It’s a new day in America, and we can all collectively exhale. Watching the inauguration this week, I felt real joy and hope. I was asked what I liked best about the speeches.
"I think what impressed me most about yesterday's speeches was what they lacked.
There was no bile or name-calling.
There was no finger-pointing.
There were no attempts at rallying people by focusing on what they're against.
Instead, we listened to calls for civility. For coalition. For concord. It was refreshing--and it wasn't lost on me that yesterday was the first time in days that we saw the sun up here.
The ceremony itself seemed to recognize today's(?) America. I don't know if I can articulate that well. It was nice to see traditional things like nods to heroism (take a bow, Eugene Goodman), but also a blend of august and novel. "Stars and Stripes Forever" got played, and someone in the audience was wearing Jordans. A 22 yr. old stopped us in our tracks with her evocative words, and Bernie became a meme. I hope that all makes sense.
I've always thought what makes this crazy experiment of ours great is the people. America isn't a corporation. It's not it's geographic borders. It's us. All 330M of us. The last 4 years saw the worst of us surface. The next 4 will bring out the best in us.
On the morning after the 2016 election, my family was returning home from a vacation in Pensacola. When you fly space-available, you get an early start, so there we were driving in the pre-dawn silence. As we crossed the Three Mile bridge, I looked over and saw my wife had tears running down her cheeks. Yesterday, she posted a picture of our flag waving in the sun. Yesterday felt less like a ceremony and more like healing.
Scott Galloway keeps telling his audience that "Everything that's wrong with America can be fixed by what's right with America." Yesterday felt like the clarion call to get rolling on that, and it's what I liked best. I'm excited.”
And I hope you are too. We’ve got work to do. Let’s get rollin’!
On to the good stuff…
Everything falls apart. On some level, we all know this, yet failures still surprise us. This week my shoulder decided to stage it’s own revolution. A much more typical—and much less painful— example can be the stuff we own. We all know quality > quantity, and most of us are aware of planned obsolescence. Maybe the better way to go is to simply own less stuff. Fewer things, less stuff to maintain. Perfect.
We’ve all spent the last year far more isolated than we wanted. Learning to make sourdough and DuoLingo can only make up for sop much of that. Here’s a beautiful short film about someone that chooses to embrace solitude every year caretaking at a seaside hotel over the winter.
Some day soon, we’ll all be traveling again. In a previous issue, I shared the 1st part of a great historical recap of United Airlines’ storied history in Cleveland. Here’s Part 2, covering the 1970-80’s. It’s a wonderful read, even if you’re not as into aviation as I am.
In the modern era, there are no shortage of people looking to hack carriers’ frequent flier programs. The goal is to never pay for a flight. Some tactics are legal, and some are…kinda sketchy. This Rolling Stone profile of one of the masters makes for a fascinating trip.
I’m currently obsessed with this clip from an Italian marble quarry. Watching the precise signals required to harvest huge chunks of rock is strangely appealing. The marriage of man/machine/earth is breathtaking.
Onward up the mountain,
P.S. Not for nothing, if we ever vote on changing our national anthem, "Stars and Stripes Forever" gets my vote. It's a hill I'm totally willing to die on.
P.P.S. I’d love to hear what you think about this week’s list. Rants, raves, or anything in between. Let me know in the comments, and share widely!