Curated Content from the Queen of Uncool
I love content.
I consume a ridiculous amount of it in an average day (including gobs of “long form” stuff.) And I seriously geek out about that content while I consume it.
All of this makes me kind of a freak among marketers.
Most content marketers are obsessed with the distribution of content; sharing the most content possible, created by the most influential people — so much so that they share stuff they’ve never even read, via a robot even when they’re not around (which is kind of bizarre when you think about it.)
But after the recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I was reminded of his quote from Almost Famous…
“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what we share with someone else when we’re uncool.”
And it occurred to me that my being uncool — and caring more about quality and learning from the stuff I stick in my brain than fame and influence — might actually be helpful to other people.
The law in the land of uncool.
You see, for years now, I’ve been hanging out over here in the corner, consuming tons of stuff, just to get educated, entertained and enlightened.
But I’m guessing some of you might be looking to get more educated, entertained and enlightened, too.
So, I’ve decided to start sharing more of this stuff.
- I consume content about everything because the world is very big and I want to know as much as possible about all of it. Some of this content may interest you, some of it may not. And that’s okay.
- I consume a ton of short form content, too. The collection below just happens to all be long-form this time.
- To see my content recs daily, follow my “Thought of the Day” board on Pinterest.
- All of these photo quotes (save for the “Almost Famous” one, above) are original pieces of content created by me.
- As I mentioned before, I like to consume. So, if I mention a book, I’ve read the whole thing. If I mention a movie, I’ve watched the whole thing. I am kind of unable to do anything half-way. (I’m, uncool, remember?)
- I’m not sure how often I’ll do this re-cap thing. I guess it kind of depends if anyone cares to read it. (I’ll consume the content, regardless.)
This week’s uncool.
Okay, now for the best stuff that popped out at me in the past week…
1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Happiness
Starting on a sad note, I was devastated by Hoffman’s recent death since I was a big fan of his work.
Among all of the beautiful tributes to him floating around the web lately, I was struck by this interview where he talks about life, death and how we find happiness in between the two.
Sometimes you can only find happiness after you dig beneath your unhappiness first. I wish Hoffman’s digging hadn’t forced him to unearth so many of his personal demons.
2. Oliver Burkeman and The Antidote
Every Sunday I like to cuddle up on the couch with Brain Pickings.
My favorite insight from this week’s edition was drawn from its review of Oliver Burke’s book, The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking — “a fascinating look at how our conventional approaches to happiness and success tend to backfire as our very efforts to grasp after such rewards generate a kind of anti-force that pushes us further away from them.”
The whole review is illuminating, but the quote above jumped out at me, in particular. As a strategist, I need a reminder sometimes to just let go and embrace the chaos.
3. True Detective
I just got into True Detective and enjoy the slow burn of how the show is constructed. (I’m also a big fan of the anthology trend, e.g. American Horror Story’s season-long standalone story arcs.)
For all of the hype surrounding short form content, I still think people like to be slowly drawn into great stories and will patiently wait for the onion to be unpeeled if they know the meat at the center of it will be worth it.
I’m pretty sure the payoff at the end of this ride will be memorable. (Maybe unpleasant, but memorable.)
So this show makes the list because…
- The writing is exceptional.
- The music and the way it’s shot (e.g. the “epic six minute take”) is unique and adds to the storytelling.
- Matthew McConaughey’s character gives voice to the thoughts that are usually running around in my head. (Is that bad to admit?)
4. Pain books
Since I suffer from it, I read two books last week about chronic pain, and found some interesting insights in both of them.
The first was, The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain by Dr. John Sarno. This is an older book from 2001 that outlines Sarno’s thoughts about the connection between pain and perception and his theory that pain for some people is caused by TMS: tension myoneural syndrome.
The second book is more recent and thorough, The Great Pain Deception: Faulty Medical Advice Is Making Us Worse by Steven Ray Ozanich. This book digs deeper into TMS and shares the author personal journey in healing his pain. All of it is fascinating stuff.
(This photo quote from Ozanich’s book is kinda ugly. I was playing with a new app when I made it. But, I guess for our purposes, it will do.)
5. The NSA is a bunch of naughty monkeys.
Wired’s cover article this month, “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet” is a doozy, but is an excellent primer if you are looking to get a big picture understanding of what the NSA has been up to and what that means for the future of the Internet.
One of my favorite quotes from this article is excerpted from a post a Google security engineer named Brandon Downey had on his personal Google+ account. It helped put the situation into a (geeky) context that I could understand.
If you’re looking for even more insight, check out the nearly 400 comments on this article on Wired. There are some interesting debates going on over there about a topic about which we’ve only begun to scratch the surface.