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."
"2016 is the exhausting, ulcer-inducing mess that it is because a whole lot of us guys are hoping if we just cry hard enough from the sanctity of our carefully constructed safe little cardboard forts, that mom will give up and let us have what we want, and we won't have to grow the fuck up for another decade or two."
“If you have a gender gap the size of the Snake River Canyon, why do you trot out Newt Gingrich, and [former New York mayor] Rudy Giuliani and your nominee to talk about it and further make it worse?” said Weaver, noting that all three men have been married three times. “The only ones I can see who seem to be obsessed about sex in this campaign are those three people.”
Weaver continued: “He’s going to lose the general election, and the credit goes to the women of America who are saving us from this guy.”
So with the debates done and the campaign in its final stretch, have the caterpillars come to a conclusion? Kat Kerlin checked in with Lo Presti and Professor Richard Karban, entomologist and “head of caterpillar polling.”
“One major finding of our extensive research has shown that the woolly bears have only a seasonal interest in politics,” writes Lo Presti. “We can really only gauge their abundance and political preferences in the winter (December through March or so). We suspect that, like many Americans in this polarized political climate, they made up their minds early in the race and have been trying to avoid the circus environment of this season. This seems far easier when living among the litter under a lupine bush than anywhere with an internet or TV connection.
We should also note that we can’t exclude the possibility that the woolly bears are laying low this season not to avoid the presidential circus, but instead because green plant material is in low abundance during this season. They may therefore be spending all of their time and energy just scraping by and have no time for activism. It would be an interesting avenue of research to determine whether their political views differ when they are living in a land of plenty versus when they are just trying to make ends meet.”
Karban said he agreed with Lo Presti’s assessment, adding:
“The woolies were less clear about their prediction this election cycle than anytime in the past. So, they successfully predicted a campaign unlike anything any of us have ever seen. Based solely on their numbers, they would predict an advantage to Trump. However, based on the trend (an increase in numbers relative to the previous two years, 2014 and 2015), the woolies predict an advantage to Clinton. I believe they are having a difficult time making sense of this.”
Karban also noted that despite their current indecision, the caterpillars have successfully predicted the last eight presidential elections: “Take that, Nate Silver!”"
"On Saturday night I found myself facing a political choice of the most agonizing kind: Vote for the presidential candidate who had vowed to bring America more-fashionable dog-poop bags? Or go with the rough-edged populist who had dedicated herself to denouncing small-plate restaurants?
The dilemma cropped up at the climax of the diverting interactive show “POTUS Among Us,” a quadrennial satire from Washington Improv Theater. Directed by Mark Chalfant and Melanie Harker, this nutty immersive spoof of a presidential campaign allows theatergoers to winnow down a field of (fictional) crackpot political candidates, based on mini-debates, mini-stump speeches and such game-show-style faceoffs as a competition to shamelessly curry favor with Walmart.
Upon checking in at Source, where the show is being performed, audience members are given a handful of (play) money to donate to one or more White House wannabes. An occasion to award the largesse arrives soon, after the office-seekers have lined up onstage to introduce their political brands, under the eagle eye of a bell-wielding moderator.
At the reviewed performance, an initial 10 delectably flaky presidential hopefuls included the scarf-wearing image consultant Dash Henry (“Let’s Make America Cute Again!”); the bow-tied Ambassador Foster Morissey (aiming to improve America’s acquaintance with European wine cellars); the zealously outdoorsy Dick Thompkins (who carried a piece of driftwood around in his pocket for inspiration); and Franky Doyle, a tattooed ex-con with a strong Australian accent who happened to be the only woman in the race.
After the intro, the politicians canvas the audience, seeking donations. The candidates who reap the smallest windfall drop out of the race. The remaining hopefuls vie in one-on-one contests, such as a dance-off and a role-playing game involving the nuclear codes. Audience recruits sometimes contribute to the competitions by deciding which of two supplicant candidates to have a beer with, for instance.
Additionally, the actors solicit audience recommendations for sounding-board issues: At this performance, for example, office-seekers had to take a stand on whether to resurrect the Pony Express. For a change of pace, there are political ads and snapshots of how the race is, say, affecting the Secret Service. (The candidate profiles are devised in advance by WIT team members, but each “POTUS” performance show is otherwise largely improvised. WIT lists a ballpark 90-minute run time, though the show I attended ran almost two hours, including intermission.)
Obviously, from a theatergoer’s perspective, the goal is to champion those candidates who provide maximum entertainment value. That outcome certainly transpired on Saturday, with Dash Henry (crusading for fashionable dog-poop bags) and Franky Doyle (very bearish on small-plate eateries) beating out their rivals to go head-to-head in a climactic race. Audience members were invited to vote, via their phones, on which finalist to send to the White House. Doyle won — doubtless leaving an alternate universe’s worth of tapas restaurants to complain that the system was rigged."