Archive for December, 2011

Put This in Your Earpiece, Aaron!

Because I love the movie Primer so very much — and because we’re about to finish it in my Creative Writing class — I decided it was finally time to record an audio commentary, like I did for Barton Fink.

I’ve thought about doing a Flashâ„¢ (or video) presentation about Primer like the one I made for Fink, but for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened. (I think perhaps I enjoy the dramatic moment of explaining it to my class so much that I refuse to acquiesce to a video presentation taking my place there. Or maybe I’m just too busy grading papers and playing video games.)

Anyway, the Primer commentary is available on I think I say a few worthwhile things, so put it on an ipod or listen while you watch on your computer and lemme know what you think!

Srikumar Rao Ripped Me Off

Srikumar Rao is a business writer and management-spirituality guru who advises companies and executives on how to be more well-adjusted and efficient and happy at work. In 2010 he wrote a book called Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful — No Matter What.

Forbes magazine featured a cute little slide show recently with advice from Dr. Rao about how to make your work life more joyous and peaceful. For example, he says, we need to decide that we’re going to be happy. Then we will be: “Do what you have to do, but don’t surrender your calmness and sense of peace.”

Now take a look at #11 in that series, “Swap Multitasking for Mindfulness“.

Rao thinks that multitasking gets in the way of happiness. “Multitasking simply means that you do many things badly and take much more time at it,” he writes. He recommends instead working on tasks for 20-minute intervals that you gradually increase to two-hour spans. Turn off any electronic gadgets that can be a distraction. He claims that with practice, you’ll be able to accomplish much more and with less effort.

Sound familiar? It should! I wrote the exact same thing here four years before Dr. Rao’s book! My post was even called “The Madness of Multitasking and the Magic of Mindfulness“.

Ours is a world aflood with temporal psychosis. We’re plugged in, switched on, and linked up to the point where nothing is itself any longer. All things are necessarily tiny bits of other things, reassembled as befit the breakneck whim of the myriad users.

Do you really expect us to believe, Dr. Rao, that you just accidentally wrote the exact same thing as I did, four years later, and didn’t expect anyone to notice? Well, I noticed! And j’accuse!

But don’t panic. Just fork over $5,000 to ETAN and ACLP and we can make this all better. (I know you’ve got money, because business-management book-writing is a lucrative racket.)

It’s like West Virginia all over again.


Dear The Room: You’re my favorite horrible movie. Here’s the flower shop scene. Keep the change!

Today I’m listening to: Richie Cunning!