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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 132: best of the year (so far...)

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make June 5th, 2023, a bit better. Welcome to Monday Memo Midway, our mid-year recap of our favorite suggestions so far in 2023. If you missed these the first time, now's your chance.


1. Artist of the Week (again): A few of 'em... Art is subjective, so we decided to feature our top four instead of picking just one. These incredible artists range in age, location, medium, and more. Give them a follow or even purchase their work!


2. What we're listening to (again): Aurora by Daisy Jones & The Six

Yes, one of the year's best albums is from a band that doesn't exist in real life. It's that good.

The highly-anticipated series based on the New York Times Bestseller Daisy Jones & the Six follows the rise of a rock band through the 70s LA music scene as they write their smash album, Aurora. In a show so focused on music, it's no wonder the actors and folks behind the series brought Aurora to life for all of us to enjoy. Our favorite songs are "Honeycomb," "The River," and "Kill You To Try." Rock on.


3. What we're watching (again): Traitors - Peacock

The real mystery here is how few people have yet to watch this delightfully fun show.

Deception, lies, and betrayal is the name of the game as three Traitors infiltrate a group of 24 players and use their skills to eradicate 'loyal' contestants trying to win $250,000 in silver bars. With Alan Cummings as host, this show is a mix of your favorite reality tv show and an Agatha Christie mystery.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight (again): A more inclusive Barbie world...

Every child deserves to see themselves represented in the world. This trend stands out because of the partnership between Mattel and NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society) and a story of personal impact on our team.

Barbie has long been accused of upholding unrealistic, singular beauty standards. In response, the company has worked to release a more diverse line of dolls with their "Fashionistas" line, including dolls with wheelchairs, vitiligo, hearing aids, and prosthetic limbs. This year, the brand partnered with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to create a doll that accurately represents individuals with Down syndrome. The doll captures the common physical characteristics associated with Down Syndrome, like a shorter frame, round face, smaller ears, and almond-shaped eyes. But it doesn’t stop there. The doll also features a necklace with three upward chevrons that represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome, the genetic material associated with Down syndrome. This feels so impactful and not simply a PR move because of the real partnership between Barbie and the folks at the NDSS. Charles, our Associate Creative Director and proud dad to an incredible daughter with Down syndrome, said, "The Down syndrome doll is amazing because it's more than just a nod to inclusion; it's a way to raise awareness for the community and give them representation. There have been a number of companies in recent years that have included kids with Down syndrome in their advertising, and it goes a long way toward communicating that these kids have a place alongside neurotypical kids. They make the world brighter."


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week (again): Region-beta Paradox

This one came from Chief Storyteller Tim Dyer. Here's how failing big can be the best thing for a brand.

The region-beta paradox is the phenomenon that people can sometimes recover more quickly from more distressing experiences than from less distressing ones. For example, say you hurt your knee playing basketball. It hurts but doesn't feel severe, so you just keep going about your life. Before you realize it, there has been a dull pain in your knee for years by the time you finally see a doctor. On the other hand, say you tear your ACL when playing basketball. The pain is absolutely excruciating, so you immediately see a doctor to get surgery. While the recovery takes months, the level of distress pushes you to seek medical help. In the same way, sometimes a brand with a history of large failures can bounce back much quicker than a brand who had just had marginal success in the industry. Thomas Edison famously said about his trials in the creation of the light bulb, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." When some or even most things are working, it can be much harder to pinpoint the one thing that could create wild success for a brand. When campaigns receive backlash or fail on a massive scale, we are forced to confront our shortcomings and better understand our audience. Because—is it really a failure if we have learned so much more about what is important to our audience? In short, failure is often the greatest blessing of all for a brand.


After shelling out her life savings to pay for her daughter’s breast cancer treatment, a Florida grandmother got a nod from the universe 6. Good News of the Year (so far):

  • This School on Wheels delivers tutoring—and hope—for homeless students (GGG)

  • Here's what the 81-year-old best friends who traveled the world want to do next (TODAY)

  • Paper airplane designed by Boeing engineers breaks world record–Flying nearly the length of football field (GNN)

  • Sandy Hook survivor, now 18, receives scholarship from New York Rangers (TODAY)

  • Mom wins lottery with ticket she bought to celebrate her daughter's victory against cancer (GNN)

  • There is now a record number of women serving in the U.S. Congress (Pew Research Center)

  • Suburban bushland restored with 150 types of native trees by retired entomologist over 10 years (AUS News)

  • Small Acts of Kindness Are Universal: Global study finds people help each other every 2 minutes (GNN)


Most of these homes need extensive work. But hey, just because something needs a little love doesn't mean it isn't worth it!

Do you love houses with character? Do you spend hours scrolling Zillow with a pretend budget? Are you handy? Then do we have an Instagram account for you! Cheap Old Houses posts pictures of beautiful old homes for sale across the country.


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