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...Matthew McConaughey does his thing: The Washington Post checks in with McConaughey because why the hell not? The actor is Zooming into faculty meetings at the University of Texas, releasing absurd PSAs, speaking fluent Spanish with boxing champ Canelo Álvarez, and relating to the common man:

"Relatively speaking, I’m having a damn good pandemic. I have to unpack what that means. I understand there’s people over there sweating bullets, pacing the house with three crying kids, and a wife or husband they only like spending an hour a day with and now have to spend 18 hours with. And there’s a bottle over there that sure would be nice to hit at noon. That’s hard. That’s real." 

The man baffles and delights me. I've had long debates with my wife about why McConaughey endorses the Lincoln Aviator and what those ads mean: Are they commentaries against coastal liberalism and its smug foreign-purchasing preferences? Do the ads allow McConaughey to experiment with an extreme form of self-parody? Why are so many of the ads so quiet, with no voice-overs? Is McConaughey ceding ground to the car even as the camera stays focused on him? Are these most notorious of advertisements actually an argument for humility?

I say McConaughey contains multitudes. My wife, who ran into him when she was a student at UT, says he's just very "West Texas." He presents as who he is. There are no layers.

Whatever. Enjoy the story from the Post. When you're done watch this compilation of McConaughey profundities. You'll feel better.

..."Noted Philosophers Reconsider Their Key Insights After a Month of Social Distancing," from McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Brilliant parody. I've read this thing probably 10 times in the last week and keep finding something else to snort at. I've been heading over to McSweeney's since, oh, 2001 or so, but it's vital reading in these housebound days. When you're done with the above, check out my favorite McSweeney's piece or the site's 50 Most Read Stories Of All Time.

...This 15-Minute Fat-Burning Workout: It comes from Jeff Cavaliere, a personal trainer and YouTube star I've written about before. I loved this workout, and by loved it I mean hated it because, man, is it brutal in the moment. The good news is Cavaliere sets different expectations for people at different fitness levels, so you can do a version of it even if you don't exercise often. I felt great afterwards and will do the workout again this weekend, when I'd otherwise go on a run. I don't want the difficulty to scare you: It's worth it.
 

...My wife, Sonya: I do not like being homebound and she's been my level-set during the pandemic. She makes me laugh, calls out my bullshit, oversees our kids' online curriculum. She built my website and strategizes with me about where to take this newsletter and the forthcoming second season of the podcast. I use this space to recommend other people's work and it's time to show gratitude for the woman who allows me to do mine.

She's revamped her own site, too, which means I have a new reason to be in awe of her. 
Here's Sonya with our son, Marshall, at the Tanglewood Festival last summer.


Before you go, my sister Emily, a near concert-level pianist, has finally started a YouTube channel where she plays songs she loves. You'll want to subscribe.

Have a good weekend. I'll be back next week.

Paul

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