"To me, the reason this episode is called "Tomorrowland" is because it’s really about the choice between, "Do you want to deal with who you are, and live with that?" or "Do you want to think about the person you could be in the future and you’re becoming?"" —
"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner dissects the season finale for New York Magazine. This comment resonates a little.
One of the things I make sure to look for on my birthday each year is the “birthday horoscope” in the New York Post, which attempts to sketch out what awaits you the next 365 days. This year’s:
“If you think big and act big you’ll accomplish big things between now and your next birthday. There may be the occasional failure but that’s okay— in fact, it’s good. Failure is just a stepping stone on the road to success.”
Noted, and looking forward to it, etc.
(PS: Thanks to all the friends who have wished me a happy birthday!)
The great underdogs tend to be tricksters, showing up the powerful, and like tricksters, great underdogs have to be charming. If they aren’t, they’re just jerks who enjoy tormenting others. — From By Kári Tulinius’ wonderful essay, “Why Do We Root for Underdogs?”
You’d be surprised at how easily I turn it off when I go home…The kids and I, we watch "The Wizards of Waverly Place," and I don’t think about it again…The real challenge is when I’m at work, I’m at work. I’m locked in, I’m ready to go, I’m focused. When I’m at home, I’m locked in and I’m ready to go and I’m focused on home. We don’t watch the show. We don’t watch the news. We don’t do any of that stuff. I sit down, I play Barbies. And sometimes the kids will come home and play with me. — Jon Stewart shares with NPR how he achieves his work/life balance.
After all, Facebook, like Zuckerberg, is a paradox: a Web site that celebrates the aura of intimacy while providing the relief of distance, substituting bodiless sharing and the thrills of self-created celebrityhood for close encounters of the first kind. — David Denby in the New Yorker. Change “Facebook” to “Tumblr” and “Zuckerberg” to “Karp” and….
No one knows what the future of technology holds, but we can be confident it will arrive in a swirl of capital letters. — Great essay in The Economist's quarterly Intelligent Life about the rise of the acronym— and especially its pervasiveness in corporate culture.
From Noam Scheiber’s great look in The New Republic on what is causing Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, some disillusionment of the Washington “culture”— although he knew the place was trouble to begin with:
A very idealistic streak: “He does not see politics as the art of the transaction. He sees it much more in a human context, that people are motivated by a connection to something bigger than themselves. That view is just very different from passing legislation like health care, where you have to cut deals.”
At the same time — and almost at the other end of the spectrum — he is very much a realist, even sometimes bordering on fatalism: “In his recent campaign memoir, [David] Plouffe recalls Axelrod as a brooding presence with a gift for finding the booby trap in every field of daisies. “This could be an unmitigated disaster,” Axelrod announced to Plouffe and strategist Robert Gibbs as Obama trooped off to his first primary debate.”
In my book, that makes him a pragmatic idealist.
And here’s how Scheiber ends the article, which resonates with me: "As long as he was a civilian, Axelrod could blame the pace of change on the flawed politicians he helped elect. He could always move on and invest his hopes in someone else. But now that he’s serving in government, it’s clear that the problem isn’t so much flawed people—though, like anyone, Obama has his flaws—as a ferociously stubborn, possibly irredeemable system. For an idealist like David Axelrod, that may be the most terrifying thought of all."
The most intriguing phrase Simon has used regarding “The Wire” is to say that it is about “the death of work”… Moreover, in the world of The Wire almost everyone who tries to buck the system and do right is punished, often severely and grotesquely and heartbreakingly. Accommodation is survival at the most basic level, although it is also lethal to the soul. — The New York Review of Books takes a wonderful and insightful look at the resonating themes of “The Wire.” God, what I might give for another season of this show…
I spy three morarch butterflies outside my window, in the garden below, right now.
"And that’s how I got to go to a birthday party while very heavily sedated."
For my money, there’s nothing better right now than Allie Brosh’s wonderful web comic Hyperbole and a Half. Introduced my mom to it over the weekend, we were pretty much doing the same as the panel above.
(Not sure who introduced me to Brosh’s work, but — if it was you — thanks!)
The first rule of politics, kiddo: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story. — One of my favorite lines from the upcoming HBO series ”Boardwalk Empire.” This series is going to take the place of “The Wire” in my heart, I think, based on what I’ve seen— it’s first-class all the way.