Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Quick Look

The trailer for "Memoirs of a Geisha."

Quote of the Day

Our culture is in the grip of more than a few disturbing habits. Among them: defining people by their mistakes, hating our ideological enemies, and adopting grandiose ideas about our own importance. We treat people in the public eye as if their decision to put themselves on television or share their ideas online meant that we no longer have an obligation to treat them humanely. After all, if they want better treatment, all they have to do is change jobs.

- David French

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Song of the Day

Dwight Yoakam: "Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues."

Art Break: Roubtzoff


Art Contrarian looks at the work of Alexandre Roubtzoff.

Dramatic Footage

The Weather Channel planned to cover the implosion of the Georgia Dome.

But their planning only went so far.

First Paragraph

In 1937, a British literary critic named Cyril Connolly sat down to write a book around an unusual question: How does an author create something that lasts for ten years? Connolly's view was that the mark of literary greatness lay in standing the test of time. With the specter of world war looming on the horizon, the idea of anything surviving in an uncertain future had a kind of poignancy and meaning to it.

- From Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work That Lasts by Ryan Holiday

Most Agreeable

An open book on a glossy wooden surface near a window

The Hammock Papers reveals the most agreeable way of ignoring life.


[Photo by Ilya Ilyukhin at Unsplash]

Got Harassment Prevention Training?

An elegant conference room with two whiteboards, black tables and white chairs

Given the surge of publicity regarding harassment cases, there is increased interest in my Harassment Prevention workshop as well as my briefings on tactful communication. 

If you would like information on these programs, email me at michael@execupunditconsulting.com. 

I've taught workshops in 48 states and Puerto Rico and am more than willing to come to your location.

Your team will get practical information that is easy to understand and which can be put to immediate use.

Remember the adage: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."


[Photo by Breather at Unsplash]

Quick Look

The trailer for "Sense and Sensibility."

Great Book Titles

Image result for football, faith, and flannery o'connor amazon

Quote of the Day

When we yell at our car or our coffee machine, it's fine because they're just mechanical appliances. So when we yell at a website or a company, we forget that it's not an appliance but a person that's affected.

- Derek Sivers

Monday, November 20, 2017

Health Food Update



The Pioneer Woman shows how to make her favorite turkey brine

If you are not familiar with the process, read her vivid description.

First Paragraph

Engel's knees hurt. This was the first time he'd been inside a church in twelve years, and he wasn't used to it any more. He'd come in here, all unknowing, and the first thing he knew he was on his knees on this hard wooden plank, and pretty soon the kneecaps had started burning, and then shooting pains had developed up and down the legs, and by now he was almost sure something was broken down there and he'd never walk again.

- From The Busy Body by Donald E. Westlake

Found on the Internet

"Don't bother. Didn't like it."

- The entire review of a Donald Westlake novel. [I promptly bought the novel.]

Quick Look

The trailer for "Game Night."

Lost in the What Ifs

A sunlight shining down on an autumn evening over a forest path

Inc.: Wanda Thibodeaux gets advice from an unexpected source on how to reduce worry.


[Photo by Johannes Plenio at Unsplash]

A Civilizational Nervous Breakdown?

Glenn Harlan Reynolds on overcoming the effects of social media.

Do we look into the abyss?

Mayflower Courage



. . . By sailing to the New World, they hoped to re-create the English village life they so dearly missed while remaining beyond the meddlesome reach of King James and his bishops.

It was a stunningly audacious proposition. With the exception of Jamestown, all other attempts to establish a permanent English settlement on the North American continent had so far failed. And Jamestown, founded in 1607, could hardly be counted a success. During the first year, 70 of 108 settlers had died. The following winter came the "starving time," when 440 of the 500 settlers were buried in just six months. As it turned out, the most lethal days in Jamestown were yet to come. Between 1619 and 1622, the Virginia Company would send close to 3,600 settlers to the colony; over that three-year period, 3,000 would die.

- From Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick



[Photo by David Kovalenko at Unsplash]

Great Book Titles

Image result for a hero of france amazon alan furst

Quick Look

The trailer for "The New World."

Quote of the Day

Gratitude is the heart's memory.

- French proverb

Sunday, November 19, 2017

10 Rules for Thanksgiving

I wrote this post several years ago and it is now an Execupundit tradition:

  1. Thou shalt not discuss politics at the dinner. There is next to no chance that you'll convert anyone and any hard feelings that are generated may last long after the pumpkin pie is finished. Why spoil a good meal?

  2. Thou shalt limit discussion of The Big Game. This is mainly directed at the men who choose to argue plays, records, and coaches while their wives stare longingly at the silverware. The sharp silverware.

  3. Thou shalt say nice things about every dish. Including the bizarre one with Jello and marshmallows.

  4. Thou shalt be especially kind to anyone who may feel left out. Some Thanksgiving guests are tag-alongs or, as we say in the business world, "new to the organization." Make a point of drawing them in.

  5. Thou shalt be wary of gossip. After all, do you know what they say when you leave the room? Remember the old saying: All of the brothers are valiant and all of the sisters are virtuous.

  6. Thou shalt not hog the white or dark meat. We know you're on Atkins but that's no excuse.

  7. Thou shalt think mightily before going back for seconds. Especially if that means waddling back for seconds.

  8. Thou shalt not get drunk. Strong drink improves neither your wit nor your discretion. Give everyone else a gift by remaining sober.

  9. Thou shalt be cheerful. This is not a therapy session. This is not the moment to recount all of the mistakes in your life or to get back at Uncle Bo for the wisecrack he made at your high school graduation. This is a time for Rule #10.

  10. Thou shalt be thankful. You're above ground and functioning in an extraordinary place at an extraordinary time. Many people paid a very heavy price (and I'm not talking about groceries) to give you this day. Take some time to think of them and to express gratitude to your friends and relatives. Above all, give special thanks to the divine power who blesses you in innumerable ways.

Find Something Beautiful Today

Orange sand and rock formations in a desert landscape



[Photo by Helene Blanquet at Unsplash]

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Quick Look

The trailer for "Ghost World."

First Paragraph

Perhaps I had better begin by explaining that I think of myself as a composer of music and not as a writer about music. This distinction may not seem important to you, especially when I admit to having published several books on the subject. But to me the distinction is paramount because I know that if I were a writer I would be bubbling over with word-ideas about the art I practice, instead of which my mind - and not my mind only but my whole physical being - vibrates to the stimulus of sound waves produced by instruments sounding alone or together. Why this is so I cannot tell you, but I can assure you it is so. Remembering then that I am primarily a composer and not a writer, I shall examine my subject mostly from the composer's standpoint in order to share with others, in so far as that is possible, the varied pleasures to be derived from experiencing music as an art.

- From Copland On Music by Aaron Copland

Skills of a Parent



See the complete story at Cultural Offering.

Well played.

She Should Wear "Crocs" to the Next Meeting

Based on this story alone, I am already favorably impressed by the new editor-in-chief at Vanity Fair.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Mudbound."

Advice for Life


From 2013: Ink Tank provides some memorable pieces of advice.



[Photo by Almos Bechtold at Unsplash]

Finding the Problem



It begins with a tour of an imaginary room. Scattered about the room are Problems A through Z. 


The initial topic of discussion may be Problem A because it appears to require prompt action but, as details emerge, Problems Q and Z, who'd been relegated to a corner, rise and begin to demand attention. 

And as they get closer, Problem A doesn't look that bad.


[Photo by Breather at Unsplash]

Quick Look

The trailer for "Manifesto."

Highly Recommended

Image result for News of the World amazon

Quote of the Day

Never cut what you can untie.

- Joseph Joubert

Friday, November 17, 2017

Quick Look

The trailer for "Lady Bird."

On Relationships


Anderson Layman's Blog has an observation by Eric Barker on the importance of relationships.

It is too easy to get wrapped up in moving from project to project and miss the relationships behind the projects. 

Some circumstances are extraordinary. I recall working in a job that largely dealt with investigations. With the clarity of hindsight, I can now see that we were in the organization but not of it. Due to a need to maintain objectivity, we couldn't socialize with people from other departments as much as one normally would. Due to the lack of a clear internal career track, it was the sort of work which probably should have been outsourced. 

As it stood, we were always visitors at a party who were expected to put in an appearance, then leave.


[Photo by Nitish Meena at Unsplash]

Thanksgiving Approaches



"You get married, a child is born or not born, in the middle of the night there is a knocking at the door, on the way home through the park you see a man feeding pigeons, all the tests come in negative and the doctor gives you back your life again: incident follows incident helter-skelter leading apparently nowhere, but then once in a while there is the suggestion of purpose, meaning, direction, the suggestion of plot, the suggestion that, however clumsily, your life is trying to tell you something, take you somewhere."

- Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life



[Photo by Ksenia Makagonova at Unsplash]

The Adversarial Culture

Go back and look at some of the current affairs interview programs from the Fifties and Sixties and examine the tone. No shouting or screaming. If there were any assertions that the other side was evil then they were certainly rare.

Once those programs got away from a level of discourse that is healthy for the whole and instead adopted one which seeks only to score, in a highly adversarial manner, points for one side, we entered a new realm.

And has the social media culture made the situation better or worse?

Great Book Titles

Image result for you'll never eat lunch in this town again amazon

Quick Look

The trailer for "Trash."

Quote of the Day

Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.

- David Burge

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Found on the Internet

An eloquent dissent:

"Then your a moran."

Toast and Bunga Bunga

Roy Moore and  Al Franken are probably finished but in Italy we may be seeing the return of Mr. Bunga Bunga.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Brighton Beach Memoirs."

Enjoying the Fall Colors

Snowmanflorida

Disclaimer: Not a photo of FutureLawyer

It's not even Thanksgiving but FutureLawyer - Our Man on the Beach in South Florida - is already getting in the mood.

"Your Ultimate Guide to Luxury Bus Travel"

Wanderu

As airports become crazier and more of a hassle, the idea of a riding in an ultra-comfortable bus becomes far more attractive. [Thinking of all the reading you could do and the scenery you could notice.]

Wanderu is a site with information on various luxury bus lines. 

Since train connections aren't what they used to be, a nice bus might be just the ticket.

Art Break: Marsh


Art Contrarian analyzes Reginald Marsh's "Wonderland Circus, Sideshow: Coney Island."

Underwhelmed

Does the 2019 Corvette ZR1 even look like a Corvette?

When Prime Time Had Morality Tales

Image result for gunsmoke poster amazon

The TV westerns of the Fifties and Sixties were morality tales. They had clear distinctions between good and evil and the good usually if not always won. Here's a partial list:

Bat Masterson, Bonanza, Broken Arrow, Boots and Saddles, Cheyenne, The Cisco Kid, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, High Chapparal, Wyatt Earp, Maverick, Rawhide, The Rebel, The Rifleman, Rin Tin Tin, Tales of Wells Fargo, Texas John Slaughter, Wagon Train, and Wanted Dead or Alive.

Were many of them hokey? Sure. Did they gloss over things? Absolutely. [Miss Kitty's occupation in Gunsmoke was left unexplored.] But I think we lost something valuable when many of those programs left the air.

As Michael Kelly, the late, great, editor of The Atlantic put it, at one point we went from being square to being cool.

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Commuter."

Great Book Titles

Image result for don't give guns to robots

Quote of the Day

The guiding motto in the life of every natural philosopher should be, Seek simplicity and distrust it.

- Alfred North Whitehead