News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Beneath The Surface Of
Bruce Springsteen

That evening, Springsteen is weeks from notching his sixty-ninth birthday. And as we stand there, I find it impossible not to think that the journey he has undertaken in this decade of his life has been nothing short of miraculous. He entered his sixties struggling to survive a crippling depression, and now here he is approaching his seventies in triumph—mostly thanks to the success of this powerful, intimate show, which is not a concert but an epic dramatic monologue, punctuated with his songs. After a year of sold-out shows, he will close it out on December 15, the same night it will debut on Netflix as a film. He at last breaks the awkward silence by giving a small nod and saying to me—but more to himself, just as we all kind of say it to ourselves as we head out the door each day—“Well, I guess I better go to work.” And with that he ambles toward stage right.

Read the rest of this article at: Esquire

News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Forever Mariah: An Interview With An Icon

News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It takes a village to promote an album, and on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Mariah Carey has at least 10 people with her when she arrives at Electric Lady Studios in New York. There is a makeup person and a hair person, a manager and publicists, a lawyer and what might be a bodyguard, and an entire other group of people who are hard to place. Mariah is tall in high-heeled black boots and perfectly done up, with hair as straight as I’ve ever seen hair be, two hoop earrings that shimmer from her ears, and a megawatt smile. Everyone is in good spirits, like a winning sports team in the locker room at halftime.

Though this is the kind of infrastructure necessary for celebrity in the 21st century, it’s just the window dressing. When things settle down, Mariah and I peel off to a quiet room in the recording studio for a discussion about life and music. The mother of two reclines, puts her feet up on the coffee table, requests red wine for us, and, in the middle of our interview, asks her manager for pizza from an order her team had made. She wants a piece of pepperoni but there are none left, so she happily eats a plain slice, balancing it on her pink-painted fingernails.

When you think Mariah, you likely have an image of the ultimate diva dripping in diamonds, and though she does appear to be wearing some expensive jewels (two butterfly rings on her fingers—one gold, one silver—twinkle in the light), she is welcoming and relaxed here in the studio, eager and engaged when talking about the care she takes in her art. It’s something she has not always gotten a chance to discuss, as her level of fame has often inspired more questions from reporters about her dating life than her songwriting process.

Read the rest of this article at: Pitchfork

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The Miseducation Of Sheryl Sandberg

The ongoing three-way public-relations car wreck involving Washington, Facebook, and Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s powerful C.O.O., begs a question of America’s esteemed managerial class. How has someone with such sterling Establishment credentials—Harvard University, Harvard Business School, the Clinton administration—managed to find herself in such a pickle?

The answer won’t be found in the minutes of Facebook board meetings or in Sandberg’s best-selling books, Lean In and Option B, which cemented her position in the corporate firmament as a feminist heroine. Rather, it starts all the way back in 1977, when Sandberg was just eight years old and the U.S. economy was still recovering from the longest and deepest recession since the end of World War II. That’s the year that Harvard Business School professor Abraham Zaleznik wrote an article entitled, “Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?” in America’s most influential business journal, Harvard Business Review. For years, Zaleznik argued, the country had been over-managed and under-led. The article helped spawn the annual multi-billion-dollar exercise in nonsense known as the Leadership Industry, with Harvard as ground zero. The article gave Harvard Business School a new raison d’être in light of the fact that the product it had been selling for decades—managers—was suddenly no longer in vogue. Henceforth, it would be molding leaders.

Read the rest of this article at: Vanity Fair

News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The Insect Apocalypse Is Here

News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Sune Boye Riis was on a bike ride with his youngest son, enjoying the sun slanting over the fields and woodlands near their home north of Copenhagen, when it suddenly occurred to him that something about the experience was amiss. Specifically, something was missing.

It was summer. He was out in the country, moving fast. But strangely, he wasn’t eating any bugs.

For a moment, Riis was transported to his childhood on the Danish island of Lolland, in the Baltic Sea. Back then, summer bike rides meant closing his mouth to cruise through thick clouds of insects, but inevitably he swallowed some anyway. When his parents took him driving, he remembered, the car’s windshield was frequently so smeared with insect carcasses that you almost couldn’t see through it. But all that seemed distant now. He couldn’t recall the last time he needed to wash bugs from his windshield; he even wondered, vaguely, whether car manufacturers had invented some fancy new coating to keep off insects. But this absence, he now realized with some alarm, seemed to be all around him. Where had all those insects gone? And when? And why hadn’t he noticed?

Riis watched his son, flying through the beautiful day, not eating bugs, and was struck by the melancholy thought that his son’s childhood would lack this particular bug-eating experience of his own. It was, he granted, an odd thing to feel nostalgic about. But he couldn’t shake a feeling of loss. “I guess it’s pretty human to think that everything was better when you were a kid,” he said. “Maybe I didn’t like it when I was on my bike and I ate all the bugs, but looking back on it, I think it’s something everybody should experience.”

I met Riis, a lanky high school science and math teacher, on a hot day in June. He was anxious about not having yet written his address for the school’s graduation ceremony that evening, but first, he had a job to do. From his garage, he retrieved a large insect net, drove to a nearby intersection and stopped to strap the net to the car’s roof. Made of white mesh, the net ran the length of his car and was held up by a tent pole at the front, tapering to a small, removable bag in back. Drivers whizzing past twisted their heads to stare. Riis eyed his parking spot nervously as he adjusted the straps of the contraption. “This is not 100 percent legal,” he said, “but I guess, for the sake of science.”

Read the rest of this article at: The New York Times

The Unified Theory Of Ram Dass

News 11.28.18 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Last year, my wife and I were driving south on Interstate 91, somewhere between Vermont and New York City, listening to episode five of the Ram Dass podcast, Here and Now. It wasn’t my first listen; I had become addicted to playing and replaying the first seven episodes, all of which come from a 1968 lecture Ram Dass gave at the Bucks County Seminar House in Erwinna, Pennsylvania.

We initially encountered Ram Dass’s work back in 2011. My wife, while going through a difficult time, was given a paperback copy of the 1976 book Grist for the Mill by her kindhearted, kirtan-playing landlord in Northampton, Massachusetts. That summer, at the beach, we read each other passages as we lay in the sun; soon, also at the beach, a new friend gave her his copy of Be Here Now—Ram Dass’s 1971 book of hypnotically illustrated spiritual exhortations. That title was a fixture on every bona fide hippie bookshelf in the ’70s and has sold over 2 million copies. But it wasn’t until last year, when I was trying to find a more soul-fulfilling way to burn up the time on my daily commute, that I discovered the podcast and fully immersed myself in Ram Dass’s message.

Having detailed his origin story in the first few episodes—from hotshot Harvard professor to psychedelic pioneer to Hindu devotee to holy-man-at-large preaching across hippie America—Ram Dass’s beautifully unfolding lecture more or less abandons linear autobiography by part five. In it, he explores spiritual insights he gleaned from two trips to India, in 1967, slip-sliding between key principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christ consciousness while effortlessly tying it all back to modern life in the Vietnam-era West.

As my wife and I hurtled down the highway listening to the podcast, one of Ram Dass’s digressions gonged me so good it would have been safer if I had pulled over the car. Trumpism had just dawned in America. The air was rife with fear, anger, and bluster: The Women’s March had taken place in January and then Charlottesville in August. “I think there’s blame on both sides,” Donald Trump had said. All of it was still raw. I remember being particularly anxious about the way the political moment was playing out on social media. My feeds were full of strident partisan rhetoric and hard lines drawn in the sand. If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention. That’s when Ram Dass articulated an idea that held as much truth and force in 2017 as it did when he said it 49 years earlier. “I know many of you will feel uncomfortable when I say this, but the hippies create the police as much as the police create the hippies,” he said, his Kennedy-esque Boston accent still intact. “That the liberals create the conservatives. The protesters create the John Birchers just as much as the John Birchers create the protesters. That as long as you are attached to whatever pole you are representing, the vibrations which you are sending out are creating its polar opposite around you. If you can do whatever is your karma—which may be walking in a protest march or fighting in Vietnam, or being a conservative or a liberal or being a housewife or being a yogi—and can do it without attachment, and do it fully and thoroughly but without attachment, then you do not create that karma. You do not create the polar opposite.”

I had listened to this episode before, but I had not really heard it until that moment. I rewound the passage repeatedly until my wife asked if we could please let the episode play on.

Read the rest of this article at: GQ

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