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Discover Where Content and Community Connect

Welcome to Synopsis 360° “Where Content and Community Connect.” Every month we examine a topic or theme via a book, article(s), podcast, video, or poem and engage in lively conversation.

September 7 event: “The Horror and the Necessity of Distraction” – a conversation about Tony Hoagland’s 1992 poem, “In the Land of Lotus Eaters”. (Session Preview)

I discovered “In the Land of Lotus Eaters” in Atlantic magazine shortly after Sweet Ruin, the collection of Tony Hoagland’s poems in which it appears, was published. I bought the book as soon as I could find it. I was taken with “In the Land of Lotus Eaters” immediately. I’m not beyond thinking about it yet. I don’t intend to be beyond thinking about it ever. It’s too rich. It’s too insightful. It’s too true in what it conveys.

Now, 29 years after the publication of the poem, there’s endless talk about the moment. “You have to live in the moment.” “You have to be in the moment.” What does that even mean? Do all moments deserve being in or living in equally? Are all moments equally bearable? Are all moments necessarily bearable? Are some things so legitimately horrible that being in the moments in which they occur is something like masochism? Should there be lines between what we should and shouldn’t bear, between what we can and cannot be reasonably expected to bear? If so, where should they be?

Join us at NOON EST on September 7 for the next installment of Synopsis 360°.

We’ll talk about our interpretations of Hoagland’s poem. We’ll explore the ways in which some of us might interpret the poem differently from the way others interpret it. We’ll share thoughts on the various ways in which we distract ourselves and why. We’ll talk about what we overlook or miss out on by being absentmindedly distracted— and what we avoid by being deliberately distracted. And we’ll try to figure out what to do about it … if anything. Click here for the Session Preview.

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Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

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