I could retreat here.
Photography by Durston Saylo | Design: Eric J. Smith Architect
I’ve just finished The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray. It opens…
We are going through a great crowd derangement. In public and in private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant.”
If you struggle to find a logic to follow in identity politics, if you’re somewhat mystified by the raging debates about gender versus sex, or the rights of actors or writers to present a perspective other than that of their own race-gender-sexuality, then this is the book for you.
As a result, I too found myself googling “European art” and “straight white couple”. I’ve so far resisted the temptation to google Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda video … but, the days are longer in self-isolation.
A valuable, insightful book.
There’s a taster in this interview from Uncommon Knowledge:
Stoicism for the modern world, death to the self-help book industry, and a healthy scepticism towards social media.
Happy: Why more or less everything is absolutely fine by Derren Brown is superb. It’s beautifully written, wonderfully observed, both philosophical and practical (which once upon a time were one and the same thing). Very thought-provoking.
I think I first heard of Happy from a Donald Robertson interview and it treads similar ground to How to Think Like A Roman Emperor. However, it does so in a completely different way.
I particularly enjoyed Chapter 5, A (Very) Brief History of Happiness.
Bach’s music needs to be unlocked; its emotional content, when discovered, is somehow in and of itself, and uniquely musical. Much of it is deeply confessional. By contrast, Romantic music now seemed to create a broader emotional landscape: that of falling in love, spending a night on a bare mountain, suffering in turmoil or throwing oneself off a parapet. Instead of experiencing those things for ourselves, we are given music that stirs and excites the corresponding emotions within us. Thus the refrains of the Romantics are often more accessible, yielding their power more or less immediately. Those of us who prefer the earlier mode might even say this emotional mode became a mere substitute for experience, and that the unique, private experience of music was diminished.
Derren Brown, Happy (p152)
On a separate note, I love the above portrait, borrowed from DerrenBrown.co.uk. It’s so rich. And, I’m not at all jealous of the laddered library, nor of the impressive amp in the background. No, I’m not.
Douglas Murray on his books The Strange Death of Europe and The Madness of Crowds; interviewed for the Hoover Institution’s Uncommon Knowledge series.
Thought-provoking, fascinating, controversial.
Worth a Weekend Watch.
Image: Andy Ngo
Professor Anthony Long is largely responsible for reviving serious academic interest in Stoicism.
In this talk (from Stoicon 2018) – Stoicisms Ancient and Modern – he discusses “three big ideas” of Stoicism:
Confused about the difference between Oxford and Derby shoes? The Kingsman’s “Oxfords versus Brogues” debate didn’t help.
To solve the mystery, here are a couple of videos from Justin Fitzpatrick at the Shoe Snob.Continue reading “Oxford or Derby? Now you know”
Kurt Harden’s Cultural Offering has this on forest bathing and “nature prescriptions”:
Eventually, I started to be able to distinguish the tiny splashes of singular rain drops onto each delicate leaf, all weaving into the greater song of Mother Nature. I looked down and saw tiny ants scurrying to and from an ant hill as they carried bits of leaves and branches.
Magic and marketing both rely on directed attention. The conjurer directs the audience away from the palmed coin while the marketer directs it towards the big, shiny, buy button.
But attention is a fickle animal.Continue reading “The psychology of illusion – @RogerDooley, @MattLTompkins”
Life isn’t about finding yourself, or finding anything. Life is about creating yourself … and creating things.Bob Dylan, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story [00:06:11]
I’ve just watched Martin Scorsese’s Rolling Thunder Revue and this quote, from current-day Dylan stuck in my head. I’m sure I’ve read the same sentiment somewhere else recently, but I can’t place it.
The film, available on Netflix, is worth watching both for 1970s Dylan’s performances and current-day Dylan’s commentary.