Thoroughly Thursday - the "Delightful" Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Delightful edition. I’ve been searching for a tiny bit of solace lately. Between the hours of political discourse, financial news, and discussions on the melting Himalayas, I am finding that I'm needing more breaks into "the delightful." Sometimes, it seems like a full-time job just to keep a positive outlook. Two things that I'm finding work quite well: listening to the soundtracks of Paddington I and II daily (yep, pretty much) and checking out the Good Place Podcast with Marc Evan Jackson. While tacitly covering each episode of the TV show with the writers and actors, it seems to be a discussion on what happens when nice people work together to make something awesome. I suggest listening to it whenever you wish to reinforce your faith in humanity.
What I'm Reading - Don't Worry, It Gets Better
Recently, my wife introduced me to the book The Happiness Curve by Johnathan Rauch. Rauch explores ideas from philosophers and psychologists along with new data from sociologists and economists on happiness throughout our lives. The central tenant (which is sorta obvious in the title) is that happiness dips as we move into our middle years (with our lowest happiness usually in our mid-40's), but then curves up sharply as we age. Surprisingly, this tough time is not really about our modern work life, economic expectations, or mouthy kids. The trend is consistent throughout economic classes, cultures, and can be seen in nearly all primate species. What is becoming apparent to social scientists is that most of us enter a second "adolescence" in our 40s, where the ambitions and expectations of early adulthood transition to a feeling of acceptance and appreciation as we become the "elders" of our communities. You can hear a great interview with Rauch on "The Happiness Curve" with Nancy Davis Kho on her podcast, Midlife Mixtape.
What I'm Watching - A Not-So-Cozy Murder Mystery
Hercule Poirot is one of the most famous detectives in fiction, and I've been checking out a new version in Amazon Prime's ABC Murders. In TV, David Suchet made a career portraying the Belgian investigator as a brilliant, if somewhat absurd, character. What is always interesting is how a modern version of a famous personality or retelling of a story tells us about our current era. Where Poirot is usually portrayed as a national treasure in his adopted homeland of Britain, John Malkovich plays Poirot as older, formerly famous, dismissed by the police, and hounded by people a time of increasing nationalism (sounds familiar?). It's cool to see Malkovich in such a subdued role, and the filmmaking is gorgeous, but the tone is best described as Les Miz crossed with David Fincher's Se7en. Definitely not for the faint of heart.
What I'm Doing - OBEY (THE) GIANT
Back at the end of 2017, I got to film the DAMAGED exhibit by Shepard Fairey in DTLA. I always meant to edit the footage into something, but it quickly got buried under a dozen other projects. As I've written about before, I'm a big fan of his pop-culture style which a handful of years ago went entirely mainstream (i.e., the recent post for the LAUSD Strike). Here are some shots through the show. Just FYI, if you want the full VR experience, you can download the DAMAGED mobile app here.
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)
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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.