Graham Joyce: "why can’t our job here on earth be simply to inspire each other?"
Dan Harmon: "I believe in magic. I believe in mythology. I believe in shamanism. I believe that spells can be cast and I believe that random things coalesce and reveal themselves to be part of a plan we don’t control, you know."
Nora Ephron: "Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly."
Lord Vetinari, Unseen Academicals: "One day I was a young boy... when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. Even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued... As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and the pink roes spilled out much to the delight of the baby otters. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."
McAlvie "The ultimate downfall of modern civilization won't be war; it'll be Twitter and Facebook."
Jenny Zhang: "A lot of writers swear by routine, but I swear by chaos. There’s enough fucking routine in my life. Every day I have to brush my teeth. Every day I have to smile at strangers. Every day I have to worry about money. Every day I want something I can’t have. Every day I find some way to go on! I know that writing every day for an hour would help me tremendously with writer’s block, but I also know that I need an element of wildness in my writing. I need to know that writing is something I do because it sets me free. It makes me feel golden with confidence. It gives me the gift of gab. I feel like a god. I feel like an entertainer. So write when you damn well please."
Joe Queenan: "If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find "reality" a bit of a disappointment. People in the 19th century fell in love with "Ivanhoe" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" because they loathed the age they were living through. Women in our own era read "Pride and Prejudice" and "Jane Eyre" and even "The Bridges of Madison County"—a dimwit, hayseed reworking of "Madame Bovary"—because they imagine how much happier they would be if their husbands did not spend quite so much time with their drunken, illiterate golf buddies down at Myrtle Beach. A blind bigamist nobleman with a ruined castle and an insane, incinerated first wife beats those losers any day of the week. Blind, two-timing noblemen never wear belted shorts."
LogicalDash: "Nobody of any age should have to fend off sexual partners. That such defense is assumed as a part of the cost of adult courtship is suggestive of some more fundamental problem than age difference and its effect on consensuality."
Keith Richards: "I had to invent the job, you know," he said, earlier. "There wasn't a sign in the shop window, saying, "Wanted: Keith Richards."
Caitlin Moran: "As I started to reassess my writing style, I thought about what I liked doing--what gave me satisfaction--and realized the primary one was just... pointing at things. Pointing out things I liked, and showing them to other people--like a mum shouting, "Look! Moo-cows!" as a train rushes past a farm. I liked pointing at things, and I liked being reasonable and polite about stuff. Or silly. Silly was very, very good. No one ever got hurt by silly.
Best of all was being pointedly silly about serious things: politics, repression, bigotry. Too many commentators are quick to accuse their enemies of being evil. It's far, far more effective to point out that they're acting like idiots, instead. I was up for idiot-revealing.
"I am just going to be polite and silly, and point at cool things," I decided. "When I started writing, I would have killed to have one thing to write about. Now, I have three. Politeness and silliness, and pointing. That's enough."
Carolyn Hax: "Unless 15 years’ worth of mail has misled me, no one has ever found love through complaining about the lack of it, and no lonely person has ever felt better for hearing, “You just haven’t found the right person yet.”
David Simon: "Change is a motherfucker when you run from it."
Joe Queenan: "People who read an enormous number of books are basically dissatisfied with the way things are going on this planet. And I think, in a way, people read for the same reason that kids play video games ... they like that world better. It works better, it's more exciting, and it usually has a more satisfactory ending."
Dan Savage: "There isn't someone for everyone. Some of us do wind up alone, and that just fucking sucks and sometimes that stings, and you don't know if you're one of those people who's going to wind up alone until you die alone....So you kind of have to live in hope and build a life for yourself that's rewarding and fun, has friends and pleasure in it, whether you're alone or not."
the painkiller: "I will not be tagged, pinned, circled, liked, tweeted, retweeted or numbered."
Steve Jobs: "Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.
Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Apple: "Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
Miss Manners: "Please do not -- repeat, not -- make a hostile approach to knitters. Have you not noticed that they are armed with long, pointy sticks?"
Stephen Tobolowsky: "And of course, nothing is what I figured on in my life. That seems to be a recurring theme."
James Bulls: "When you find yourself walking a true path, you will know it because you will want to walk it no matter the burning Sun, freezing sleet, torrential rain, and treacherous ground. The risks become no less and the journey as always exhausts you, but your desire to brave the challenges never diminishes."
Amy Argetsinger: "Twitter is a disease, plain and simple. It makes people insane. A decade from now I expect the CDC and FDA will be issuing warnings."
Cary Tennis: "You don't have to "move on" either. Not until you're ready. People say, Oh, you should be grateful. They say, Oh, it's time for you to move on. I'm like, What are you, a cop with a nightstick? I'll move on when I'm done playing the blues on my harmonica, thank you very much."
Mark Morford: "It is 2011 and here is what we know: Reality is fluid, fact is malleable, cause and effect completely uncertain. We know what we don't know, but we also know the opposite."
Charlie Jane Anders: "Just remember, if you flinch from your destiny, you'll never achieve your true greatness — you didn't choose to be chosen, but being chosen means you have to choose."
Roger Ebert: "To put it bluntly, I believe the world is patriarchal because men are bigger and stronger than women, and can beat them up."
Myca: "Jesus is not the reason for the season, and there's no way I need to act like he is. Christmas is a stolen tradition. There's no reason we can't steal it back."
Lady Gaga: "I hate the holidays! I'm alone and miserable, you fucking dumb bit of toy!"
Dianna Agron: "I am trying to live my life with a sharpie marker approach. You can’t erase the strokes you’ve made, but each step is much bolder and more deliberate."
John Mayer: "It occurred to me that since the invocation of Twitter, nobody who has participated in it has created any lasting art. And yes! Yours truly is included in that roundup as well. Let me make sure that statement is as absolute and irrevocable as possible by buzzing your tower one more time: no artwork created by someone with a healthy grasp of social media thus far has proven to be anything other than disposable."
Vanessa, Something Positive: "I like 'em crazy. You hear insane rants, I hear a reminder that the sex is interesting. Oooh! Hear that? Tonight's gonna tingle."
Anonymous: “Your problem is that you want to be an artist. What you need to be is an artisan.”
Sugar: "Ask better questions, sweet pea. The fuck is your life. Answer it."
Wide Lawns: "Often very odd things happen to me. Usually they are not my fault and mostly beyond my control."
Anonymous reporter: “When weird shit happens around here, weird shit really happens around here.”
Anne Johnson: "Today some stranger sent me an email that said, "You are a nut case." Well, I must admit this never would have occurred to me. Everyone else is a nut case. I'm the sane one. I think."
Carl Mayer: "Whenever I start to feel like my life isn’t where I want it to be, “Cops” is there to put everything into perspective. Yeah, I haven’t made all the right moves over the last 34 years, but I’m not hiding from the police under a kiddie pool, either."
John Scalzi: "In retrospect, it’s a little weird to think that my entire future was falling into place as I obliviously tucked into the El Presidente chimichanga platter, but of course, that’s life for you — the most important days of your existence don’t always announce themselves in obvious ways."
Tart and Soul: "Indeed, love comes whether we have braced ourselves for it or not. But commitment offers a choice, tapping us on the shoulder to say, “sorry to bother you. Is this a good time?”
J.C. Hutchins: "I was Wanky McWankerton, in love with words I’d yet to write. I did this for nearly two years. If every sperm is sacred, God wasn’t irate with me — he was effing thermonuclear."
And I found myself rising to that occasion, sharing geeky memes, swapping opinions on TV shows and movies and games, and actually having a real conversation for the first time after months of being a shut-in. I felt like a human being again. To quote Luna Lovegood from “Harry Potter”: “It was almost like having friends.”
It meant so much, to have someone I admired trust that I’d be a decent human being, and to find myself living up to that trust."
I love this story. Except for the part where that couldn't happen now.
"After meeting Felicia I was walking on air for days — I’d met one of my geek heroes and I hadn’t screwed it up! She thought I was a nice guy! She thought my voice-overs had potential!
I started actually sending out auditions again, something I’d been slacking on doing. I decided to coast on the momentary jolt of confidence and start submitting the voice-over demo I’d made to agencies again, and this time I managed to snag one.
Eventually I was able to start getting semi-regular voice-over work, to get out of my parents’ place, to find a steady job, to get back together with my ex and move in with her and marry her. Eventually I got into the place where auditioning for “Jeopardy” made sense in my mind instead of just being another stupid lark destined to fail.
Did all of that happen just because some geek celebrity decided to be unusually nice to some random fan? Probably not. But it certainly helped."
What if I just told you, "Yes, it's true. You aren't good enough for him. You're not good enough for a drunk, depressed lothario who hates his career, has a mountain of debt, and distracts himself by drinking too much and tooling around with women fresh out of college." Would that feel like a resolution at least?
"Yes, it's true. If you were a little bit skinnier and a little bit sweeter, he would be madly in love with you. He would get his act together, rededicate himself to his career, pull himself out of debt, and become a wonderful husband to you and father to your adorable children." Would that feel like redemption? ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOSE WEIGHT AND BE NICE ALL THE TIME! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BE PRETTIER AND BETTER ALL AROUND!
Forget that the prince is a vainglorious dipshit! Forget that the prize you're competing for is not a prize at all!
"Can it really be that I'm not good enough to MAGICALLY CHANGE A NARCISSISTIC, AIMLESS, DRUNK FROG INTO A PRINCE?"
"I don’t consider myself beautiful or famous, but my vagina certainly is. Everyone knows this."
However, it gets serious:
"I hung up the phone and told Jon and the hair and makeup people that my doctor had just DIED. And I was DUE TOMORROW. And that I knew it seemed like a weird punch line, but my beloved and dear Italian grandpa was not going to be able to help me. I felt so terrible about the fact that all I was thinking was “What about meeeeeee!” I cried and cried in my Mad Men dress. Jon Hamm held me by the shoulders and looked at me and said, “I know this is very sad, but this is a really important show for me, so I’m going to need you to get your shit together.” This made me laugh so hard I think I peed. Going from crying to laughing that fast and hard happens maybe five times in your life and that extreme right turn is the reason why we are alive. I believe it extends our life by many years."
Turns out there's some actual explanation to this. "Starting around World War I, the descriptor "Chinese" began to be frequently added to phrases to describe situations that were confusing, incomprehensible and messy."
I meet him at the Charlotte Street Hotel in London expecting to find an Icelandic Boris or Screaming Lord Sutch. He looks exhausted and speaks slower than any politician I’ve ever heard, pausing for ten seconds to think of his answers. As he orders a ginger beer, I look at the red rims of his eyes and think of a line from his new book, written while in office, recounting his strange story:
Sometimes I am overcome by boundless sadness and despair, and then, much to the displeasure of my staff, I give in to unrestrained self-pity . . . I have the feeling I have gotten myself into something that I will never understand, not even partly. Then I long for my old life.
In Gnarr! How I Became the Mayor of a Large City in Iceland and Changed the World, the chapter called “What You Need to Be a Politician” takes up five pages. Integral to Gnarr’s ethos was the idea that politics is a crap job, just like any other crap job – so we all have the right to become involved just because we feel like it. “We need shy people,” he writes. “We need the overweight, the stutterers and the disabled . . .”
"We spend our lives in front of screens, mostly wasting time: checking social media, watching cat videos, chatting, and shopping. What if these activities — clicking, SMSing, status-updating, and random surfing — were used as raw material for creating compelling and emotional works of literature? Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed? Could we reframe the internet as the greatest poem ever written? Using our laptops and a wifi connection as our only materials, this class will focus on the alchemical recuperation of aimless surfing into substantial works of literature. Students will be required to stare at the screen for three hours, only interacting through chat rooms, bots, social media and listservs. To bolster our practice, we'll explore the long history of the recuperation of boredom and time-wasting through critical texts about affect theory, ASMR, situationism and everyday life by thinkers such as Guy Debord, Mary Kelly Erving Goffman, Betty Friedan, Raymond Williams, John Cage, Georges Perec, Michel de Certeau, Henri Lefevbre, Trin Minh-ha, Stuart Hall, Sianne Ngai, Siegfried Kracauer and others. Distraction, multi-tasking, and aimless drifting is mandatory."
"I’d fly everyone I know to Bali for a weeklong party. The wedding would be on the last day in a church. I’d rent out an entire hotel. There’d be activities like Jet Skis, sailboats, fishing, paddleboards. Wild horses and 100-year-old Galápagos tortoises would roam the beach. The Blue Angels would fly in heart formations and drop money from the sky. Every night there would be a bonfire with a different cultural theme and some kind of performance from that culture. Seven different groups, one from each continent. I’d give everyone a GoPro camera to film all week long and an editor would cut all the GoPro footage into a film we’d watch at the end of the week. For the ceremony, the men would be dressed as clowns and standing on stilts. All the women are in old-fashioned carriages like from Cinderella. And then fireworks. And go-karts. I forgot about go-karts."
""Everyone would be in costumes in some kind of tribute to the gods. We would dip each other in butterscotch pudding and partake in Turkish oil wrestling. I’d like to jump off a platform into water and there’d be a dolphin in the water. There might be an Esther Williams routine involved. Somewhere in the water there’s a costume change and the three of us — because I’d be marrying two men — would rise out of the water on a platform wearing armor. There’d be some fireworks. And then an enormous talking Hercules statue would say something about love. There’d be ecstasy, and you don’t have to take it, but it would be available. A mixture of music would start during cocktail hour and then escalate as everyone’s ecstasy kicks in. Maybe this would be in Mykonos on a cliff, in a ruined temple. It would transcend the millennium. We’d dance until dawn and then have a feast the next day. Goats and pigs and whatever.""
I don't see anything wrong with those.
Every time I hear of something like this being discussed, I recall when they made us plan our weddings in Family Planning class in high school. I went to school in redneckville and I remember one cowboy's hay-filled country wedding in particular. It was about one page and then finished with "The wife can decide the rest!"
According to my mom, while he did marry the local rodeo princess, her grandmother insisted on a formal wedding. So much for hay, cowboy hats and plaid shirts.