Frank Chimero – This One’€™s for Me

Frank Chimero – This One’€™s for Me

There’s no need for you to “decide” on one feeling. If we don’t allow ourselves multiple, confusing, even conflicting feelings, then how else do we learn to deal with people when the going gets gray?

I find two things especially noteworthy about these things that Everyone Knows: first, they tend to be really nasty-minded; and second, they tend to be equally tidy-minded — that is, they make the world a neat, simple place in which there are ever so many people one needn’t take seriously, or treat with anything other than immediately reflexive contempt, because one knows in advance of any particular encounter exactly what they’re like.

The Service Patch – NYTimes.com

Many people today find it easy to use the vocabulary of entrepreneurialism, whether they are in business or social entrepreneurs. This is a utilitarian vocabulary. How can I serve the greatest number? How can I most productively apply my talents to the problems of the world? It’s about resource allocation.

People are less good at using the vocabulary of moral evaluation, which is less about what sort of career path you choose than what sort of person you are.

In whatever field you go into, you will face greed, frustration and failure. You may find your life challenged by depression, alcoholism, infidelity, your own stupidity and self-indulgence. So how should you structure your soul to prepare for this? Simply working at Amnesty International instead of McKinsey is not necessarily going to help you with these primal character tests.

[…] It’s worth noting that you can devote your life to community service and be a total schmuck. You can spend your life on Wall Street and be a hero. Understanding heroism and schmuckdom requires fewer Excel spreadsheets, more Dostoyevsky and the Book of Job.

I missed this last month, so many thanks @davidbhayes for the post!

The Service Patch – NYTimes.com

Wes Anderson’s Arrested Development. Interesting criticism here. This led to an aha! moment for me:

Nothing more perfectly evokes the feeling of both a child’s literal interpretation of the world and youthful big ambition on a frustratingly small scale like a school play, and Anderson smartly adopts this style.

[…] We don’t lose ourselves in the emotion of the production, and for the same reason we’re not meant to lose ourselves in the story of an Anderson film. Like in a children’s play, we are meant to be aware at all times of creative effort, for this is where its true value lies. Anderson’s ability to blend substance and form and communicate this feeling is his greatest skill. His films look like a stage plays: Sets look like sets, the frame becomes the proscenium arch (with a symmetry in the set that exaggerates and enhances the frame’s boundaries), and the action is kept in the center of the frame, usually directed out toward the audience in mainly medium or wide shots.

And I like this:

Anything that helps to enlarge an understanding is important, as large thinking is contagious and will contaminate all other areas of your life, so that eventually nothing will be allowed to remain simple and small.

Real life is messy. And as a general rule, the more theatrical the story you hear, and the more it divides the world into goodies vs baddies, the less reliable that story is going to be. […] One of the central problems with narrative nonfiction is that the best narratives aren’t messy and complicated, while nonfiction nearly always is.

Felix Salmon. I was so glad to see this article this afternoon. I just created my life is messy tag last night. (via)