1. Slaves of the internet, unite
Tim Kreider in the New York Times on the dilemmas people like me regularly face:
I’ve been trying to understand the mentality that leads people who wouldn’t ask a stranger to give them a keychain or a Twizzler to ask me to write them a thousand words for nothing. I have to admit my empathetic imagination is failing me here. I suppose people who aren’t artists assume that being one must be fun since, after all, we do choose to do it despite the fact that no one pays us. They figure we must be flattered to have someone ask us to do our little thing we already do. I will freely admit that writing beats baling hay or going door-to-door for a living, but it’s still shockingly unenjoyable work. I spent 20 years and wrote thousands of pages learning the trivial craft of putting sentences together. My parents blew tens of thousands of 1980s dollars on tuition at a prestigious institution to train me for this job. They also put my sister the pulmonologist through medical school, and as far as I know nobody ever asks her to perform a quick lobectomy — doesn’t have to be anything fancy, maybe just in her spare time, whatever she can do would be great — because it’ll help get her name out there.
2. Yes, we are storytelling animals
Those who have read Imagining The Kingdom by Jamie Smith will especially appreciate this. Jonathan Gottschall, author The Storytelling Animal, writes for Fast Company about the science behind the idea that stories aren’t just ways “to pleasantly while away our leisure time,” but actually form our beliefs and behavior. Companies like Coke get this. Do our churches?
Humans live in a storm of stories. We live in stories all day long, and dream in stories all night long. We communicate through stories and learn from them. We collapse gratefully into stories after a long day at work. Without personal life stories to organize our experience, our own lives would lack coherence and meaning. Homo sapiens (wise man) is a pretty good definition for our species. But Homo fictus (fiction man) would be about as accurate. Man is the storytelling animal.
3. Welcoming the stranger
Jeff Haanen shared a series of five videos from the Evangelical Immigration Table, filmed at a Denver event in the spring, featuring a number of immigrants and advocates, including Carlos Campo, Danny Carroll, Lucy Mwangi, Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and others.
4. Ghosts of Sarajevo
In 1984, Sarajevo hosted the Winter Olympics. A decade later, the city became a battleground, and afterwards the Olympic grounds began succumbing to the forces of nature. As the countdown to the Sochi 2014 winter games now drops into the double digits, The Atlantic Cities shares a sampling of the work of Reuters photographer Dado Ruvic (including the one at the top of this post).
[Image: The disused bobsleigh track from the Sarajevo 1984 Winter Olympics is seen on Mount Trebevic, near Saravejo via theatlanticcities.com]