Thoroughly Thursday - the "Banned Books" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Banned Books edition. This week is National Banned Book Week, which contrary to its name actually doesn’t want you to ban any reading material. Personally, I still can’t get over the fact that a school district would ban the Fault in Our Stars (how dare you Riverside Unified School District?!). Over the years, there have been lots of ideas that challenge our sense of what is appropriate for children and the population at large (you can see 2017’s list of “challenged” books here). However, I do worry that in recent years the effort to stamp out unpopular opinions has broadened into a schism in our social discourse. Though I would never tell anyone what to think, I would encourage you to let someone challenge your assumptions occasionally. It’s good for you.
What I'm Reading (article) - Wait, It Takes How Long?
Back in 2010, author David Wong wrote a great article called “How the Karate Kid Ruined the Modern World”. In the article, he posits that the advent of the “training montage” for high schooler Daniel LaRusso or an obscure Philadelphia boxer have reshaped how we think about getting good at anything. The training montage simplifies the complex process of skill development and turns it into a plucky 4-min music video. The training montage and its cousin the “hard-work montage”, have the unfortunate side-effect of making people think that progress for succeeding at work, getting good grades, playing piano, or writing a novel is a simple and quick process IRL. Instead, many are struck by Effort Shock when they realize that getting good at anything is really hard.
What I'm Listening to - Casey and Candice on the Couch
One of my favorite creators is YouTube Impresario Casey Niestat. An amazing dynamo of work/talent/hipster-dom, he has spawned legions of burgeoning vloggers with his DIY philosophy. He has become immensely successful in recent years, but one often gets the sense that he isn’t the easiest person to live with. Recently, Neistat started a podcast with his wife Candice Poole (owner of the Billy! jewelry/clothing brand) called Couples Therapy, where the two discuss their relationship struggles, demands of their careers, raising their 3yr old daughter, Candice’s current pregnancy, and their consideration to leave New York for Los Angeles to be closer to family. Far more relatable than you’d expect, I’ve been surprised by how much I’ve enjoyed it.
What I'm Doing for Work - Celebrating the Community through Art
I’m currently in Las Vegas for the Global Security Exchange, but last week I had the opportunity to create a video for my neighborhood’s local arts council SPARC. Using a combination of archived footage and some new interviews, we developed a promo to help re-introduce them to the community. You can check the video out here.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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P.P.S. Check out this great article on R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame on how he’s created over 330 books while typing with one finger.
P.P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.