I hope MaxFunCon East is as successful as the ‘regular’ MaxFunCon I’ve loved. I’m sure there are a lot of challenges on Jesse’s plate in trying to make sure these live up to people’s expectations year after year, but I haven’t been let down once.
In general, I recommend it for anyone. There are a few barriers that help keep tourists out:
The ‘famous’ and topic/class lists aren’t announced until after tickets are sold. This keeps people from only showing up because they like one performer.
The subject matter (comedy, independent media, getting closer to doing Your Thing in life) doesn’t appeal to all.
The ticket price seems high to many until factoring in that its a three-day vacation in a beautiful place, all expenses are paid, and you’ll likely be sharing your entire weekend with people who have or will change your life. Last year I was taught to have emotional writing become less noisy by John Roderick and then spent my afternoon making animation with Pendleton Ward. The year before I did yoga as the sun rose with people I admire and then we made a movie with Rian Johnson. Oh, and also talked The War of Art with Andrew WK and for like half an hour. The first year I drank with John Hodgman and did improv comedy for the first time. These things aren’t even what MaxFunCon “is,” though.
Literally, MaxFunCon is showing up unsure about something, possibly not even knowing another person there and then realizing almost instantly that you’re surrounded by 150 friends for life. Figuratively, MaxFunCon is a non-stop surprise party for your heart. MaxFunCon is the summer camp you needed in your adult life. Then you come back the next year and watch the magic happen for anyone else who is new. There’s a moment every year where it feels like a layer of cloudy water is rinsed away from my vision, where every bit of dullness and grey from “normal life” is removed, and everything has the saturation dialed up about a third. It gives me goosebumps. It’s also the most motivating thing I’ve found, to get your mind clear and then return to real life with some ideas on how to make your next year even better before returning to the mountain.
Plus, who can resist all the secret sex parties? (link is safe to click)
Vice President Joe Biden, in a moving speech to families of fallen troops on Friday, recounted the dark days following the tragic deaths of his wife and daughter and talked about having thoughts of suicide.
This is a really moving piece, but especially for anyone who’s struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide. The thing that pulled Biden out of his depression was when a senator called him and gave him the idea for a grief logbook:
The caller told Biden to start marking in a calendar each day how he felt, and that, after a few months, he would find that he still had dark days but that they would grow fewer and further apart.
“He said, ‘That’s when you know you’re going to make it,’’” Biden said.
To keep your book club on task, and to avoid it devolving into some kind of sycophantic bacchanal of people who buy sweaters on GILT group, try using discussion topics. Many bestsellers come pre-equipped with reader’s guides and discussion questions just for book clubs. Here are a few that can be adapted to your book club for its specific needs.
1. During the sex scenes in the book, did you picture the other people in the book group also having to read the sex scenes and feel sort of weird about it? Why do you think we have so much trouble acknowledging our friends as sexual beings?
2. Who here owns a TV? Why, or why not?
3. Several people have noted key differences in structure between the modern bestselling novel and commercially successful classic literature. Who do you think these people are trying to impress? Can we all acknowledge that these people went to Brown so we can move on?
4. This book has sold several million copies and has been translated into 26 languages. A lot of us are kind of resentful about this. Do you think you could have written this book or something? Do you think writing a book is easy?
5. Jane Austen was one of the first authors to examine the effects of socioeconomic pressure on personal relationships. What kind of grown woman brings Yellowtail to a book club comprised of professional women? We’re all trying to save money, but what are we, 17-year-olds in a suburban basement?
6. How come every month when we’re picking our next book, somebody suggests some plodding work of non-fiction? We all liked “Devil in the White City” too. But come on, some of us are tax attorneys, most days we don’t want to come home and read about nazis.
“On how important social media has become, Karp shared that the bulk of traffic that Tumblr sees comes from Twitter and Facebook. Not Google. This isn’t surprising, but speaks volumes about the real-time value of Tumblr. While most blogs rely on Google for the bulk of its traffic, Tumblr has carved itself a niche that is a hybrid between real-time and static content. Basically, the company has built the best of both worlds.”—
Because Prototype 2 is great, and because nobody called me, and then started hiring people to run the show, I had my assistant start packing up my office days ago. I’m sorry. I’m not saying seasons 1, 2 and 3 were my definition of perfect television, I’m just saying that whatever they’re going to do for season 4, they’re aiming to do without my help. So do not believe anyone that tells you on Monday that I quit or diminished my role so I could spend more time with my loved ones, or that I negotiated and we couldn’t come to an agreement, etc. It couldn’t be less true because, just to make this clear, literally nobody called me. Also don’t believe anyone that says I have sex with animals. And if there’s a photo of me doing it with an animal - I’m not saying one exists, I’m just saying, if one surfaces - it’s a fake. Look at the shadow. Why would it be in front of the giraffe if the sun is behind the jeep?
Where was I? Oh yeah. I’m not running Community for season 4. They replaced me. Them’s the facts.
I was just having lunch sitting at the bar. I overheard this conversation between the waitress and the probably thirty-something-year-old guy next to me.
Waitress: “Would you like a lemon or a lime with that?”
He gets quiet. He says, “Ahhh. Ahhh”
Waitress: “Lemon or lime?”
He whispers: “The green one.”
He says, “I like the green fruit with my drinks.”
Waitress: “What….green…fruit? Kiwi?”
He says, “No. List the first two again.”
Waitress: “Lemon or lime?”
He says: “Whatever the green one of those is.”
Then he spots a lime on the bar and says, “That. I want that.”
HE DOES NOT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A LIME AND A LEMON. A HUMAN BEING MAN WHO HAS A WALLET AND CLOTHES AND HAS BEEN ON EARTH FOR AT LEAST THREE DECADES - CALLS A LIME “THE GREEN FRUIT.”
PLEASE STOP CALLING AMERICA THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.
THANK YOU, THE MGMT.
Customers often bring me books off the shelves and ask me if I can tell them anything about them. There are times when I’ve read it, didn’t like it, and don’t want to admit it- this customer could love it! It could be their kryptonite! There are also times when I haven’t read it but have heard Some Interesting Things about it. In times like these, I reach into my bag of bookseller euphemisms- phrases that I’ve noticed I use when I don’t want to say exactly what I think (or what I’ve heard) about a certain tome. Here’s a handy-dandy cheat sheet:
It’s Great if You Like Downton Abbey: It’s set in England during a war. I think there’s a maid in it.
It Reminded Me of The Great Gatsby (or something by Edith Wharton/Evelyn Waugh): It’s about rich people doing stupid things. Every single character is annoying.
It’s Gut Wrenching: You’re holding The Things They Carried.
It’s Heart Wrenching: You’re holding The Remains of the Day.
“ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Hi you guys! Joe Biden and the rest of the gang here! :) We’re looking for some awesome people to help us Kickstart our dream project of having a functioning federal government! That’s where you come in: all we’re asking for is a little help. And twenty trillion dollars.
As you may know, we (the United States government) are a little strapped for cash. Salvage a first-world government’s economy? In this economy?! As the kids say, “LOL!” (Laugh On Line!) We may be the ones responsible for “this economy” in the first place but still. Uncle Sam may have gotten us into this mess, but WE WANT YOU…to GET US OUT!
There is little if any funding available for small-to-midsize debt-based projects such as this. Through Kickstarter, with your support, the country that you live in can remain a free sovereign nation instead of having to sell Ohio to China, cause then Ohio would probably start speaking Chinese, and that’s FUCKED UP.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND:
For those of you who don’t know, the USA is the best! Originally from England, the United States government has been a major world power since it was founded in 1776. The U.S. has brought you such great things such as sugar, mistresses, and obesity. Proud home to milk and Ashton Kutcher. Really into righteous wars!
For those of you into civil rights: no slavery! For those of you into slavery: we used to have slavery!
Imagine that famous picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated of Terri Schiavo holding an American flag. That’s our flag! On second thought, I think that was a painting I did in 2004 after doing grass for one of the first times. Still, she looks great in a tankini. As the kids say, “LOL!” (LOL A Lot!)
We’d like the United States to be fiscally autonomous. It’s been in the works for many years now, and we think it could be great. Thanks to Kickstarter, we have a chance to reach individuals who will personally bail us out of this mess. How great, for us!
I know it’s a crazy dream, but hey – this is a country of dreamers. Dreamers, and Christians.
HELP US, BACKERS, YOU’RE OUR ONLY HOPE!:
Just a little Star Wards humor for ya!
Live A Little! Give A Lot (“GOL”)!
We’ve tried pretty much everything else at this point: war, selling some cars, literally making more money (you’d think that would work!!), blaming people, blaming gay “people,” war, and debt. None of that has touched the debt. Except debt, which has made the debt worse. Also, war!
If we’re able to meet our Kickstarter goal, you will have literally been part of a miracle. A miracle in the great Judeo-Christian tradition of this fair country. Of dreamers!
BACK THIS PROJECT
PLEDGE $10 OR MORE
For your fairly useless donation to help the United States of America not founder under the multi-trillion dollar debt that we have amassed over decades of misspending and unnecessary wars that some may argue constitute war crimes, you get a tote.
PLEDGE $20 OR MORE
If you donate $20, we will list you as an associate producer of the Government by carving your name into the Vietnam War Memorial. You can tell all your friends you’re a ghost because you died in the Vietnam War! You know – the righteous one!
PLEDGE $25 OR MORE
I didn’t want to say this to the $20 people, but those guys are assholes. What kind of an asshole only donates $20 to a multitrillion dollar debt that is growing by 4 billion every day and has no sign of slowing? $25, now that’s the MONEY-money! If you donate $25, you get a tote (large).
PLEDGE $50 OR MORE
You’ve finally taken the responsibility of the country into your own hands! I will make you a tie-dye t-shirt and cook you and five of your friends a hot dog BBQ at my gf’s place. I date her for her BBQ pit.* She’s like a 4. But she’s got a sweet pit. *I call her vagina her “BBQ Pit.”
PLEDGE $100 OR MORE
If you pledge $100, which so far only my mom has done and Barack’s mother-in-law has done (let’s get on this, people), you will not only receive Special Thanks in the State of the Union as well as on the back of all nickels minted this year at the Denver mint, but Stephanie, our videographer, will take you to a Foster the People (“FOPOL”) cover band (“Foster!”) concert on October 28th, and yes, you can tell people it’s a date. This concert’s going to be great! They’re going to play “Pumped Up Kicks” 14 times and then, maybe if you clap enough, they’ll do an encore and it will be “Pumped Up Kicks”!!!
PLEDGE $100,000 OR MORE
Well HEY there, Mr. Hollywood producer!! A pledge of one hundred thousand dollars or more will get you a walk-on role in the next meeting of Congress. Your vote for bills and propositions will be legally binding, so have fun! Don’t name any public parks after racial slurs!
PLEDGE $1,000,000 OR MORE
PLEDGE $1,000,000,000 OR MORE
We will change the American Flag!! We will replace each star with your face. Unless you’re black, since the stars are white and it really makes sense for them to be as close to white as possible. Though, if you’re giving a billion dollars, we’ll assume you’re white or maybe a Dubaian light brown!!!!!!!
PLEDGE $1,000,000,050 OR MORE
Everything from the $1,000,000,000 level, plus a tote.
PLEDGE $1,000,000,000,000 OR MORE
Start whatever war you want!! You want a new Civil War where Asians have to fight their brown Asian brothers???? You got it, bucko!!!! Hate crime Pollacks? A PLUS+++. You want to take over Ireland? Those Pollacks haven’t done anything in years. JUST want to kill Disney Channel kid stars?!? THAT’S PRACTICALLY LEGAL ALREADY! Kill a girl. Kill a kid. You got it.
PLEDGE $20,000,000,000,000 OR MORE
Kill so many kids. (KOL!)”—Megan Amram: Kickstarter: National Debt
“The simplest example of this is not telling a tall person that they’re tall.
So much of our lives are shaped by weird rolls of the genetic dice, or fate, or God, or however you choose to interpret that particular mystery. Whether someone is short or tall or originally from Canada or gay or Asian or born to rich parents or redheaded or whatever — that’s not something they chose or cultivated in themselves, and it’s not something they work for.
What makes someone good and valuable is not these traits. It’s the choices they make and the things they do. I’d always rather someone tell me I’m a good writer than that my red hair is pretty, because one of those things is something I work my ass off at, and another is some protein encoding. Both are sweet things to say; one means a lot more to me.
It’s not that you can’t be proud of/pleased by these intrinsic things, but don’t forget that the things you (and others) deserve credit for are the things you have control over.”—Adulting: Step 213: Do not comment on things people are, comment on things they do
“Too many women look at me and think, She can’t be fat —she looks fine, then look at themselves and think, I’m so fat — I can’t possibly look (or be) fine. Even ones who are built exactly like me. As long as the horseshit stereotypes persist — that fat women can never be healthy, smart, driven, disciplined, fashionable, attractive and eminently lovable — women who are all those things and fat will keep seeing themselves as fundamentally disgusting and unworthy. So every time someone tries to tell me I’m not fat simply because I don’t fit those stereotypes, I’m gonna keep telling them I am, too, fat, dammit! Le fat, c’est moi. This is what fat looks like.”—Does my butt look fat? (Kate Harding)
“Something in the future (a show or an audition or a meeting or a dreaded cup of coffee or scary doctor’s appointment) is causing me some amount of anxiety.
I think: THIS THING (whatever it is) IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
AND THEN IT WILL BE OVER.
I try not to focus on the outcome of the thing. The reassurance comes not from the guttering candle-flame of conviction that “it will be fine,” but just from the fact that one way or the other, it will happen, and after that, it won’t be happening.
And that’s not to say, “Just grit your teeth and get through it and you will be so relieved afterward,” that’s just to say, “There will be a period of time in which it is happening, followed by a period of time in which it has happened.”
This thing is going to happen.
And then it will be over.
And you will probably go get lunch afterwards.”—DC Pierson: Something That’s Been Working For Me Recently