Category Archives: Asides

My Favorite Kind of Book

whatitmeanstobeaman

My friend Rhett Smith released a new book yesterday called What It Means to Be a Man, and I encourage you to pick it up and read it. A few months ago I had the opportunity to read the book and write an endorsement of it, and I happily said yes. Here’s what I wrote:

What It Means to Be a Man is my favorite kind of book, the kind that sets you on a journey of self-discovery. This book is a bridge between the man you are and the man you’re becoming — read it.

Find the book on Amazon here.

My New Social Media Policy

I just came across NBA player Stephen Jackson’s new social media policy (source), and I think I might make it my new policy as well.

Check it out:

“If u not a real fan of mine or if u dont make 9mil per yr. or have more than 500 followers. Dont tweet me.”

It’s simple, confrontational, and elitist … just like me. What could go wrong?

Chuck Klosterman Introduces Rock VORP

Chuck Klosterman Introduces Us to Rock VORP

In a brilliant column, Chuck Klosterman attempts to quantify the value of the individual members of a rock band. I especially a few one-liners from the intro:

I give props to my ninjas and kudos to my serfs. I attack reality with well-placed, nonironic, nonrefundable LOLs.

We’ve almost totally conquered polio, racial intolerance, and werewolves. Assuming we exclude most of Europe during the 12th century, it’s been a quasi-terrific, can’t-miss, semidelicious 9,000 years

Dark-hearted humanity critics always want to rave about how “brilliant” dolphins are, but do dolphins have Twitter? No. They don’t even have Tumblrs.

Do those lines have anything to do with Rock VORP? I don’t think so. But they’re good, and so is Rock VORP.

Michael Jordan Still Looms Large

Michael Jordan still looms large

[Jordan] burdened the best players in the game with the notion that anything less than a fistful of rings and a sociopathic dedication to success is the equivalent of desultory failure. When you start to think about it, you realize that his bacon-necked spectre looms over every fourth quarter of every NBA Finals game of the modern era, and will do so for quite some time.

A great thought. And by the way, I’m enjoying Grantland so far.

The New York Times Magazine Profiles J.J. Abrams

The New York Times Magazine Profiles J.J. Abrams

Whenever I find myself interested in an upcoming movie or TV series, it seems like there’s a 50/50 chance that Abrams is attached, and thus I enjoyed this lengthy feature. I also enjoyed the realization that for all of the Abrams-fueled projects I’ve enjoyed over the years, his body of work also includes plenty of forgettable material.

During his 20s Abrams churned out and sold script after script, with his credits including “Gone Fishin’,” a throwaway buddy comedy, and “Armageddon,” a formulaic disaster behemoth …

… To go back and watch “Felicity” and “Alias” now is to be struck by the stark difference in their tones — by how sleepy “Felicity” could be and how turbocharged to the point of lampoonery “Alias” almost always was. “Alias” had cliffhangers followed by torture sequences followed by karate kicks followed by more cliffhangers, with nary a lasting resolution in sight.

That’s no knock on Abrams, it’s just a reminder that nobody has a 100% success rate. And very few people do the best work of their careers in their 20s.

The Smiths Are Debt Free

My friend Rhett recently shared the story of how he and his wife Heather paid off $75,000 in debt over the course of just 31 months.

As we sent off that payment today we looked at each other and almost couldn’t believe it. For our entire marriage we have always had some kind of debt hanging around our necks like a slowly tightening noose. And now we finally feel free. Without the debt a lot of our decisions don’t hang on finances and we feel the freedom to make choices we wouldn’t have been able to make years ago.

Incredible. Read the story here.