Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale: "The problem wasn’t solved, but most problems don’t get solved. I mean, generally we just do our best to mitigate the problem, and if it can’t be mitigated, then it can be relegated to a background noise by pleasant distractions and a prioritization of interests."
Sarah Silverman: "Nothing’s more attractive than an unending monologue about your shortcomings."
Carolyn Hax: "Sometimes surrendering to the awful is more useful than fighting it."
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."
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."
"Civil War Tails is full of miniature soldiers we made by hand so you can see a 3-D snap-shot from the Civil War. Get a bird’s-eye view of a battle or get down to eye-level and see what a soldier would have seen. See the soldiers, the horses, the cannons, and the places. They’re all made with a one-to-one ratio, so each model soldier represents one soldier during the real battle, not ten or twenty. And since they’re made to scale, if the hill looks really big to climb under rifle fire, that’s because it was!
And I’ll bet you’re wondering why our name is Civil War Tails. It’s not a typo. We started making soldiers out of modeling clay when we were 11 years old and we have always loved cats, so the first soldiers were cats. In uniform. With beards. Now, years later, we still think that’s quirky and fun, and we hope you’ll agree.
Sure, the cat angle is fun, but we want you to learn about the men and women behind the cats.
Cats are easier to make out of clay than humans, so we never made the transition, and now we like the quirkiness of having cats for our soldiers. After all, history doesn’t have to be boring."
“We just don’t make clay people as well as cats,” Rebecca says.
But they were determined to have a museum. It had been their dream since they were suburban Philadelphia middle-schoolers and fell in love with history and the War Between the States. They imagined a time when they could open a museum in Gettysburg to share their passion with others.
Their museum is certainly unique, but in the desire to create it, they are far from alone.
America is often depicted as a buffet of fast food and disposable culture, the shiny and new. But this is also a nation besotted with history, collecting — and museums."
"Mr. Faints-A-Lot Versus Mr. Unwilling-To-Murder-A-Former-President:
The election of 1852 was essentially a stopgap measure. The Civil War was on the horizon and the nation -- like many couples just before a divorce -- was trying to find something irrelevant to fight about. Enter Generals Franklin Pierce and Winfield Scott. During the Mexican-American War, the Democratic candidate, Pierce, fainted twice. This would come back to haunt him. It also ought to haunt every man who has ever lived, since the reason he first fainted was because his horse reared and jammed the pommel of Pierce's saddle so far into his groin that he fell unconscious from the pain. Yes: Franklin Pierce's testicles were crushed until he passed out.
It's one thing to have your gonads shoved so far into your pelvic cavity that your brain shuts down all consciousness. It's another to have that be the central issue upon which a nation of your peers will decide whether you are fit to govern. But that is very much what happened.
And the Democrats fought back. Their strategy: Accuse Winfield Scott of not being a murderer. Back in his early years, Winfield Scott -- whose military nickname, "Old Fuss And Feathers," came from his obsessive attention to protocol -- served with General Andrew Jackson -- whose military nickname, "Old Hickory," came from the renowned texture and toughness of his genitals in an age before sandpaper. In 1817, Jackson challenged Scott to a duel and Scott refused for a number of reasons including, no doubt, the fact that guns refuse to fire at Andrew Jackson.
The duel was essentially forgotten until 1852, when the Democrats accused Scott of cowardice. (Cowardice was a big issue in 1852. If you didn't punch any man that gave you a sideways glance, you had your job and family revoked.) In case the relevance of this has worn off with the dates and names in the previous paragraph, let me restate what happened: The Democratic party thought someone was unfit for the presidency because he had refused to murder their own presidential candidate 35 years earlier."
Oh, and here's my favorite Andrew Jackson thing:
"1830-31: Society Ladies Versus Executive Power:
Andrew Jackson was the easiest man to anger who has ever lived. He was anger incarnate. He was to anger what James Bond is to venereal disease: its emblem and proudest avatar. Andrew Jackson without anger would just be a deflated hickory-bark penis. When a would-be assassin shot at him, Jackson chased the man down the street and beat him with a wooden cane. Jackson fought a duel in the midst of holding his chest wound closed. Then he fought in somewhere between 10 and 100 other duels. Jackson was angry before he got out of bed most mornings.
Marrying a widowed tavern maid was, to 19th-century women, the moral equivalent of a necrophiliac rampage through a family graveyard. Washington society ladies, led by Floride Calhoun and Emily Donelson, Jackson's niece, led a social embargo against the Eatons. They wouldn't speak to them, call on them, or have them over for dysentery and yellow fever (the primary social activity in the fetid swamp of 1830s Washington, D.C.)."
There are a lot of reasons — internal, external, historical — for the way Clinton deals with the public, and the way we respond to her. But there is something about the candidate that is getting lost in translation. The conviction that I was in the presence of a capable, charming politician who inspires tremendous excitement would fade and in fact clash dramatically with the impressions I’d get as soon as I left her circle: of a campaign imperiled, a message muddled, unfavorables scarily high. To be near her is to feel like the campaign is in steady hands; to be at any distance is to fear for the fate of the republic."
"But if, as in this election, a man who spews hate and vulgarity, with no comprehension of how government works, can become presidentially plausible because he is magnetic while a capable, workaholic woman who knows policy inside and out struggles because she is not magnetic, perhaps we should reevaluate magnetism’s importance. It’s worth asking to what degree charisma, as we have defined it, is a masculine trait. Can a woman appeal to the country in the same way we are used to men doing it? Though those on both the right and the left moan about “woman cards,” it would be impossible, and dishonest, to not recognize gender as a central, defining, complicated, and often invisible force in this election. It is one of the factors that shaped Hillary Clinton, and it is one of the factors that shapes how we respond to her. Whatever your feelings about Clinton herself, this election raises important questions about how we define leadership in this country, how we feel about women who try to claim it, flawed though they may be.
"For all her many skills, Hillary Clinton is just not that good at running for president. That doesn’t mean she won’t be good at being president, and it’s a reminder that the two are not the same thing.
It must gall her to no end that while Trump tells so many lies both large and small in a given day that we in the media can barely bring ourselves to correct them anymore, she’s the one who’s supposed to have a trustworthiness problem. And Clinton does not have the easy charisma of her husband or George W. Bush — like many previous presidential contenders (most but not all of them unsuccessful), you can see the effort she brings to campaigning.
Clinton’s staff and friends often protest that the real person they know doesn’t come through on the trail and through the media’s filter. They say she’s funny and caring and thoughtful, and if people really got to know her they’d see that.
Clinton is also simply not very good at one of the main things presidential candidates have to do, delivering speeches. She has none of Bill’s (or Ronald Reagan’s) conversational ease, or Barack Obama’s mastery of rhetorical rhythm and tone. She tends to over-pronounce every syllable as though she’s reading something for a transcriber and doesn’t want there to be any mistakes, which robs her of anything resembling a natural flow. And of course, as a woman she gets criticized for “shouting” when male politicians raise their voices all the time when speaking over cheering crowds, and no one seems to mind or call them “shrill” (just listen to a Sanders speech some time).
The things in politics that require intuition and natural talent are not where she excels. The things that require careful study and diligent preparation, on the other hand, are where Clinton can outperform almost anyone. The best candidates can do both, but Clinton was never going to be among them."
"Aiden Caldwell is an Armani ad come to life―a billionaire CEO who’s just adopted a dachshund from the rescue center where Piper volunteers. He’s hot on Piper’s tail to be his personal dog walker...but he may be after more than a walker for his wiener."