Century of the Self. We recently revisited this 4-part documentary from Adam Curtis and found it just as engaging and eye-opening as we did watching it the first time a couple decades back. Curtis explores the way Freudian ideas and the movement towards self-expression in the 60s ended up being co-opted by advertisers, corporations, and politicians and channeled towards consumerism, so that what promised to liberate the human psyche, actually ended up making people more manipulated and controlled. It’s a must-watch for the modern citizen.
“The Horse Whisperer” by Mark Maggiori. I’ve been a fan of the Western artist Mark Maggiori for several years now. I love his paintings depicting the American West. The way he paints clouds in the desert is amazing. Whenever I’m on a road trip in New Mexico and see a big pillar of clouds, I lean over and tell Kate, “Those are some Mark Maggiori clouds right there.” When I turned 40 a few months ago, a dear friend gifted me a print of Maggiori’s painting, “The Horse Whisperer.” It depicts an old cowboy that looks like my favorite literary cowboy, Lonesome Dove’s Gus McCrae, riding his horse amongst the sage brush. And, of course, there are some great Mark Maggiori clouds in the sky. When you order a Maggiori print, it can take months to get to you, and it just finally arrived. Can’t wait to get it framed and hung up in my living room.
“Is There a Loneliness Epidemic?” You hear a lot of talk in the media these days about a “loneliness epidemic” going on in the West. We’ve even had several podcast guests bring up the idea on the show. But is there really a loneliness epidemic afoot? According to this article, no. Looking at the data, the author concludes: “today’s adolescents in the US do not seem to be more likely to report feeling lonely than adolescents from a couple of decades ago; and similarly, today’s older adults in the US do not report higher loneliness than did adults of their age in the past.” Guess it’s just the kind of narrative/buzz-phrase that makes for good copy.
“Only the Young” by Brandon Flowers. If you’ve been following AoM for a while now, you know that I’m a big Killers fan. I’m also a big fan of the solo projects frontman Brandon Flowers has done over the years. His 2010 solo album Flamingo is packed with several underrated and overlooked gems. But the track that’s been getting the most play in McKay-family transportation lately is “Only the Young.” It’s so dang good. The music video is just as good. Makes me nostalgic for being young again but also hopeful for my kids.
Quote of the Week
There is only one real failure in life that is possible, and that is, not to be true to the best one knows.