Do You Wear The Black Hat?

“The villain is the person who knows the most and cares the least.” – Chuck Klosterman, I Wear The Black Hat

In his new book I Wear The Black Hat, Chuck Klosterman writes about villains both real and imaginary. As with everything he writes, Klosterman’s book is an inventive and thought-provoking examination peeling back layers of pop culture to reveal truths that seem obvious until you realize you never realized them before. (There’s a particularly interesting discussion about what would happen if a real life Batman began to fight crime.)

But what sticks out the most is Klosterman’s main theory: A villain is a person who knows the most and cares the least. If you know all the facts about a particular situation, if you know what harm your actions will bring and you simply do not care what happens, then you are a villain in your story.

In a roundabout way, I Wear The Black Hat reminds me of another book about story: Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Continue reading

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Stuff I Learned From Love Does Stuff 2013

Sometimes your heroes let you down.

And then sometimes your heroes are Bob Goff.

This weekend author/lawyer/”real-life Great Gatsby” Bob Goff led the first ever Love Does Stuff conference in Tacoma, WA. My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to be able to attend, all thanks to the graciousness of a few loving people in our lives.

I’ve looked up to Bob for years. Meeting and hearing from him in person did not disappoint.

IMG_8663Bob has an incredible philosophy and appetite for life. He invited a few of his incredible friends along, and over two days they shared how they do love in the world. Here’s a few things I took away (I did my best to attribute certain ideas to their respective speaker, in case you want to find out more about them):

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Reality Interrupted

“The Joe Schmo Show” might be the most incredible reality television experiment of all time.

This is not your typical competition for a million dollars filled with wannabe actors. “Joe Schmo”  asks the question, “What if there was a reality show where everything was fake except one contestant?”

The Joe Schmo Show

bostonherald.com

On the surface, it’s hilarious. Seeing a dozen trained improv actors (and, inexplicably, 90s celebrity Lorenzo Lamas) dance around one unsuspecting mark as they parody all your favorite reality tv tropes is an incredible hour of television.

Underneath the over-the-top parodies, though, “Joe Schmo” gives us a picture of how to adapt to reality.

The rouse is on the poor Schmo 24/7 (who, to be fair, is rewarded with $100,000, luxurious vacations, and other prizes for his troubles). To accomplish this high wire act, the cast spends months getting into character, rehearsing their roles, memorizing backstories, and creating a script to work from.

The cast knows all it takes is one slip up, one drop of an accent, one stumbled line, and a million dollars and months of hard work would be washed away. Perfection is essential.

Of course all of this preparation is thrown out the window when the wildcard element of the Schmo enters the picture. Continue reading