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."
Beth Sekishiro: "You don't need to be conventional to love people. Maybe you've got to give up your whole life - but that's just when you'll find it."
Cormac McCarthy: "Creative work is often driven by pain. It may be that if you don't have something in the back of your head driving you nuts, you may not do anything. It's not a good arrangement. If I were God, I wouldn't have done it that way."
"I have no desire to walk into a bar and pick up a woman."
We've noticed, because you're always doing it online with your phone instead.
"And maybe if the Internet didn't exist?" he added. "Like, if I was running in 1955? I'd probably get elected mayor."
"The front of his skull sometimes seemed as though it wanted to shove
straight through the tight skin of his face. Any elegance he did possess
was undercut by the fact that he looked like a freeze-dried Bobby
"It even turned out that, truth be told, Weiner did not even recollect the names of all the women he sexted.
"Maybe I don't have the greatest connection with the emotional shit going on,"
"Day after day, everywhere he went, Weiner's body language wouldn't shut the hell up."
"The physicality of these performances was almost sexual. More than any
other candidate I've ever seen in the wild, Weiner was exposed out
there. Without a keyboard in sight, he was sexting the crowd like crazy."
Allrighty then.... Now let's hear from the inevitable Sydney Leathers!
"He'd get pissy if I didn't do exactly what he wanted. He was a big baby."
"I never did meet him in person. I've never seen Baby Carlos in real
life. Though I guess I shouldn't call it 'Baby Carlos.' Too mean."
*snicker* There's also:
"Why do I get 'bitch face' in airports? It's always from middle-aged
women. I'm the Thomas Edison of sexting, and they hate it. They think
I'm out to steal their husbands!"
Thomas Edison of sexting?!?!
Now it's time for the journalist to get poetic again:
"No one marks their daybook with "5 P.M. Send cock pic to Jennifer." You
do it purely in the moment, in the absolute belief that time will never
pass. The fact that you're sending a picture taken right now
matters. You are connecting with someone, somewhere, broadcasting live.
You're in a half-dimension. There will never be consequences to what you
are doing right at this moment."
"I asked, had to ask, if they'd be staying together. "One thing
I'm grateful for is that now I'm under no obligation to answer anything
like this," he said."
"I duck it as best I can," he added, "but her reputation has become
the Woman Who Married an Idiot and Stuck with Him. More of it rolls off
my back, because that's the way I am constitutionally. She's more
sensitive. I'm just an empty, soulless vessel, so it doesn't hurt me as
Weiner delivered that last remark with an utter lack of humor. At
least, none was to be had from his face or voice, and his hands sure
weren't talking tonight.
But he hadn't answered my question, so I needed to put it more
bluntly: Now that the primary was over, would he and Huma be splitting
up? Actually, I laughed at the absurdity of my own premise: Why would a
political primary determine such a drastic personal decision—and with a
kid in the mix?
Weiner laughed at the premise, too. "She'd stay with me if I broke
twenty points!" he joked. "And actually if I made the runoff, she'd
recommit the vows, in a Hawaii vacation. If I won she'd have a second child with me! I don't know what people think."
"So, for the life of me, I don't understand why you would send a
penis-surprise to somebody who you weren't absolutely sure would
Sometimes when I'm on a particularly boring conference call, I'll just idly draw, only to realize that Hey,
that's a pretty damn good sailboat I've got going there. You know what?
I'm proud of my sailboat and I think I'd like to show it to somebody
else. I can't, however, fathom of making someone's fresh
acquaintance and going, "Hey, we're hitting it off and you seem like an
art lover. Look at this drawing of a sailboat." For one, I couldn't take
the rejection if they said they found it simplistic or small and
floppy. For two, what if they went to the police, or worse, the
Internet? If you wouldn't show a woman you just started flirting with at
a bar a picture of your sailboat, don't text her a picture of your
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you actually know a woman well
enough and she's seen your penis—or you'd eventually like her to. Don't
send a penis picture when you're trying to woo. I'm not pointing any
elbows here (ahem, Favre) but boudoir photography is for someone whom
you have 1) established a mutual rapport with and 2)
established is a freak. Penises are not a valentine! Imagine if, when
Simone de Beauvoir wrote, "I'm lacerated everywhere by being far away
from you," Sartre had sent back a snap of his wang. No.
I can't stress how important it is for you to know that a girl likes you in that way
first. We don't even want a funny email forward from a guy we're not
into. Half of what women who like penis pictures like is the idea that a
guy we are turned on by is turned on by us (what is a boner, in the
end, but a compliment made out of meat?). We have to like the guy the
penis is attached to. A disembodied penis is not sexy. It is a Troma
You also shouldn't just send a penis picture without knowing a
girl, period. Because sending a dirty photo is an unspoken pact, like
being in a group of promising college-bound teens who accidentally kill a
guy with their car. Send pictures of your penis only to women who get
this and are sane. This goes doubly if you are someone of any notoriety."
"Deadline reports that Lifetime is developing Red Brick Road, "an edgy, Game Of Thrones take" on the classic Wizard Of Jesus Peter Dinklage hula-hooping Christ, how many Peter Dinklage hula-hooping times do we have to do this?
This marks the fifth dark reimagining of Peter Dinklage hula-hooping
in the past three months. The show imagines what if Dorothy, along her
journey down the Yellow Brick Road, discovered there were also some red bricks that she Peter Dinklage hula-hooping. Peter Dinklage hula-hooping."
"Two days ago, when people first noticed that some closed national
parks were, confusingly, open for "1st amendment activities" only, we jokingly suggested
that someone in D.C. should grab a menorah and test the limits of this
policy — the first amendment, after all, guarantees the "free exercise"
of religion as well as freedom of speech. Earlier today, Hannah
Goldstein, a heroic 29-year-old rabbi at D.C.'s Temple Sinai, heeded
that call. With a dreidel.
Taking a break during her morning run, Goldstein entered a park near the William Tecumseh Sherman monument behind
the Treasury Building, whipped out a small plastic dreidel and a few
coins, and freely exercised her religion. Five minutes later, the
experiment was complete.