GIVING THANKS, 2015

When I experience or even hear about gestures of civility, I’m thankful. The alternative to endless vitriol offers profound potentials for invention, for growth, and even pleasure. On Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for demonstrations of people finding ways simply to treat each other well, or at least with respect.

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THE WALKING DEAD

That mortal fantasy is the crux of the show’s genius and the singular reason why it’s so successful. Without a complex and sophisticated playbook of narrative rules governing the program’s engine, the action would be little more than splashing around in a shallow pool. Instead, The Walking Dead taps into a deep sea of anxieties and simultaneous wish fulfillment and social means testing.

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DECEPTIVE HIERARCHIES

For creative people there's a compelling moment to consider when approaching complex projects. Ask yourself if the organizational structure of your idea and your organization simply exists because you understand it. Ask yourself if the hierarchy is fundamentally sound for the particular project. If it exists because that’s the way things have always been done, you might want to start over.

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TAKING IT WITH YOU

None of us can carry all of our life experiences with us everyday, per se, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create ways to keep track of them. Just like runners arrive at each race through an accumulation of training and experience that leads up to the starting line, each of our lives can only be possible by an accumulation of experiences we choose to regard as parts of a much larger whole. When we break apart the moments of our lives into narrow, compartmentalized good moments and bad moments, we reduce ourselves to little more than highlight reels.

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BREAKING THE RULES

Here's a piece of art that breaks all the rules, and by doing so provokes something profound. It asks us in a way that all great and significant questions should be asked, in a clear, level, calm voice: “Do we truly understand the merits of the rules we claim govern our culture, our values, and our paths through the world?”

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