‘How to Live Without Irony’ – NYTimes

Very much enjoyed this article.

Irony is the most self-defensive mode, as it allows a person to dodge responsibility for his or her choices, aesthetic and otherwise. To live ironically is to hide in public. It is flagrantly indirect, a form of subterfuge, which means etymologically to “secretly flee” (subter + fuge). Somehow, directness has become unbearable to us.


On Being with Krista Tippett: Brené Brown and Vulnerability

“With creativity, the primary shame trigger around that is comparison.” – Brené Brown

BOOM. Discovery. Truth. Lightbulbs. Eureka. This is a perfect explanation of my problems. On the one hand, you want to be inspired. On the other hand, you look at things and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” It creates a weird little competition among artists.

“How can we embrace rest and play if we’ve tied ourselves to what we produce?”

“Does this mean that our capacity for wholeheartedness can never be greater than our willingness to be brokenhearted?”

“Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experience”

“To me, vulnerability is courage. It’s about the willingness to show up and be seen in our lives”

“Think about the last time you did something brave. Or the last time you saw someone do something brave”

“Whatever your daring is, however you’re trying to show up in your life, I think there’s something incredibly contagious and powerful about it, I think it makes the people around us a little bit braver, and I think it helps us get very clear on the ideals and values that guide our lives.”

“So f you do something and you think,  ‘My identity is on the line here,’ like, ‘If it fails, I’m bad,’ the only thing that’s at stake is that it could fail, not that you are nothing.”

What an interesting idea – we aren’t defined by our actions. Some would hold strongly to that idea; we are our actions. If we aren’t defined by our actions, then an evil act does not make you an evil person, a good act does not make you a good person. You are an amalgamation of behaviors, choices, values, emotions, and actions. You are not one or the other; you are not a dichotomy. You are a complex, nuanced being that has the potential for balance, balancing the good with the bad. What a fantastic thought! You are not condemned (or lauded, for that matter) for your choices.

Does God prescribe a definition of who we are? We are his. We are not our actions. We are his children. We are loved, unconditionally, no matter our actions. That’s God’s thing – we are not defined by our actions.

Being vulnerable completely contradicts all of our survival instincts.

“Hope is a function of struggle. Hope is not an emotion; hope is a cognitive, behavioral process that we learn when we experience adversity, when we experience relationships that are trustworthy, when people have faith in our ability to get out of a jam.”

“I think we’re awakening from a period of deep disengagement”


Is it bragging to tell people things you’re thankful for?

I have this awesome friend names Emma. I’ve known her since she was born, which was two weeks after I was born. We grew up together in our little Minneapolis Lutheran church.

Here is one of the reasons that Emma is awesome:

I do improv and love sketch comedy. Emma and I have always loved SNL; on Sunday mornings, we’d quote the best update jokes and characters at church. This was mostly an inappropriate thing to do. But aside from that, Emma’s not pursuing comedy, really, and she’s not a nerd about it like I am. But about a month ago, I called Emma on a Monday night. I asked her if she would want to go to Chicago with me that Friday. (Note: we are not spontaneous people).

Know what Emma said? Yes. She just said yes.

We went to Chicago for the best 2 days ever. We saw 3 shows at iO and “Who Do We Think We Are?” at Second City. And Emma not only listened to everything I told her about comedy and the theatres, being my nerdy self, but she appreciated it. We had a dialogue about it.

I’m blessed, really blessed, I feel like that word is accurate for this scenario, to have a lot of great friends. A lot of best friends, even. But I don’t know of too many others that would be willing to just drop everything and go somewhere for things that they’re not necessarily that passionate about.

Emma did that for me.

She went to Chicago again this past weekend to get her visa (she’s a Frenchie, ya know, just heading to Paris next semester, nbd), and she went to see the e.t.c. show at Second City that we hadn’t gotten to see. And she freaking WROTE DOWN ALL THE SKETCHES so she could tell me about them and we could talk about it!

So I’m thankful. To say the least, to have a friend that is interested in what I love. And I’ve gotta say, I think I’d do the same for Emma. She is the best.

what do philosophy professors do in their spare time?

they sit around and talk philosophy.

More specifically, they talk about “cosmic inexistence,” or something like that, I’ve now forgotten the phrase. The backstory of this is that I just dropped off a paper with my philosophy professor, who was just sitting around a table with two other philosophy profs talking about cosmic order. I thought they were having a meeting. They weren’t. They were just talking philosophy. They invited me to join in the conversation – I promptly declined said invitation, considering that I have zero knowledge of what they discussed subject matter (as evidenced by the fact that I can’t actually remember what they were talking about. This occurred 15 minutes ago.)

but just talking about theory as part of your job? what an awesome life, right?