Most of the messages are generic yearbook stuff: it was fun having class with you; have a great summer; see you in high school!!! Some of them were a little passive-aggressive: you are kind of annoying but funny (fair); you are loud (also fair); have fun with your brothers (what?).
This week on the Yearbook Office, I wrote about shutting down the bullies within. Plus some other stuff.
Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us—a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain—it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse. Sometimes we care for another because we know we should, or because it’s asked for, but this doesn’t make our caring hollow. The act of choosing simply means we’ve committed ourselves to a set of behaviors greater than the sum of our individual inclinations: I will listen to his sadness, even when I’m deep in my own. To say ‘going through the motions’—this isn’t reduction so much as acknowledgment of the effort—the labor, the motions, the dance—of getting inside another person’s state of heart or mind.
This confession of effort chafes against the notion that empathy should always arise unbidden, that genuine means the same thing as unwilled, that intentionality is the enemy of love. But I believe in intention and I believe in work. I believe in waking up in the middle of the night and packing our bags and leaving our worst selves for our better ones."
Leslie Jamison, “The Empathy Exams” (via The Believer)
This essay is incredible.
Every time “Handjob” is spoken in Rushmore.
Dave Shumka is doing the Lord’s work.
The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour
Photo Credit: Rob Hoffman
You know how the Internet is full of photos of wildly impractical* libraries in, like, trees and castles and boxcars and shit, and people are like, “I just want to crawl inside this photo and live in it” and you’re like “really” and they’re like “yes” and you’re like “okay but” and they interrupt you to say “let me have my happiness” and you’re like “but you being happy confuses me because i’m not 100% happy at this moment” and they’re like “sounds like a YP, not an MP”?
That is how I feel about this photo.
*originally typed “impractable” here and i’m not against it
I’m nuts for Maggie Harvey’s dad, a true crime author who owns an Irish pub and has a gruff Boston accent and a handsome gangster’s face. I try to talk to him about Boston once or twice, but he’s the client, and I’m just the slob who picks up his dog’s shit for minimum wage.
All dogblog, all the time.
It’s finally here: Issue #9 of Bright Wall/Dark Room Magazine!
The End of the End
An Evolution of Faith, in Five Films
by Jenny Hollowell
Tracy Wan on Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy
You & Me
Chad Perman on Blue Valentine
Howl at the Moon
Karina Wolf on Bull Durham
Chris Fraser on Don Jon
Hello, I Must Be Growing
Tess McGeer on Hello I Must Be Going
Be Fair to Love
Neil Fox on The Broken Circle Breakdown
6 Sonnets for Bright Star
Fran Hoepfner on Bright Star
Film’s Best Friend
Elisabeth Geier on dogs, love, and cinema
To read the issue in its entirety, download the Bright Wall/Dark Room app to your iPhone or iPad for free, or purchase a copy of this issue for $1 (or a monthly subscription for $2) and receive immediate access to the full issue online.
Cheers Roleplaying Game, (a character sheet example)
I’d really like this to be a real game.
Steeeeeeeeeeeve! Make it.
Simon and Garfunkel.in the studio.
Whenever I find out something cute is being sold by a plus size website, it’s already been sold out for ten months, because all these chicks are...
Last night I went to a reading about travel writing in an obscure alley in Williamsburg. The directions said “the door is across from the boat.” The...