The Room’s auteur Tommy Wiseau is an American. That’s the first thing he’d probably want you to know about him. And he’s right, he is American, and like most Americans and their ancestors, Tommy is an immigrant, but he doesn’t like to talk about that. He’d prefer that fans of his magical film experience believe he’s from Louisiana, where he spent some time with his aunt and uncle before settling down in San Francisco in the 1970s, but his broken English and tangled accent are embarrassingly obvious tells. It’s been tracked down that Tommy was probably born in Poland and he has often said he spent a good part of his younger days in France, which accounts for his mixed accent. Most people would think nothing of mentioning their native country even if they want to keep some details private. For Tommy Wiseau, all details are private and the truth is something that you construct for yourself. Tommy isn’t interested in the wonderful mixing of cultures in the United States, instead he’s locked on with a vice-grip to an important American trope: The Self-Made Man. This dude is vampiric absurdist Don Draper who everyone knows is really Dick Whitman.

David Sutherland’s three part documentary Country Boys is one of my favorites. It lasts six hours, but I wish it went on for hundreds. The series follows two interesting young men growing up in Appalachian Kentucky: Cody Perkins and Chris Johnson. While Cody has a tragic back-story and is extremely open-minded, thoughtful, and articulate, Chris is the one who truly haunts me. I hope and I wish that Sutherland films an update about these two since it’s about a decade since he first embedded himself in their lives. Spoilers ahead.

Some photos truly capture the essence of what it’s like to be human. The above was taken by photographer Suzanne Tylander Thursday, April 26, 2012 at the 2012 CCCA Swimming and Diving State Championships at East Los Angeles College Swim Stadium. The diver pictured was expected to win the entire event, but he knew the moment he hit the water that his form was off. He spent a brief moment at the bottom of the pool grieving what he’d lost…. Read more »

“It hurts to look at you.” – Angela Chase, My So-Called Life Stendhal syndrome, also called Florence syndrome is a condition where it’s unbearable to confront beauty. It overtakes your senses. It overwhelms you. Turns out being slayed by beauty is another disorder. Symptoms can include rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, confusion and hallucinations when exposed to great beauty, especially a lot all at once. It came happen when confronting man-made art, or just the natural world. The “illness” is named… Read more »

Rumination. It seems the most insidious symptoms of depression and anxiety all lead back to negative thoughts stuck on repeat, or creating pathways to new negative thoughts. The smarter or more creative you are, the more varied and complicated your negative thoughts can be, and that leads people to think, erroneously, that most smart people are depressed because they are logical, because they see and understand more about the real “truth of the world” than other people. I’ve heard this… Read more »

Why does my heart feel so bad? Why does my soul feel so bad? – Moby When our hearts break, it seems our whole body cries out in agony and shuts down.  We get chest pains, head aches, muscle aches, fatigue, stomach disturbances, insomnia, we sleep to much, we eat too much or not at all, we get sick. We long for some sort of relief, something to fill the massive hole we feel inside of us from what was… Read more »

Here’s a personal thing about me: when I was a teenager and younger I would sometimes find relief from my turmoil by daydreaming that my future self was visiting me to tell me everything would be fine. My future self was beautiful and healthy and told me everything would all turn out okay, and that I would be happy after all. All the details weren’t sorted out, but it was a way for me to give myself a sense of well-being.