May 2013

Farewell, CSO and IDG. Hello, Akamai!

by Bill Brenner May 31, 2013 Work-life balance

Today is my last day as managing editor of CSO Magazine and CSOonline. Monday, my new job at Akamai begins. I’m excited about the new challenges that await me. But I’m going to miss the place where I spent the last five years of my professional life. Mood music: [spotify:track:1JFQyGHeNDAqUAubIAMiXI] It’s been an excellent ride. I worked with some of the best talent and sweetest human beings on Earth. I got to burrow deeper into…  [Read More]

The Little Boy, the LEGO Gun and a World Gone Mad

by Bill Brenner May 29, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

I understand the anxiety educators feel over guns, especially after the horrific events in Newtown, Conn. What I don’t get is how absolutely stupid and unreasonable grownups have become over every little thing. Case in point: a 6-year-old boy getting in trouble for carrying a LEGO gun barely the size of a quarter. Mood music: [spotify:track:2bkpCVvOn2XZGhzA4fPyuZ] I already sensed we had gone off the deep end when a high-school girl got the book thrown at…  [Read More]

Narcissism on Facebook? No Kidding!

by Bill Brenner May 28, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

Last year, The Guardian wrote about a report which concluded that Facebook is rampant with socially aggressive narcissism. No offense to the author or publication, but studies like this are laughable for the obviousness of their conclusions. Mood music: [spotify:track:6oNvmplQGUkmAh441Teows] From the report: Researchers have established a direct link between the number of friends you have on Facebook and the degree to which you are a “socially disruptive” narcissist, confirming the conclusions of many social media…  [Read More]

Five Things That Overwhelm Me

by Bill Brenner May 23, 2013 Coping tools

Though I got rid of the fear-based anxiety that kept me indoors and afraid of everything, I still have moments when I get overwhelmed. Mood music: [spotify:track:2uKcU4FPX5eOjmd6RWb9OF] Call it sensory overload or severe impatience, if you will. Or perhaps the latter two are mere byproducts of the first. Here are some examples: Long lines. Whether it’s waiting for a seat in a restaurant, for entry into a movie theater or for boarding a boat, long…  [Read More]

Is It Better That They Died?

by Bill Brenner May 22, 2013 Music therapy

A conversation with friends last night about Ray Manzarek’s death led to talk about Jim Morrison and other musicians who died young. The question we asked aloud was what would Morrison, Kurt Cobain and others have done with their music had they been afforded longer lives? Mood music: [spotify:track:5FlBGGwGuqYmqr0qeBWrxe] Would John Bonham still be producing those menacing drum sounds? Would Randy Rhoads be blessing us with rock infused with classical as he had desired at the…  [Read More]

Thanks And Godspeed, Ray Manzarek

by Bill Brenner May 21, 2013 Music therapy

I was shocked yesterday to hear that Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away at 74 following a long bout with cancer. The importance of his music on me can’t be overstated. Mood music: [spotify:track:5UgT7w6zVZjP3oyawMzbiK] Jim Morrison always gets much of the credit as a member of this band, and he was indeed a powerful influence on me. But he wouldn’t have made it without Manzarek’s influence. He’s the one who encouraged…  [Read More]

Punch-Drunk Love

by Bill Brenner May 20, 2013 Love

In one of those bizarre flashbacks triggered by someone’s bad singing, I remembered something amusing about my maternal grandparents yesterday. During a Cub Scout overnight on the U.S.S. Salem, someone in our group started singing the jingle for The Clapper. You might remember the commercial with old people clapping their hands to turn lights on and off with the song, “Clap on! Clap off! The Clapper!” Mood video: I remember Nana and Papa having a…  [Read More]

I’m Not a Hero

by Bill Brenner May 16, 2013 Mental health

In the three-plus years I’ve been writing this blog, I frequently get messages from people telling me I’m a hero for opening up about my mental health experiences. It always makes me wince. Mood music: [spotify:track:2Q15PJacTtgzXFUErQXDSd] A new wave of hero labeling hit after a Forbes article came out about my turning OCD into a career strength. One tweet read: New hero: @BillBrenner70, #OCD survivor, stigma killer, & tech journo who says mental illness can…  [Read More]

What Arline Corthell Left Behind

by Bill Brenner May 15, 2013 Love

Erin’s paternal grandmother passed away yesterday. Although she’s gone, she leaves behind memories to treasure and influences to carry on. Memories Grammie had a gift for focusing on one person at a time and engaging them in deep conversation. She did most of the talking, of course. She could, as my sister-in-law Amanda put it, talk the ears off of a brick wall. She had beautiful, penetrating eyes that focused on you and grabbed you like…  [Read More]

I Was Interviewed Again

by Bill Brenner May 14, 2013 Mental disorders

This time, I was interviewed for a story about how mental illness can actually make people stronger in their jobs. Check it out on Forbes.com.