Summary of “What the Hero’s Journey Teaches About Happy Retirement”

Of course, some people enjoy retirement, but since I have been writing about happiness later in life, many people who were successful earlier in life have reached out to me to say that retirement has been brutal: They feel unhappy, aimless, and bored.
The hero’s journey is great when you’re in the middle of it.
This rage is born from a misunderstanding of the hero’s journey.
The literary scholar Joseph Campbell, author of the book The Hero With a Thousand Faces, notes that many great myths involve a subtle twist after the triumph in battle.
“The first problem of the returning hero is to accept as real, after an experience of the soul-satisfying vision of fulfillment, the passing joys and sorrows, banalities and noisy obscenities of life.” In other words, the end of the true hero’s journey is coming home and finding a battle to be waged not with an external enemy, but with one’s own demons.
From shepherd boy to supreme ruler of his nation, David’s journey is the hero’s journey.
The story doesn’t stop there-it continues in the second book of Samuel, where we find the exalted King David in his post-victory life, hanging around his palace with a lot of time on his hands.
In failing to live an ordinary life, David failed in the last, hardest phase of the journey: being the master of himself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Always Sticking to Your Convictions’ Sounds Like a Good Thing”

As I argue in my book, “Know-it-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture,” the key to understanding why people are prone to turn straightforward disagreements into matters of conviction lies in understanding what convictions are in the first place.
Whether you are Catholic or Protestant, Jew or Muslim, your religious convictions shape the kind of person you and others see yourself as being.
The same is true of your convictions about hotly contested ethical issues like abortion, the death penalty or gun control.
People’s convictions reflect the kind of person they aspire to be, and as a result they are ready to make all sorts of sacrifices for them – including sacrificing the facts and logic if need be.
As a result, and as Yale psychologist Dan Kahan and his colleagues have emphasized, it can actually be pragmatically rational to end up ignoring the evidence and sticking to your convictions.
So what happens when it becomes super easy to share and shape our convictions – when people carry in their pockets devices essentially designed to do just that?
In turn, can act as tools for reinforcing and policing the way in which people describe each other and the convictions these descriptions encourage.
When people are unaware that convictions can seem principled while actually being blind, they are helpless in the face of the conviction machine.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Michael Jordan the Story Versus Michael Jordan the Man”

The first thing to say about The Last Dance, ESPN’s much-hyped new 10-part Jordan docuseries, is that-like every other Jordan documentary before it, and indeed all other Jordan coverage to date-it fails to explore in any substantive way the role played by my teenage sibling in constructing the greatest NBA career of all time.
What The Last Dance does do even in its early episodes, is resurrect a time when tens of millions of people experienced “a kind of connection” to Michael Jordan.
Be like Mike! It was a resonant slogan, not because anyone particularly wanted to imitate Michael Jordan on a personal level-what would that even have meant?-but because, when we watched him play, we were him.
LeBron might or might not be able to beat MJ one on one, but his story will always be a muddle, relatively speaking: Jordan never went to Miami, never lost in the Finals, never tried to be a movie producer.
More than that, Jordan’s story was so simple and charismatic that there are great athletes whose stories are literally “The struggle to recreate Michael Jordan’s story”: Kobe Bryant was every bit as monomaniacally driven and ambitious as Jordan, but he was humanized by Jordan’s shadow, made approachable by the fact that he was chasing an ideal rather than simply existing as one.
Shaquille O’Neal can go on illuminating his Shaqness for us in venues outside basketball, but when Michael Jordan shows his personality, it’s inconvenient.
That’s why Crying Jordan meme was funny, and also jarring, in a way a Crying Iverson or Crying Kareem meme wouldn’t have been.
Michael Jordan showed us what it felt like to fly, but he landed where we moved him with our minds.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What to Stream: Classics for Comfort While Quarantined Against the Coronavirus”

“Happiness isn’t cheerful,” goes the last line of one of the greatest of movies, Max Ophüls’s “Le Plaisir,” and so it is with comfort movies.
Rather, I’m picking up on a search for substance, for movies that have the settled and solid quality of classics-movies serious enough for the mood, compelling enough to provide ready distraction, and confident enough to look beyond the troubles that they evoke.
Here are some of the movies that I’ve been grateful to watch in the past few stressful days.
Freed is surrounded by musicians who fill the movie with onscreen performance, as well as by composers and producers who shape it in real time, hustlers looking to exploit the music, and people in the city whose lives the music is changing.
The movie is directed by Floyd Mutrux, one of the hidden heroes of the American cinema of the seventies; his connection to rock music is at the very core of his work.
The movie whirls ahead with a wild panoply of twists and wily intrigue; even as Hollywood coincidences and Hollywood sentiment put the recklessly unstable tale on solid ground, the enduring impression is of a sham society that dispenses its rewards to the unworthy.
A thought for Italy: Pier Paolo Pasolini, a poet who, in the early sixties, nearing forty, had just begun his movie career, made a documentary that premièred in 1964, “Love Meetings,” in which he travels through Italy and-appearing on camera, microphone in hand, interviews his compatriots about sex.
In 1920, less than two years after the first wave of the influenza pandemic wrought havoc, John Ford made his first movie for the producer William Fox, “Just Pals,” a comedic drama of love for American society’s despised outsiders and of contempt for its snooty moralists.

The orginal article.

Summary of “25 Movies and the Magazine Stories That Inspired Them”

As more publications pursue blockbuster stories with film and television potential, producers in Hollywood and the magazine industry are taking their inspiration from successful article-to-film adaptations of the past that have achieved box office success.
Here are 25 gold-standard film adaptations of magazine articles, published over the course of half a century as cover stories, features, or breaking news, as well as direct links to read all 25 stories online.
Many of these writers’ names will be familiar to readers, as will the majority of the magazines and films themselves, in many cases because celebrated journalists inspired these major motion pictures at the peak of their careers as writers and reporters.
These stories belong on any narrative nonfiction syllabus on their own merit, but I hope these samples are still just the beginning, and that new filmmakers and magazine writers can start to work together far more often on a greater breadth of material, with sufficient editorial guidance and studio backing to support them.
The list of new film and television adaptations based on popular books or podcasts, let alone reporting that has helped support the explosion in streaming documentary formats, would run even longer.
It takes time, access, imagination, and resources to be able to realize ambitious true stories like these in their original form as narrative magazine features.
Writers are the lifeblood of all of these industries, and will always play a pivotal role in any production that is based on a true story.
He even inserted fake mistakes into his fake stories so fact checkers would catch them and feel as if they were doing their jobs.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Too Many People Think Satirical News Is Real”

In July 2019, the website Snopes published a piece fact-checking a story posted on The Babylon Bee, a popular satirical news site with a conservative bent.
Conservative columnist David French criticized Snopes for debunking what was, in his view, “Obvious satire. Obvious.” A few days later, Fox News ran a segment featuring The Bee’s incredulous CEO. But does everyone recognize satire as readily as French seems to?
Fool Me Once People have long mistaken satire for real news.
On his popular satirical news show “The Colbert Report,” comedian Stephen Colbert assumed the character of a conservative cable news pundit.
The Onion, a popular satirical news website, is misunderstood so often that there’s a large online community dedicated to ridiculing those who have been fooled.
Now more than ever, Americans are worried about their ability to distinguish between what’s true and what isn’t and think made-up news is a significant problem facing the country.
Many satirical websites mimic the tone and appearance of news sites.
The New Yorker’s Borowitz Report – a satirical column written by Andy Borowtiz – is labeled ‘satire’ when it appears in Google News searches.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Charles Dickens Presaged the Rise of True Crime Podcasts”

The true crime podcast Serial was groundbreaking-an “Audio game-changer,” according to the Peabody Award jurors who gave it the prize in 2014.
Serialized storytelling is indeed indebted to Charles Dickens and to nineteenth-century fiction more generally-but podcasts like Serial and those that followed in the true crime genre have more in common with Dickens’s fiction than sequential release alone.
Which in some sections reads like a kind of true crime narrative, uniquely presages true crime podcasts by introducing murder as a story to be told by an involved narrator.
These characteristics of orality and duration are, I would suggest, echoed in investigative true crime podcasts today.
“Every crime scene,” explains medical examiner L.J. Drakovic in an episode of the podcast This American Life, “Is a story of its own, is a novel. And it opens up in every direction.” Podcasts have a unique capacity to accommodate this type of expansion, for it is relatively easy to extend seasons, add follow-up episodes, or create tangential sub-series, like weekly listener Q&A sessions posted in tandem with regularly scheduled episodes.
One possible way to categorize true crime podcasts is according to the method, style, and purpose of each.
Entertaining narrator-investigator true crime podcasts-a subgenre of a subgenre-share several characteristics: like other podcasts, they, as auditory media, compel co-creative, imaginative participation among listeners.
Dickens in particular, I think, would have appreciated the true crime podcast fad: he was committed to oral storytelling, and during his second trip to America in 1867-68 he made more money from dramatic readings of his novels than he did from the sale of the books themselves.

The orginal article.

Summary of “9 Books That Should Be Adapted as Video Games”

With the success of Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher, viewers are scrambling to read Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of Witcher books and play CD Projekt Red’s series of Witcher games.
In an article on how “The Witcher proves games should adapt books more often,” Malindy Hetfeld points out many reasons literature can make for successful game adaptations-not least of which is that when adapting a book, “Developers get to create a visual identity” without firmly preconceived notions about characters’ appearances.
There are too many to list comprehensively, but here are 9 books I would like to play as games right now.
If you’re an indie game company looking for a Witcher-sized success, you could do worse than adapting one of these books.
A swordswoman bound to serve her necromancer childhood nemesis, Gideon is a character I want to play games as, write articles about, and be best friends with.
Bordertown has already spawned a text-based role-playing game, but no videogames-yet.
As a story-driven adventure game, players could explore the city as Apollo, examining their surroundings for leads, talking to other characters for information, using that information to solve puzzles, and determining where to travel.
Do you like technologically mystical books-within-books that give you life advice? Do you also love oligarchal Neo-Victorian societies and the possibility of having a gun embedded in your skull? Okay, maybe you don’t love those, but you have to admit they are all potentially solid components of a game.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why is Jeanine Cummins’s ‘American Dirt’ a Thriller?”

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, which was met with intense criticism when it was released last month, is just that.
According to famed spy novelist Ian Fleming, a thriller cannot contain anything that will weigh it down, and American Dirt lacks any kind of nuance, contextualization, and characterization that might impede its breathless plot.
In American Dirt none of these things affect Lydia.
There’s a reason that most people who go through the kind of traumatic events exploited by American Dirt choose not to write their stories as thrillers.
American Dirt has been called trauma porn, and critics have noted that Cummins devotes little space to characterizing Mexico and Mexicans, but instead fills her pages with exploitative, shallow depictions of the suffering her characters endure.
Despite Cummins’s assertion that American Dirt was a unique migration story, of the kind that we “Never get to hear” and one she wished “Someone slightly browner than me would write,” the truth is authors who are personally intimate with border crossings already have penned them, with more grace and brilliance, and their skin color has nothing to do with it.
When the publishing industry – which is 84 percent white – tells Latinx writers that our stories are too hard to read, our worlds too complicated, our audiences too small, do they not mean this is hard for me to read, this book doesn’t reach me, it is difficult for me to bear witness to what my people have done, I don’t see myself in this story? Despite all its failings, American Dirt still made its debut at No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Writers like Cummins will continue to supply these voyeuristic stories for the white imagination.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Something Is Broken in Our Science Fiction”

When it first emerged more than 30 years ago, cyberpunk was hailed as the most exciting science fiction of the ’80s. The subgenre, developed by a handful of younger writers, told stories of the near future, focusing on the collision of youth subcultures, new computer technologies, and global corporate dominance.
Like cyberpunk, these new sci-fi punk movements combine genre conventions and political attitudes.
There are so many named successors to cyberpunk that a whole special issue of an academic journal was devoted to mapping the punked terrain of science fiction and fantasy.
These punks indicate that something is broken in our science fiction.
The term cyberpunk was invented by Bruce Bethke as the title of a short story, first written in 1980 and published in 1983 in Amazing Stories, about a group of teenage hackers who spend their days breaking into computer systems.
At the time, as Bruce Sterling wrote in his preface for Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, there were other candidate names to describe the new SF: “Radical Hard SF, the Outlaw Technologists, the Eighties Wave, the Neuromantics, the Mirrorshades Group.” But the author and editor Gardner Dozois popularized the term cyberpunk in his columns, using it to refer to writers such as Sterling, Gibson, Lewis Shiner, Pat Cadigan, and Greg Bear, all represented in Mirrorshades.
At its root cyberpunk is arguably a kind of fiction unable to imagine a future very different from its present.
None seems capable of generating the sort of excitement cyberpunk once did, and none has done much better than cyberpunk at the job of imagining genuinely different human futures.

The orginal article.