Everybody Wants Some!! – Know What You Are
icon

Everybody Wants Some!! – Know What You Are

It’s two in the morning and you aren’t entirely sober. It’s the point in the night when pizza becomes far more appealing than another drink at the bar.

So you and your roommates grab food and retreat home. After finishing the food and debriefing the night, most are still not ready for sleep. The conversation turns to life philosophy. With the relaxed inhibitions induced by alcohol and fatigue, the conversation seems more real; it seems like you are solving big, important matters. Continue reading

The Big Sick – Stand for Something
icon

The Big Sick – Stand for Something

There he is. The most racist, despicable man you can imagine. You want to say something. You have to say something.

Instead, you wait to act and continue eavesdropping on his conversation:  “You will break up with him immediately. I never want to see you with him ever again. I give you a lot of freedom Catherine, but bringing a black boy around here is unacceptable.” Continue reading

The Red Pill – Losing Arguments by Default
icon

The Red Pill – Losing Arguments by Default

“I can’t even imagine.” (So sad to see that my 5-year-old has a better imagination than you. It must be tough being so narrow-minded. It must also be tough having such a terrible short-term memory that you can’t imagine how the other side might think when I just told you what they think.)

“This isn’t even a question.” (Actually, this is, which – crazy, I know – would explain why I just asked you the question.) Continue reading

Operator – It’s Fair to Question
icon

Operator – It’s Fair to Question

There are things other people know that you will never be able to truly know. This reality suggests caution, even silence, for any unknowers considering challenges to the knowers.

But we can’t help ourselves. You see that co-worker hobbling a little less than you imagine someone with a broken ankle should be hobbling, and your mind races to theorize that the “broken ankle” is a lame excuse to get out of work.

If you express these feelings publicly, you’ll surely be met with what appears to be an impenetrable defense: “You can’t know how I feel. I’m in so much pain. You’d never understand.” Continue reading

The Seeker – Peace Through Acceptance
icon

The Seeker – Peace Through Acceptance

They say the first part of solving a problem is identifying it. Unfortunately, “they” are proving to be quite incorrect when it comes to everyday mental struggle.

There is no shortage of people who accurately and eloquently enumerate the ways in which the voices-in-your-head lead to stress. Here’s the band Cloud Cult, the creators behind The Seeker, enumerating these ways in “Room Full of People in Your Head”: Continue reading

Baby Driver – Stick to Music
icon

Baby Driver – Stick to Music

I don’t want a concert. I don’t want Sonos. I don’t want earbuds on the subway.

If I’m given one chance to consume music, I want to be in a car, with the windows down, and my hands alternating between shifting gears, air drumming, air strumming, and steering.

Baby Driver captured the powerful joy of music in this environment. Continue reading

Spring Breakers – Escaping Escapism
icon

Spring Breakers – Escaping Escapism

Barring some sort of apocalypse, the day is coming when virtual reality will be more compelling than reality; when you only ever exit a fake world for food and sleep.

This already happens in a lesser form as millions of people spend millions of hours locked inside the current iteration of video games.

This seems bad. Certainly to the adults who beseech their children to “go get some fresh air,” and even to the gamers who experience social consequences from the habit. If given the choice between success in the “real world” and success in a video game, I can’t imagine many would choose the latter. Continue reading

Moonlight – Where Have All The Fathers Gone?
icon

Moonlight – Where Have All The Fathers Gone?

Focus on what’s controllable. It’s good advice for life. It’s also good advice for artists hoping to stir inspiration in an audience.

That’s why so much art that covers the great disparity between blacks and whites in America focuses on drugs, crime, education and discrimination (DCED). The audience simultaneously feels terrible about the situation while being led to believe it’s not entirely hopeless. Inspiration hits as one’s thoughts are consumed with all the ways the situation can be less terrible.  Drug policy can be changed. Mandatory minimums can be adjusted. We can pour more money into inner-city schools and staff them with talented teachers. Yea. Yea. Yea. And we can all be more aware of our racial biases and shift them. Continue reading

Passengers – Almost Good
icon

Passengers – Almost Good

It’s a tactic that almost always works. That “almost” qualifier is necessary because of movies like Passengers.

There are no shortage of reminders urging us to “know thyself,” and the value of this advice goes undisputed. The problem, as is true with many life maxims, is in the embodiment. Do I really have to read Plato? Do I really have to meditate? Do I really have to keep a journal? Knowing myself sounded cool right up until the point when I realized it would require so much hard work. Continue reading