1. An insider’s perspective on Conan O’Brien’s final days on The Tonight Show by Todd Levin at GQ. Beautiful stuff. It would appear that, freed of all expectations, creativity and fun thrived on the set. Go figure (ht JD):
We produced some of the show’s most memorable moments in those last weeks, like the $1.5 million Bugatti Veyron dressed as a mouse, and Andy’s public plea for work. It was a relief to be freed from the tight constraints of format and the ebb and flow of the daily news cycle—now our show was creating, rather than following, headlines. That’s when The Tonight Show officially ended for me. My abstract idea of it no longer mattered, nor did the invisible weight of its legacy. We were writing for a completely new show—one that was honest and edgy, and surprisingly mainstream. Conan’s Gospel of Fun, for all its simplicity, worked.
2. An alternately scientific and poetic look at The Health Benefits of Tears by Judith Orloff over at The Huffington Post. Dr. Orloff seems to suggest that the way we become liberated from ‘negative emotions’ is through experiencing those negative emotions fully, rather than avoiding or trying to prevent them. She also notes that humans are the only creatures known to shed emotional tears (ht JZ):