Defending Neverland

We all create our own Neverlands. As J.M. Barrie describes them, they tend to be islands: places to retreat from the real world, places where, if we want something to be, it is. When we are children, we bring our friends, our brothers and sisters, and sometimes our parents to our islands. As we grow older, we don’t necessarily abandon our Neverlands, but we do adopt a more isolationist policy. Read More  Read More

The First To Admit It

The New York Times has completely misunderstood Kanye West. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t mind. But it’s a big week for him, with the new album and all, and the New York Times is the place that people like my parents (our parents, the Internet’s collective parents) will go to figure out what’s going on with that Kanye fellow. So I feel the need to set the record straight. Read More  Read More

10,000 Hours (Part 1)

A friend of mine recently told me about the “10,000-hour rule.” “I read somewhere,” he said, “that the key to getting really good at something is just to do it for 10,000 hours. Some guy did a bunch of research, and he figured out that all the most successful people put in at least 10,000 hours practicing their craft.” “Sounds like some Malcolm Gladwell bullshit,” I said. And you know what? Turns out it is some Malcolm Gladwell bullshit, straight from his 2008... Read More

You’ve Got Personality

On most Sundays, as I cringe in front of the television, watching the last glint of greatness fade from the once-mighty 49ers dynasty, I find exactly thirty seconds of pure entertainment in this television advertisement: Not only does it have two always-delightful things at once — a regional recording of a shitty song and a dog in clothes — but it also puts me at ease with myself. Sometimes a man might wonder: should I really be working a soul sucking job that I believe,... Read More

I Do Love Talking to Modest People

[This is a follow-up post to Hooray for the Everyday.] While composing my previous post on IKEA, I was dicking around on the IKEA website and I began interacting with its automated chat bot, Anna. Here’s a conversation we held, verbatim: Me: Anna, I’m in love with you. Anna: That’s very nice. How about asking me something about IKEA? Read More  Read More

Judging Iowa

I spent Election Night at the party for Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrat running for Illinois’s Senate seat. It was at the International Ballroom of a swanky hotel, in the shadow of Chicago’s ultra-chic Aqua Tower. The crowd, mostly suited and tied but occasionally volunteer-T-shirted, was abuzz — the big media narrative was all wrong, people said. We’ve been knocking on doors. Politics is still local. The big money and the national issues won’t trump Alexi’s smile... Read More

Be Here Now

I’ve done a lot of things in the past year that I told myself I’d never do. I worked several 80-hour weeks in a corporate office. I joined a fantasy football league. I helped found—of all things—a blog. And most recently, I got an iPhone. More and more I find the artifacts of the person I figured I always would be—an artist, an eccentric—creeping into picture frames and dusty shoe boxes: photos of me half nude living in a cabin in the jungle of Nepal, stacks of back-pocket... Read More

The Cuddle Voyeurs

To begin with, yes, I saw the article in the Times Magazine. Yes, the one about “emerging adulthood.” Yes, I get it, I’m 23 and unmarried and uncareered and, I suppose, “emerging,” though I’m not unemployed or living at home. Sure, I have an opinion about it. But I’m not really interested in writing about it at the moment. I’m more interested in what it doesn’t talk about. Read More  Read More