rich teaching yoga, or even staying out of the economic anxiety zone. So why is it so interesting to 1. worry about it; 2. defend it; and 3. critique it? It ain’t happening now. It ain’t gonna happen.
    I love it that you are taking up these issues this week, and I also think it’s helpful, in the spirit of keeping it all somewhat light and keeping us all on the side of the real, to remember that this “debate” is almost entirely fantasmatic. When I read the comments sometimes it suggests that everyone thinks there are big rockstars out there making huge bankrolls on the yoga circuit. This is pretty much entirely fiction. FWIW.

    • Thanks for the comment, Jody! In some sense I agree with you. Most yoga instructors are making no money, or so it seems. So, in a sense, why discuss this?

      For us, and me in particular, it’s really about the *discourse* around money in yoga culture, and how it is almost entirely framed within a sort of “I can do whatever I want” unchecked Americanism. As we’ve said before, making money teaching yoga is not our contention. It’s the *culture* of money and the philosophical gymnastics that are employed to justify this culture that’s in question. I’m not even saying that the culture of money is, in and of itself, incongruent with yoga practice. However, I feel the basis upon which its validity is built is opportunistic, to say the least, and, ultimately, speaks to a much larger issue of entitlement.

      Much of which is exemplified in this Shelley Adelle article.

      • Jody Greene

        Thanks to you both. TB, think we are in complete agreement–I have no problem with your critique, and am essentially in sympathy with it in every way. Wasn’t questioning the value of discussing it. I think I was probably just trying to ward off the usual cascade of kneejerk comments about wealthy yogalebrities, rockstars, jetsetters, etc. I have over the past year been studying (with some amazement, actually) this question of who actually makes money in the yoga world (I’m very very slowly pondering a book on the larger question of property and intellectual property in moden yoga, which is at least in part how I got interested in this). I’ve asked around most of the big names, and they range from not paying the bills to just paying the bills. So I would change “most” in your comment above to “virtually all including very well-known.” This goes for the comparatively famous musicians in the crowd as well, from MC to Jai Uttal. I could go into the metrics of why this is the case (some are admirably covered by “gross,” below) but I understand that your point is about discourse and not empirical wealth, so we don’t need to have that conversation right now.
        I would again suggest: it’s the fetid creep of coaching discourse into the american yoga scene that is largely responsible for this stupid and unnecessary and unthought-through conversation about how we are all entitled to wealth and shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Coaching discourse is also responsible for the ahistoricism of same conversation about wealth and entitlement (coaching specializes in having no knowledge of history whatsoever). There have been very wealthy yoga figures in India throughout modern times–we did not invent this “problem.” What strikes me as funny is that folks like Douglas and Amy are spending their time making videos to encourage their students to feel good about aspiring to something–here, wealth–that is basically never going to be available to them, no matter how “big” they get. Better to spend time making instructional videos about WHETHER to become a yoga teacher. When did the “natural,” even default step for people dedicated to this practice become becoming a teacher of it?
        Oh crap. Don’t get me started. Hobbyhorse alert. Just dial 1-900-don’tquityourdayjob, folks. Just do. If this thing about wealth is really a concern for you, try this: feel good about getting wealthy doing something at which it is actually possible to get wealthy, and devote yourself deeply to your practice when you’re not busy doing that. Keep it simple.

    • gross

      jody, you are completely correct. dreaming of what it would be like to pack it in as a “yoga teacher” the past 11 years, and just get a job w/ some corporation that would pay me money and give me paid vacation. yoga students actually think that when a teacher leads a retreat, they are getting a free vacation. could not be further from the truth. once i’ve actually made a profit from a yoga retreat, and it was just a little more than had i stayed in town and done my normal teaching. oh, but the stress of getting the students to sign-up so the costs could be covered cost me a few hundred in accupuncture.

      • amphibi1yogini

        As someone who has neither the time, money, nor lack of encumbrances to engage in a yoga retreat, I say: Good for YOU!

        I used to be (tangentially) in the travel business, and it’s the cost of the ticket, anyway that is borne by the group on behalf of the teacher. So that leaves marketing costs (and its associated aggravations) See, it’s a lot cheaper to “market” retreats among friends–rather than people from the larger community …

        The law of multilevel marketing pertains here too: most MLMs do well if they are the centers of influence (i.e., have large brick and mortar world friends basis) to start with …

    • Yoga Whelp

      Look, it’s not fundamentally about money – it’s about social status and power. It’s about becoming a faux-guru with “something to say,” and above all – with “followers” – rather than being a waitress, dog-walker or office slave that someone else bosses around.

      It’s about the creation of a spectacle with you at the center It’s about giving yourself a complete external personality makeover without actually doing much if any “internal” work to change a thing – just fuse your long-suffering ego with your new public “image, and your good to go.

      You don’t need a team of political economists to critique American yoga – a good clinical psychologist will do.

      Is there money in yoga? Yes, but it’s mainly in the riffing on yoga through “lifestyle” or “consumption.” In other words, slap the shiny “yoga” label on other products and services to give them a Nirvanic glow and to increase their spiritual sex appeal and marketability.

      Lululemon is pioneering in this area, and now, many other companies – and not just clothing companies like GAP and Nike -are following suit.

      In this sense, from an economic standpoint, the Amy Ippolitis of the world are just the “useful idiots” of the emerging, ever-so-hip, supremely buffed, and spiritually sleek, corporate capitalist era.

      They are the T&A girls, the product models and the geishas here to lovingly prep the masses for the permanent stress of stagnant economies, debt and austerity – while reserving their tenderest care to the rich and privileged destined to survive and prevail.

      In Greek mythology, the boatman Charon ferried the doomed across the River Styx to Hades. Only now, in the feminist era, Sharon, it seems, is a woman.

      • amphibi1yogini

        Amen. You are damn right!
        That is why writing courses and amateur music courses do so well …

        Of course, I have taken them. And I don’t even have half the ego of the yoga bunch – because part of all that is based on physical appearance and/or “presence” …

      • gross

        its also the buff & sleek dudes. this is not just female issue.

        • You got that right. Preferably young, on the make, and attached to retweaking an established style and turning venerable yoga retreats into spiritually-drenched gyms and fat farms …

        • Yoga Whelp

          I agree and I disagree. American yoga is a thoroughly feminized culture and reflects at all levels the dominance of women and a female-centered Goddess ethos. In 2008, 72% of yoga participants were women. In the latest Yoga Journal study, it is 82% That’s DOMINANCE, and it’s time that women in yoga – or perhaps “Women’s Yoga would be more apt – owned it. The beauty ethos, the skinny ethos, the heavy consumerist ethos, the I-am-woman-but-desperate-to-be-known-and-accepted ethos – these are largely modern female pathologies. It’s a powerfully toxic mix of feminism and narcissism.

          Suppose the situation were reversed — 82% men and just 18% women. And I suggested that it was “not just a male issue.” Probably not too convincing, right? It’s up to Women’s Yoga to look in the mirror and say, yes, we built this, and is it what we want. I hope not. Reform now or continue to evolve into a global carnival show and laughingstock.

        • Garuda

          I understand that in that same period of time, the sale of merchandise for yoga has doubled…DOUBLED. Lets all go to the mall and buy some yoga.

  4. amphibi1yogini

    I love how this post turns their “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacious argument on its ear …

  5. Garuda

    None of these on line lessons will work unless you buy my new “Amy Ippoliti Yoga Dream Catcher” on Amazon. As is the case with any spiritual transmission, or in this case specifically, spritual transgression, a Good, Top Quality, Dream Catcher is the only truthful way to realize your Amy Ipp-o-tential. (Results may vary)

  6. Living in LA, I have a hard time buying the opening gambit that yoga teachers are shy about self-promotion and going after material success!

    • amphibi1yogini

      No, the Greater New York City metropolitan area takes top spot!

      Those teachers here have all those attributes in our teachers PLUS bigger challenges … and classicism, too, distilled down to the gen-u-wine Life of a Yogi one week 200-hour immersion … !

  7. fascinated

    Be informed too, that schemes like Amy’s are born out of great ideas that become sweet-to-the-tongue of the ravenously starved. She had a good idea–do online teleseminar format mentoring courses for teachers and teachers-in-training and, got on an early bandwagon. It blew up, was super successful. She did make bank.
    AY crumbled, and what we’re seeing now is a little desperate measure to stay wealthy. Both her and db…’dripping’ in gold, wearing a necklace that is sacred to the priests of a vastly inconceivable old temple in south India…those very priests supported now by db’s twice yearly visits…their blindness to this HS popularity game and poor presentation and justification in asking relatively low-income yoga teachers to spend $$ on them is dangerous.

    This and the other videos seems just grabby. I’m sure the content of Amy’s program has some juicy tidbits of advice for teachers, again, a good idea in here… but man, the way it’s being sold and presented is really irresponsible and just yucky.

    Question for Jody about those teachers you interviewed:
    What level of sustained comfort are they starting from, now trying to maintain through full time teaching?
    Or did they quit lucrative jobs to teach yoga full time, and are now struggling?
    I think the question is, are they trying to get wealthier, or simply and honestly, sustain a level of livelihood that they deem comfortable?

    • Jody Greene

      Hey fascinated. I can’t call it interviewing. This is talking with folks I know, cuz I’m on the circuit in various ways–and this has the advantage of helping me actually look at their lives, and what they have and what they don’t have, and know where they were before, and whether they are BSing me. Some quit non-lucrative day jobs and are just trying to break even. Some quit lucrative jobs a ways back and KNEW they would not maintain their level of income but didn’t expect to find themselves in their mid 40s running hard to stay in the same place–that is, pay moderate rent (in almost all cases) or (occasionally) a mortgage, own a car, finance their OWN ongoing studentship, etc. Granted I’m in California so cost of living is high, but no one is living in luxury. Far from it. The few who have kids are really really scrambling. No one is starving, by any means, but you’d be surprised how many folks whose names come up in these pages are just about exactly breaking even, or making less now than they were 5 years ago. Some choose to live the nomad life, and they’re not saving but they are seeing the world, and in almost all cases with great gratitude. Others have a base somewhere, and of those folks I don’t really know anyone who’s having an easy time staying afloat.
      Look, I have a day job. I’m a college professor at a public university. No one, as the meme says, ever went into higher education, especially public education, as a get rich scheme. But I make more annually than nearly every “rockstar” yoga teacher I know. And I suspect that would surprise a lot of people who look out at the yogalebrities and assume that they have big money to go with their big brand.

      • NN

        Thank you Jody for keeping it REAL!

        I came into yoga from an aerobics instructor background. I noticed that yoga teachers would take the same turn as any disposable, revolving door fitness teacher fresh out of high school or college. No health benefits, no union, no job security and no steady income. I appreciate that you are giving practical advice, because many yogis (women especially) walk in front of a room of students expecting to be loved for their uniqueness. But love doesn’t translate to cash in the yoga world.

        I have found a niche but much of my yoga outreach is supported by private funders and donations. This is my hobby and my passion, but it is not my bread and butter. I am very clear and comfortable with my 9-5 $80k salary, benefits and retirement. I am also very comfortable with the yoga students who I dearly love and see as a human being not as a dollar sign.

    • amphibi1yogini

      Multilevel marketing pie-in-the-sky has morphed into YTTs for the 21st century

      (“Oh, but if you don’t get to be a teacher, you can learn advanced asana and philosophy at our YTT for your OWN edification …”

      …uh, MY answer?

      “Do you have the space for a few books, a mirror; and/or a high-speed internet connection?”

      and

      “Do you have any self-discipline left to employ the above items, after the yoga studio has made you dependent on them?”

      And, if not quite, hit the classes at the gym, online, or complementary mind-body arts [as I do on occasion, with mat pilates]

      Problem solved at about 1/3rd to 1/10th the cost … though it takes a LOT LONGER THAN THAT INSTANT TWO WEEKS)

  8. wondering

    My standard answer to many posts here: too many teachers, and why should they be able to make a living teaching yoga? That sense of entitlement is ridiculous. Get a job and contribute to society like everybody else, you’re not any more special than regular folk, just a bigger ego.

    • Garuda

      Perhaps it is the false prospect that YTTs offer, that have created the saturation of the market…IDK. What I do know is that YTTs are really poorly preparing Yogis to be teachers. Unless a pupil has the skillset to teach generally speaking, YTT will not get them up to a marketable speed in 200 hours. But that does not seem to matter to studios and hucksters like Ipoliti who profit from the false promises that they use to sell “being a yoga teacher”.

    • Many yoga teacher trainees certainly don’t stop at just “one” teacher training … some even train against type (e.g., vinyasa “specialist” learning to teach restorative yoga), in a serial collection of teacher trainings; although I would not be surprised if a pumped-up teacher bio also name-drops their influences who may have given them as little as a workshop.

      On the more autodidact and more intellectual side of learning yoga (yes, Scripture! Missing from certain celebrities’ styles …) I ran into suggestions such as found in http://yogadork.com/news/stefanie-syman-answers-your-questions-on-the-story-of-yoga-in-america-past-present-and-future/

      When YTT becomes not much more than what you did during your last vacation, it loses its value in that way, too.

      • Garuda

        When I teach restorative, even though I originally studied a vinyasa style as well as a Bikram hybrid style, I tell the students who I trained under as it pertains to that class.. Not to inflate the resume as I hear so many teachers do, but to simply inform the students that I aint winging it. I dont really understand the idea of training against type. If yoga is all about stilling the mind stuff, the only training against type I can see is the tendency to teach any class with vain ends in mind.

  9. fascinated

    Garuda–I agree. A pupil aiming to be a teacher needs to have a maturity about them that will enable their ability to become a conveyor of a message. It’s a fine line to cross-over from student to teacher, and one I do not take lightly, as I train new teachers too. I’m careful in accepting people into my TT program, which is why they are small and I’m not a rock-star teacher.

    And Jody–thank you for your reply. I hear you, and I understand. The further question that arises is can those teachers be content at the level their at? Breaking even means what, able to pay bills and still have some furthering education, a dinner out with your sweetheart, keep the kids educated/fed/clothed? Is that a bad life? Can that be abundant living? I think so, if the attitude shifts.

  10. Jody Greene

    I agree, fascinated. And for most of the folks I am lucky enough to know and move through the world with, it IS enough. This is I guess why the wealth-is-sacred discourse makes me nutty. It can reinforce the mistaken notion SOME folks hold that every yoga teacher they’ve ever heard of is a greedy scumbag looking to fleece the masses and accumulate a garage full of sportscars. And also encourage unrealistic dreams among folks just entering the fray. I’m sure there are a few folks like that out there, but the generalizations get a little maddening sometimes. I’d like to see us tar discriminately with the brush of critique. One of the many things I appreciate about the esteemed babarazzi-person.

  11. What’s happening with yoga certification courses these days is pretty much identical to what was happening with Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) certification a couple of years ago. Demand was insane, you didn’t even need a degree, just as long as you were a native-speaker, school were willing to take anyone on especially in places like China, South Korea and Japan at private schools and language day schools, providing you airfare, accommodations. I saw people pay off their university loans with what they made in teaching.
    Then schools started to experience “bad teacher” syndrome, teachers who couldn’t teach and teachers with entitlement issues. So the foreign schools smartened up, and made their requirements stricter and started to look at TESL certification “schools” very closely. The industry has cleaned up substantially and now to get those lucrative teaching gigs, you’d better back it up with real credentials.

    I’m not advocating that the same exact thing should be followed in the yoga industry but just to point out that
    Mickey-mouse and cowboy operations are popping up everywhere, like in TESL, you pay big bucks, get certified and go off on dreams of working and travelling around the world while you kick the cubicle day job far behind you. Schools and studios are raking in big money from this while anyone and everyone can get “certified”.
    Certification doesn’t make you a good instructor and is not a guarantee of a life of hanging out with the rich and beautiful teaching them beside infinity pools at exotic locations around the world, even if that is the sell.
    I don’t think the issue at stake here is “making money with yoga”. I think the larger issue here how disingenuous some of these yoga “sellers” really are.

    • I had no idea about the TESL thing.

      • Private language schools and yoga studios are similar in that, they often don’t make a lot of money. If the students are unhappy with the teacher, they just don’t come back or go somewhere else. Schools then smartened up. Gone were the teachers who couldn’t teach jack-all yet demanded upfront contracts which included airplane fare, paid accommodations, health insurance, paid utilities, paid summer vacations plus $1000 USD/month while teaching in poorer countries like Thailand, while their Thai counterparts down the hall were barely making $200 USD. Dave’s ESL Cafe website, if anyone is interested, even has a blacklist of teachers for schools to look at and blacklisted schools for potential teachers to keep in mind.

  12. amphibi1yogini

    “a life of hanging out with the rich and beautiful teaching them beside infinity pools at exotic locations around the world, even if that is the sell.
    I don’t think the issue at stake here is “making money with yoga”. I think the larger issue here how disingenuous some of these yoga “sellers” really are.”

    Do you even know how this is quite similar to the image-mongering conjured up by seminar leaders ?
    First, it had been real estate entrepreneurship in the ’80s (“No Money Down”)
    Then it was Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Shaklee and other MLMs
    Then it was “turnkey” operations … including microfranchises in varying everyday industries
    Now, it’s this … BUT with the spiritual proviso that “sharing your knowledge” is the only way to “deepen your practice”

    Take the training, if it’s some eco-tour where you do Karma yoga in addition to learning you could even write it off on your 1040 even if you think it’s a career change. If you make enough money attempting to teach, you might be able to write your training off as a “hobby loss”

    Love the IRS terminology: HOBBY loss …

  13. Itstrue

    What strikes me in this video is that I feel that these two are simply finding a public platform to justify any money that they make. Douglas Brooks and “the queen of her hands in everyone’s pie”Elena Brower charge $70 of go see Douglas talk for 3 hours! So basically it’s an elite talk that only a few can really afford to spend with ease.

    • gross

      disgusting. this douglas brooks dude looks like the Don of the yoga mafia. elena is def the most disgusting individual on the planet. she put her greedy little mala covered hands into everyone’s little pie and claims, PRANAMS, RESPECT & LOVE right before stealing the filling. of course, if we just imagined her as an adorable little 3year old stealing the butter from everyone i guess that would be the compassionate way to view her. i want to know how the handel group helps her justify all her greediness? or is she pulling the wool over their eyes also? my BS detector goes haywire whenever ELENA the Bogi enters the conversation.

  14. I find her choppy bangs really distracting… uh, what were you saying Amy?…

  15. gross

    also, the same people scared to know their worth in the yoga sector are the same people who are scared to know their worth in the “other” sector. so its not a yoga issue.

  16. Just going to put my two cents in here to say that yeah, it’s well known that yoga teachers don’t make much unless they sell themselves and brand the shit out of themselves as teachers. Knew this when I signed up for the course, hence why I’m also studying to become a pilates instructor – feel better about ‘selling’ myself as a pilates instructor and teaching yoga to a few students when I can, as I learn more about this complex and beautiful practice. Even after 9 years I learn more every time I step onto the mat.

    I don’t feel like I can call myself an experienced teacher, so I give away info for free when I can, and teach for not much. We need to make it clear in teacher training that yoga teachers are not/should not be ‘rockstars’ – if you want to be a rock star be a bloody rockstar.

    • Be Scofield

      Hey Emily,

      I’m curious why you feel more comfortable making money and branding yourself in pilates than you do in yoga? What is it about yoga that makes you hesitant about making as much money from it as you would with pilates?

      • Pilates has the legacy of the general fitness industry. They know that their main competition is and always has been both gyms (where the classes are “free”) and their local parks department (where the classes are free or very nominal). Pilates does not have or use to any great extent, the holier-than-thou enrichment material that may justify overpricing, gouging and moral suasion in an effort to oversell. Pilates will let you be as Type A as you wanna be instead of creating cognitive dissonance with before-class intimidating showoffy moves and then discouraging your covetousness of same. No hypocrisy!! Pilates isn’t tempted to give the student a raw deal.

        And, to all you celebrity-bashers who started out as celebrity-followers: face it, as cute and personable as she has been, Daisy Fuentes was just not Madonna, Sting or Russell Simmons … this too shall pass

  17. amphibi1yogini

    Viva la backlash. Backlash, post-bubble blogs cropping up like:

    http://haterasana.com/

  18. amphibi1yogini

    Imagine the subject of this glut of yoga teacher trainees making the venerable Om Shanti: A Yoga Blog … well, it just did …

    http://yogaisforlovers.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/are-teacher-training-programs-the-new-bartending-schools/

    Yoga master teachers can either be part of the solution or part of the problem, particularly post-backlash/post-bubble

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