Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Esquire pieces - Bin Laden Shooter by Bronstein & Kutcher profile by Chiarella

There were two pieces from the March 2013 issue of Esquire Magazine that stood out as particularly interesting and thought-provoking. The first was "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed" by Phil Bronstein and second "The All New Ashton Kutcher Story!" by Tom Chiarella.

The Bronstein feature is about the the unnamed Navy Seal who shot and killed Bin Laden and his challenges (both financial and otherwise) assimilating to civilian life after leaving the military. The piece is a fascinating one in that the Bin Laden shooter was in such an elite group in Seal Team 6 and did such a high-profile thing, but it makes me think of his difficulties as part of the much larger population of all returning servicemen and women and challenges faced. I've written on and linked to a number of pieces by Mark Thompson on the subject and the experience of the Bin Laden shooter is both fascinating to read about and just a shame for both he, his family and other veterans who have a hard time after returning home.

The Chiarella profile of Kutcher was of course about someone in an area of much less heft, but the piece towards the end had two different things from the actor that struck me as compelling. Specifically, Chiarella closed the profile around Kutcher discussing how he spends his time by saying "I kinda only do what I like to do" and a bit prior to that had a quote from Kutcher about Steve Jobs that I found fascinating...

"There was this one speech that I found where he said, 'So when you grow up, if you spend your life trying not to bounce into walls, just inheriting what you get, you gotta know your life can be a lot broader than that. Once you realize one simple thing: Everything around you that you call life was made by people who are no smarter than you. And you can change it. You can influence it. You can build your own things that other people can use.' And I heard that and I knew exactly what the niche for making the movie was, what the social need for making the movie was. For people seeking purpose. I remember growing up and looking at the world and going, Okay, how do I live in this? instead of How do I create it? How do I build it? How do I make something? And the empowerment of these ideas, I think they make an important story."