When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn まじめ

(Majime.)

Hunter S. Thompson valued professionalism above all other virtues. If you’d met the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas three days into a cocaine binge, and asked him if it might be time to call it quits, he would have shrieked in outrage —not because you were judging his drug habits, but because you were implying he wasn’t fully conscious, aware, centered and intentional in his behavior.

Do you think this is some kind of amateur cocaine binge?” he probably would’ve howled.

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Do NOT Quit Your Job. DO Your Job.

A retraction of every “live your dreams” screed I ever wrote

Confession time! I used to write some of those “Quit your job! Follow your dreams!” articles. You won’t find any of them in my Medium history now, though, because I deleted them all months ago.

Looking back on my smugness now feels like looking back on my goth phase in high school: I’m not exactly ashamed of it, because I can understand the motivation behind it; the need to craft a public identity that would validate my perspective on the world— but it still makes me cringe a little,

Because I wasn’t nearly as cool as I thought I was.

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The Insanity That Keeps Us Sane

We’ve got some strange ways of dealing with bad thoughts.

Want to hear a cool story?

In the 1280s, the Mongol warlord Hülegü Khan was getting ready to make war on the city of Baghdad — which was, at that time, the epicenter of the civilized world.

The Khan sent a threat letter to the Caliph of Baghdad that always sends chills up my spine when I read it. Here’s a sample:

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In Praise of Roleplay

All of us play characters. Some are truer than others.

When’s the last time you threw on an outfit you’d never wear in regular life, looked into the mirror, and tried out some phrases…

“You talkin’ to me?”

…just to see how those words sound coming out of your mouth?

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Missing: One Gray Canvas Trenchcoat

Brand is Zara; size medium. Lost at a nightclub called Red Garter, in Florence, late last Friday night. Possibly stolen.

Contents of pockets: one pair of black artificial-leather gloves, felt-lined; one pair of tortoiseshell Ray-Ban sunglasses (knock-off); one gray-and-black striped scarf; several lightly used tissues.

I don’t care much about the sunglasses or the scarf. It’d be nice to have the gloves back, since they were a Christmas gift from my mom. But I’ll take the coat back even with empty pockets.

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The Fascination of the Abomination

Why is the human mind so eager to explore the darkness? What do we hope to learn there?

I. Paradoxes of the heart

Have you ever watched a movie that was so scary you couldn’t look away?

For as long as I can remember — and probably longer — I’ve been intrigued by monsters. At preschool age, I had what my parents called an “overactive imagination,” and a long series of nightmares from which I woke screaming convinced them to ban me from watching TV shows — even cartoons — involving monsters or horror of any kind.

What was I looking for in all this?

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All the Leaves Are Brown…

Death is the ultimate affirmation of life . People used to understand this.

This time of year always gets me thinking about death.

I mean death; not violence. The distinction is crucial. In fact, our culture’s fetishization of violence speaks volumes about the distance we’ve put between ourselves and death.

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