Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

A few years ago, I read some blog posts on  The Minimalists, so I was familiar with Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, and the minimalist movement in general.

I haven’t paid much attention to the movement for a couple years, but was curious when I saw Josh and Ryan in a trailer for Minimalism.


The documentary is interesting and I enjoyed it, but I still don’t like the term minimalism.

Instead of focusing on minimalism, which seems like a path to rules and dogmatism, I think learning contentedness is more important.  If you’re content with what you have, it’s easier to focus on the important areas of life and end the cycle of excessive consumption.




Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon the documentary Bob Dylan: The Other Side of the Mirror created by Murray Lerner.

The film shows footage of Dylan playing at the Newport Folk Festival over the course of the three years during his infamous transition from folk to rock.

It’s a sparse documentary.  There’s no interviews or voice overs.  It’s all concert footage, but the video and sound quality are great considering the age.

I enjoyed it but I don’t really recommend it unless you’re a big fan of Bob Dylan. Otherwise, if you’re interested in Dylan’s story, I highly recommend Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home.


The Barkley Marathons

I think most people would be better off with more pain in their lives, honestly. I think that, if nothing else, they would appreciate the pain-free times more. But I think also there’s this self-induced aspect of, you’ve struggled, you’ve overcome, you’ve gotten through, then you’re confident and you both enjoy the rest of your life more, but also you feel like you can do things and you take on challenges that you wouldn’t otherwise try, and you get to points that you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

– Julian Jamison from The Barkley Marathons: The Race that Eats Its Young

I recently watched a documentary about the infamous Barkley Marathon.

Since I first heard about the race a few years ago, I’ve thought it was kind of ridiculous, but I really enjoyed the documentary. I still have no desire to ever participate in the race, but I have a newfound respect for the participants.

It’s currently streaming on Netflix or you can rent it from Apple for 99 cents.

President Obama and Marilynne Robinson

Last year President Obama had an interesting conversation with writer Marilynne Robinson that was published in the New York Review of Books (Part 1, Part 2)

I’ve learned I think I’ve learned from novels. It has to do with empathy. It has to do with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of grays, but there’s still truth there to be found, and that you have to strive for that and work for that. And the notion that it’s possible to connect with some[one] else even though they’re very different from you.

– President Barack Obama