Best Of

This isn’t a complete list or anything. And the ordering is largely random. What it is a place for you start to get an idea of what of the stuff I’ve published here, I liked best. And thus, what kinds of things I’m likely to post in the future. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s at least useful. Here are some of favorite posts, the year they were written, and short summary of what they are and why I like them.

  • Covert Crusaders for Compassion (2011) — A summary of why I like the television programming I do. But it’s not really about television, it’s about what I consider the most important task for any story telling, it’s about what I think everything should strive for. I’ve been surprised how much I’ve come back to this idea.
  • On Slaying Dragons (2007) — A short exploration of why the idea of adventures involving dragons are appealing, and a brilliant thing Brian Andreas made that completely reframes the idea.
  • Flow Traps (2012) — An exploration of the truth that to grow you’ve sometimes got to do things that feel really hard and unproductive.
  • The One-Off News (2008) — Some thinking about why I hate the local news, and true-crime shows, and even supposedly good newsmagazines like NBC’s Dateline.
  • Why Kindness is Hard (2013) — A very brief essay in itself, but it also serves as introduction to a big series of posts I wrote about kindness. A topic about which I know both very little and a great deal, for the same reasons.
  • OPW: Anthony Bourdain after Beruit (2007) — One of the first in my Other People’s Words series, and probably one of the best bits of reflections that was ever made a part of a cable TV travel show.
  • Be Here Now (2009) — One of the two things I wrote here in 2009, a basic praise of an idea I was reminded of while watching a documentary about Ram Dass. Dass’s most famous book has the same name.
  • On the Banality of Profound Truths (2010) — Another one of those posts I find myself thinking about regularly, it about how trivial seeming most of the things I think are absolutely the most important things in the world are.
  • Dispatches: Coalition Against Animal Racism (2007) — A rare piece of fiction around here, the Dispatches series are news stories I made up that I’d like to see. This one’s about the fact we just accept purebredism on the matter of dogs and cats. I did it before PETA. (I actually don’t know that, but when I wrote this I didn’t know that any real activist group actually had a stance on the issue.)
  • The Two Most Important Truths I Know About the Universe (2014) — An exploration of two seemingly contradictory truths whose undeniability I constantly feel and relish: we don’t matter at all, and we matter an incomprehensible amount.
  • Review: The Story of Stuff (2008) — A review I wrote of a rather consistently popular internet video that sort of drives me crazy. I think my reason for being driven crazy it is rare enough to be notable.
  • I, like you, do the best I can (2007) — A somewhat self-congratulatory piece (that part I’m not proud of) about how to understand the actions of other in a more open and accepting way (that part I am).