It’s been a few months, so it’s time for another post about some of my favorite things I’ve watched, listened to, and read recently.
If you’re not interested in checking out my fantastic content recommendations but are yearning for something strictly finance-related, here’s a link to the main blog page where you can read past articles.
NOTE: The content is linked in the colored titles.
Jack is quickly becoming one of my favorite finance writers. He has a direct, informal writing style that I find refreshing and he isn’t afraid to share his opinion on how we often have a faulty relationship with money and success. In this article, he tackles how we treat life as a series of games that go on and on.
This is my favorite quote from the piece:
“Taken to its furthest extreme, the focus on outcome over everything leads to us discounting 99% of our lives for the sake of a few, small, fleeting moments that might provide some sense of satisfaction before the cycle begins anew.
The most dangerous story that’s ever been told is happiness lies just beyond achievement. And you can spend your whole life following that story just to find that there really wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
Derek Thompson is a culture and political writer for the Atlantic. He also has a podcast with The Ringer called Plain English where he talks about big news headlines and what’s happening right now in the world. I would recommend giving it a listen.
In this piece, he talks about how much Americans are working. I found this excerpt to be very insightful:
“But on other days, I think I wasn’t hard enough on workism, given how deeply it has insinuated itself into American values. The New York Times and Atlantic writer David Brooks has distinguished between what he calls “résumé virtues” and “eulogy virtues.” Résumé virtues are what people bring to the marketplace: Are they clever, devoted, and ambitious employees? Eulogy virtues are what they bring to relationships not governed by the market: Are they kind, honest, and faithful partners and friends?
Americans should prioritize eulogy virtues. But by our own testimony, we strongly prefer résumé virtues for ourselves and especially for our children. This year, Pew Research Center asked American parents: What accomplishments or values are most important for your children as they become adults?
Nearly nine in 10 parents named financial security or “jobs or careers [our children] enjoy” as their top value. That was four times more than the share of parents who said it was important for their children to get married or have children; it was even significantly higher than the percentage of parents who said it’s extremely important for their kids to be “honest,” “ethical,” “ambitious,” or “accepting of people who are different.” Despite large differences among ethnicities in some categories, the primacy of career success was one virtue that cut across all groups.”
A few months ago a show called Fleishman Is In Trouble aired on Hulu. The show stars Jesse Eisenberg who is a 42-year-old, upper-class New Yorker who is recently divorced and going through a midlife crisis. On the surface, it’s a show about divorce but it’s also about aging, ambition, and class.
The author of this article interviewed more than a dozen successful women from New York to get their thoughts on the themes of the show. It’s interesting to read about these women who are objectively well-off be honest and open about the stresses of the life they find themselves caught up in.
“ ‘Money is the fix for anything here,’ says Paige, 40, who cringes as she tells me about the consultant she and her husband hired to help their 5-year-old get into a private kindergarten next year. ‘I’m like, Are we crazy? Am I doing this? We are two decent human beings, we are on boards, we are community leaders, and we are hiring someone to draft and edit our thank-you letters and to tell us to hold the door open on school tours? It’s just like, In what world is this normal? IN WHAT WORLD?’ They’ve also hired a tutor and enrolled their child in Russian math — a trend now among preschool parents who’ve heard that the old Soviet method might give their children a leg up.”
I don’t have any movie recommendations because I haven’t really loved anything I’ve seen recently, but there have been some TV shows I’ve really enjoyed.
BEEF has been my favorite thing I’ve watched so far this year. This is a Netflix show about two strangers who get in a road rage incident and their lives become intertwined. The premise is original and funny and you never know what’s going to happen next. My wife and I binged the entire season over the course of one weekend.
Poker Face is a series about a woman, Charlie, who is basically a human lie detector—she has the uncanny ability to tell when someone is lying to her. It’s a mystery-of-the-week type of show but with a twist, the audience knows about the crime at the beginning of the episode and you watch to see how Charlie is going to solve it.
Streaming on Peacock, unlike many prestige TV shows these days, you don’t have to commit to 40 episodes over five seasons to understand the full story. Each episode contains a single mystery that wraps up by the end of the hour, making it a great show to flip on when you’re simply craving an entertaining hour of TV.
I don’t think I need to say much about The Last of Us from HBO. This has been the most popular show of 2023 so far and I don’t think I’ve spoken with a single person who didn’t like it.
To be honest, I didn’t connect with the first season as much as most people, it seems. But it’s almost impossible to criticize the show because it’s incredibly well made with a compelling story and Pedro Paschall is fantastic in it, as he is in everything he does. During those brutal winter months of January and February, I looked forward to every Sunday night when a new episode would air.
If you have any other content recommendations, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear them!
Thanks for reading!