The Wisdom of Colin Marshall

ColinColin Marshall is one of the best bloggers on the internet if you enjoy film and a damn good blogger even if you do not. His writing is clear yet stylish. His approach to life seems to entail a winning combination of seriousness and humor. The subtitle to his blog is, "Better living through writing, reasoning, self-engineering, renaissancemandom and suchlike." It is somewhat random but aren't those the most stimulating? He lives in Santa Barbara and is in his mid-20's. You could get lost in his archives for hours — here are some of my favorites:

  • Boredom: Only the boring get bored. "How interested I am in a person correlates almost perfectly with how infrequently that person experiences boredom." I should add this to my litmus test list for how to better predict potential rapport with a person. Just ask, "So, what do you do when you're bored?" It's a good sign if the person's response is a blank stare of confusion. It's a good sign if the concept of boredom is absolutely foreign.
  • New Day: Do only new things for one full day.
  • The "Would I respect me?" question that we should ask ourselves regularly.
  • Escapism: First, John Updike: "The writer must face the fact that ordinary lives are what most people live most of the time, and that the novel as a narration of the fantastic and the adventurous is really an escapist plot…." To which Colin says, "if one finds that one needs to escape, then the opiate of outlandish fiction is just so much branch-hacking. What's really needed is a strike at the root, an attempt to repair whatever's gone wrong and made one's real life necessitate escape in the first place."
  • Fourth estitis: I'm awarded line of the day for a bit I wrote about "cynicism as the cheap path to seriousness" in the context of student journalism and the challenge of being at once serious and self-mocking.
  • On perfection. Embrace suckage. In other words, do stuff even if it seems shitty.
  • Descriptors / phrases not to use in reviews. Authentic, boring, depressing, disturbing, pretentious, pointless, soulful/soulless.
  • Why he didn't travel. Nine reasons why it took him so long to get a passport.
  • Head-land. A long reflection on head-land vs. real-land. David Foster Wallace is quoted. It's similar to my post titled A Morning of Self-Consciousness and follow up post on meta-cognition.

His radio program Marketplace of Ideas has had some amazing guests (with one glaring exception — me!). Here's his excellent Twitter feed. Here's his blog solely on movies.

One Response to The Wisdom of Colin Marshall

  1. Toli Galanis says:

    I have to admit I was a bit wary of a few of his posts from afar, afraid that he would backwards rationalize a lot of his decisions. However, now I am very impressed. Great find, and can’t believe I didn’t have him on my feed.

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