Author: Joshua Bennett

A Wondering, Wandering, Optimistic Cynic

Other People

In a graduation speech George Saunder’s said:

Each of us is born with a series of built-in confusions that are probably somehow Darwinian. These are: (1) we’re central to the universe (that is, our personal story is the main and most interesting story, the only story, really); (2) we’re separate from the universe (there’s US and then, out there, all that other junk–dogs and swing-sets, and the State of Nebraska and low-hanging clouds and, you know, other people), and (3) we’re permanent (death is real, o.k., sure – for you, but not for me).

Don’t Be a Tapeworm

In an interview with the New York Times Moby said, “Dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame. I should have a dog as a life coach.”

I’m not a pet person. But today I read in a book:

“Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal doesn’t have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love.” -Dale Carnegie

Snakes & Mediocrity

The scariest thing in the world is that which you don’t understand.

Growing up it was dark rooms, monsters, and vegetables.

I’ve had two fears since considering myself of age to have a real opinion. Snakes, because they’re fuckers; and, mediocrity. I’m terrified of slouching through life, not making something of myself, or sadly finishing (life) without knowing what I should have done.

A couple of weeks ago and fifteen minutes into a conversation I was asked, “What’s your passion? What fires you up?”

I stood there and said nothing. The group around me chimed-in in effort to fill in the blank. They threw my hobbies and interests out like blind people throwing darts.

All I could think was, “I wish I knew.”

Industrialized Education

“Sadly, most artists and most linchpins learn their skills and attitudes despite school, not because of it.” -Godin

Read Seth Godin’s newest book, Stop Stealing Dreams (which is free, click here.)

Personally, I hated school and loathed everything about it. I hated the early start times, the rigid schedules, the pointless homework, and the general polarized social stigma of it all. Teachers and admins included.

Looking back at those doldrum years and the way I acted I wonder why anyone put up with me. And then I remember what I was like after 2:40 PM in the afternoon.

“Education isn’t a problem until it serves as a buffer from the world and a refuge from the risk of failure.” -Godin

Two Jobs With a Side of Fries

McDonald’s and Visa teamed up to create a financial tool to help out the employees of the golden arches. Problem is–no one could figure out how to “get-by” on the Mickey-Dee’s paycheck.

They assumed $1,105 for their first job. That’s right, first job. In order to make this work they just assumed you have two jobs. I’ll get there in a couple paragraphs.

Magical Sunday

Jesus Christ was a magician.

(Or an apocalyptic leader, or charismatic healer, or philosopher, or egalitarian social reformer… a description I wish conservatives and liberals alike would look up before for claiming/criticizing the “Christian” acts of one another.)

He and Houdini had a lot in common–including the way that they died. Both were Jewish (although, we forget how one of them spoke Hebrew and looked that way…), both were skeptics of the status quo (Houdini with Spiritualism and superstition–Jesus with Judaism/Trinitarianism and the creation of Christianity), and both were performers.

Both were killed by the public whilst be asked to perform one last trick. Neither could. And neither let on to the fact that they were anything but super natural right to the end.