➡✉FORWARD: Are we one nation under a groove?

🚫🙈 TL;DR:

America is struggling through an identity crisis. Good thing we have new ethnographers exposing us to other viewpoints. Good thing we have incredible musicians to unite us as “One Nation Under a Groove“. Still overwhelmed with the reality of our situation? The Oatmeal and I recommend you outrun it.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I earn commission if you purchase.

😢🏃‍♂️Must Read: (5 min)

The terrible and wonderful reasons I run.. (It’s multi-part so make sure to click next)

The Oatmeal echoes the wisdom scarred into my soul from distance running. I have a long held belief that if you never run more than a 5k, you’ll never enjoy running. The first 3 miles always suck. Everything after that point is exercising your birthright. My success in life is built on the discipline earned while training for my first marathon.

Show up, do your best. Sometimes you win; you’ll definitely fail. So what? Do it again tomorrow.

🔙📝Must Try: (1 hr)

Publish a retrospective on your last project. Some of the best mentors are peer mentors. If you don’t publish your mistakes and teachings, you’re slowing humanity’s progress. Analyzing your approach reinforces your personal learning and helps others avoid your mistakes.

Last weekend I built a video game with my children in 48 hours. You can read my retrospective here: A Tale of Ash The Pirate!

🎤🥁Must Watch: (13 min)

Rapping, deconstructed: The best rhymers of all time

A historical overview and analysis of some of the greatest rappers of all time. Vox breaks down their rhyme schemes, approaches to writing, and dissects how styles compound and diverge over time.

If you’re not a fan of rap music, I challenge you to watch this video.

Bonus: Here’s a playlist composed of the songs they reference. #RIP #MFDOOM

Fun Fact: I was a Teaching Assistant for a class called Hip Hop and Social Issues when I was in Undergrad. Big ups to Professor B., Adia, Mallard, and our students.

⛽🚫🛑Must Subscribe: (8 min)

All Gas No Brakes

Andrew Callaghan giving two thumbs up in an American Flag shirt - The cover image of All Gas No Brakes

Andrew Callaghan is a spiritual successor of Hunter S. Thompson. Crisscrossing the United States in a RV interviewing Americans in-situ at fringe events. Every episode is an adventure in Americana. Proud Boys, George Floyd Protestors, or Furries – he connects with his interviewee and they let their identity shine. Some interviews brought me hope, some raised questions, others concern. All were intriguing.

🤍🐃Must Listen: (4 min)

The White Buffalo – The Highwayman

Jake Smith - The White Buffalo walking in a field in an all black outfit.

Jake “The White Buffalo” Smith is an Alt-Country/Cowpunk songwriter and musician. You’ve heard him play on Sons of Anarchy, Shelter, The Punisher, This is Us, and Longmire. This cover is a masterpiece carried by his soulful voice and simple acoustic guitar.

In Conclusion:

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” – Bilbo Baggins

We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of COVID shutting down parts of the US. A year filled with systemic failures. A year full of traumas that have fragmented our national identity. A year of personal challenges that you’ve overcome.

Take a few minutes and reflect on your accomplishments. This hasn’t been easy for you and it’s not over yet. But you showed up every day, to the best of your ability. Remember that this will be over someday and today was probably pretty good.

If the burden ever feels too heavy, try strapping on your shoes and just keep running until you silence your inner monologue.

With Kindness and Respect,

✅Action Items:

🔲 Go for a long run in the cold and relish the suck
🔲 Forward to a friend

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