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."
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?”
"Gerrold began to suspect the truth, said as much to some other fans, and then Tiptree received a letter from Anne McCaffrey reassuring him while she didn’t think Tiptree was female, “I could be wrong but then that never bothers me particularly. Someone else remarked that you prefer to be anonymous so I will leave it lay, as the saying goes.” And Le Guin chimed in with “I ‘know’ a Tree and it keeps its privacy, like most trees, and that is more than its right, that is its being…that is the Tree Way.” To Ellison, Tiptree confessed the truth: “I really am an escaped nun working in the FBI Gatorade concession.”
Theories flourished. Was Tiptree gay? A woman? A high-level spy? J.D. Salinger?? Henry Kissinger??? Tip himself started downplaying the “CIA” part of his ambiguous bio, and at a certain point, writing as a charming, sensitive, but still occasionally macho man didn’t work anymore. Especially with the feminist movement gaining strength, Sheldon began to feel more and more that she needed to pick a side. But which side? She’d never felt like a woman, she couldn’t be a man in person, she preferred spending time with men but hated misogyny.
It’s interesting to note that where Tiptree’s early stories were met with encouragement and invitations to submit more material, Raccoona’s stories often received form rejections, and it was only after she began including letters of introduction from Tiptree that she began to see success. Were Raccoona’s stories just not as strong as Tiptree’s? Or were mid-20th-century editors more open to encouraging male authors with vague-but-sexy CIA backstories than a woman who claimed to be fleeing a life of academia? Or was it just that Raccoona’s stories, which often explored “bare-face pain,” weren’t as elegant as Tiptree’s, and harder to read?
By the time of the 1974 WorldCon, many fans decided Tiptree was in the audience, hiding in plain sight. Ellison certified that he was (he knew perfectly well he wasn’t) and one fan claimed to be Tip and started signing autographs for people. When Tiptree won for her proto-cyberpunk story, “The Girl Who Was Plugged In,” editor Jeff Smith accepted for her (and had to convince people that he wasn’t Tiptree in disguise) and a few weeks later Alice Sheldon proudly displayed a Hugo in her library—flanked on each side by a vibrator.
Two years later, it was Jeff Smith who wrote to Alice Sheldon to warn her that Tiptree had been outed. Even in this initial letter, Smith assures Tip that he’ll keep the secret if asked, but Alice Sheldon wrote back, affirming that she was Tiptree and “Also, Raccoona.” She signed the letter Tip/Alli. She was afraid that people would drop her, now that the truth was out. Sheldon immediately wrote to Le Guin, hoping to tell her the truth before she heard it from anyone else."
"How did you ever get away with it? The short answer is that you didn't; not for long. You were Tiptree for nine years: heaped with praise; the man of the moment. But your failure to appear in public had quickly attracted attention, and there were doubts about your sex, based on your preferred themes. Your fans, bless them, felt they had a right to know who you really were, and were soon trying hard to find out. Meanwhile, you were playing with fire. You must have known that discovery would cost you your place at the top table, yet you formed intimate, confessional friendships by mail. You shared personal data in correspondence. You didn't say no when you were invited, and expected, to play a prominent part in the big science fiction/sexual politics debate—an issue that was so important in your work, and so vitally interesting to the real Dr Sheldon. Something had to give."
"But it’s not as if Amy disposes of wry intelligence or eviscerating insight to win the man. She doesn’t lose weight, or buy a new wardrobe, or express anything like self-hatred. She just disposes with the behaviors she did out of fear. Which mirrors epiphanies from Schumer’s own life, on which so much of Trainwreck is based — as she told The Hollywood Reporter, “I think this movie’s a love letter to my sister, and the real way I realized I was hurting myself and being destructive was through falling in love.”
"I sent the six queries I had planned to send that day. Within 24 hours George had five responses—three manuscript requests and two warm rejections praising his exciting project. For contrast, under my own name, the same letter and pages sent 50 times had netted me a total of two manuscript requests. The responses gave me a little frisson of delight at being called “Mr.” and then I got mad. Three manuscript requests on a Saturday, not even during business hours! The judgments about my work that had seemed as solid as the walls of my house had turned out to be meaningless. My novel wasn’t the problem, it was me—Catherine.
I wanted to know more of how the Georges of the world live, so I sent more. Total data: George sent out 50 queries, and had his manuscript requested 17 times. He is eight and a half times better than me at writing the same book. Fully a third of the agents who saw his query wanted to see more, where my numbers never did shift from one in 25.
The problem reached into every part of my mind—not only that I had written the wrong book, but that I was the wrong person.
That was when George came to life. I imagined him as a sort of reptilian Michael Fassbender-looking guy, drinking whiskey and walking around train yards at night while I did the work. Most of the agents only heard from one or the other of us, but I did overlap a little. One who sent me a form rejection as Catherine not only wanted to read George’s book, but instead of rejecting it asked if he could send it along to a more senior agent. Even George’s rejections were polite and warm on a level that would have meant everything to me, except that they weren’t to the real me. George’s work was “clever,” it’s “well-constructed” and “exciting.” No one mentioned his sentences being lyrical or whether his main characters were feisty. A few of people sent deeply generous and thoughtful critiques, which made me both grateful and queasy for my dishonesty.
"Speaking of whining manchildren, my favorite thing in the world today is this article. Not because of the article itself, although it's interesting in a "let's all burn the world down now" way. But because someone forgot to change the URL from its draft version when they finalized the article title.
For posterity in case this changes later: The article's final title is "How Men’s Emotions Are Preventing Gender Equality at Work." The URL, which would have come from the title being used for the piece in its draft form, is http://www.psmag.com/business-economics/wah-wah-why-dont-you-cry-a-little-more-you-little-man-jk-stfu ."