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."
Normally, we’d use this space to contextualize the video you are probably already watching, so: “Yoda,” a slightly-speeded up parody of the Kinks’ “Lola,” was first released on Weird Al’s seminal 1985 LP Dare to Be Stupid. It’s not his only Star Wars song: “The Saga Begins” tells the story of The Phantom Menace to the tune of “American Pie.” Miranda, a long-time Weird Al fan, tweeted a story about a long ago concert and a picture with his idol Saturday:
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Weird Al is pretty good. You’d probably want to know more about that story. But by inviting Miranda on stage during the performance of “Yoda,” Weird Al has helped us craft the most irresistible headline in our 20-year history. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Weird Al, and Star Wars? And there’s video? It’s crystalline. Pure. A new breed. The equivalent of James O. Incandenza’s Infinite Jest for the same demographic that loved David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. We may just run it on every story from now on, from budget negotiations to civil wars. At least until Beyoncé gets Werner Herzog and the cast of Game of Thrones onstage."
“When I play a game, I know if I have a few hours I will be rewarded,” he said. “With a job, it’s always been up in the air with the amount of work I put in and the reward.”
Izquierdo represents a group of video-game-loving Americans who, according to new research, may help explain one of the most alarming aspects of the nation’s economic recovery: Even as the unemployment rate has fallen to low levels, an unusually large percentage of able-bodied men, particularly the young and less-educated, are either not working or not working full-time.
Most of the blame for the struggle of male, less-educated workers has been attributed to lingering weakness in the economy, particularly in male-dominated industries such as manufacturing. Yet in the new research, economists from Princeton, the University of Rochester and the University of Chicago say that an additional reason many of these young men - who don't have college degrees -- are rejecting work is that they have a better alternative: living at home and enjoying video games. The decision may not even be completely conscious, but surveys suggest that young men are happier for it.
Jacob Barry, a 21-year-old from Grosse Point, Mich., who works part-time making sandwiches at a Jimmy John’s and dreams of becoming a therapist, says the community — as well as a sense of escape — is what draws him to video games. After logging as many as 40 hours per week playing games, Barry realized that he was using games as a way to avoid the pressures of working life. “Honestly, I realized it was a bad thing when my mom would say things like, ‘When are you going to go apply for these jobs? When are you going to go back to school?’ And then in the back of my mind I kept hearing fun facts about these games.”
Barry dropped out of college because he was not sure the high cost of tuition would pay off, but he now feels stuck in a minimum-wage food service job. He wishes he could find a career like his grandfather, who joined the phone company after high school and worked there for decades. “But there’s no option to do that,” he says.
One reason young men are drawn to games is their extremely low cost, after the initial outlay for a computer or gaming system. Barry says he logged thousands of hours on an online battle arena game “and it cost me zero dollars.” Recent research has found that households making $25,000 to $35,000 a year spent 92 more minutes a week online than households making $100,000 or more a year."
"This week, Jack and Tanner get to the bottom of the truth about Stacey, and uncover a few truths about themselves along the way. Just kidding! They definitely don't have the emotional intelligence required for any sort of meaningful introspection. They just make dumb jokes instead."
Tanner and Jack travel all the way to Germany, the birthplace of modern Lutheranism, to discuss the thinly veiled religious text that is book five of The Baby-sitter's Club, "Dawn and the Impossible Three." Tanner has a few too many Helles biers and ends up role playing as an adult escort. Things get a little weird.
Ann M. Martin's magic system, as far as we can understand it, is color-based (very similar to Brent Weeks'sLightbringer series), with different magical properties inhering in flowers of different colors. Thus, when old Ben Brewer (Karen Brewer's grandfather) ingests yellow daffodils, he becomes immortal, with the unfortunate side effect of going completely insane and becoming a ghost. Karen Brewer's fear at the wedding that "The dark and light magics will crash" is presumably brought on by the presence of white flowers, which enhance her own white magic, and Morbidda Destiny, whose own dark chrysanthemum-based magic will more than offset this effect.
Although the other BSC books employ the device of the club diary entries to similar effect, this novel is a more explicit nod to the epistolary novels of the 18th century, with Stacey and Mary Anne both presenting their own marginalized viewpoints in the letters they write home to the club from Sea City. Richardson'sPamela and Clarissa are both clear analogues here, concerned as they are with "Boy-Craziness," as is Fanny Burney's Evelina, whose subtitle, "The History of a Young Lady's Entrance Into the World," exactly mirrors Stacey's own situation vis à vis lifeguard Scott.
As previously mentioned, the best route into Dawn's complicated relationship with the Trinitarian God is almost certainly Ricoeur. It's worth adding that Dawn's religiosity feels very high-church and academic in Dawn and the Impossible Three, whileThe Ghost at Dawn's House, concerned as it is with the Holy Ghost, necessarily invokes a more personal God. As such, Habermas may well provide a better point of entry.
Martin's Logan is at once ominous and immensely charming. His slick Louisville accent, his apparent tender concern for Mary Anne, his otherworldly gift for babysitting ... all add up to something quiet and deadly (and in its own way, beautiful) that we somehow can't bring ourselves to look away from – a snake in the grass. This quote is from Milton'sParadise Lost, but you could easily see it as being pulled directly from the opening pages of Logan Likes Mary Anne:
Elizabethan revenge tragedy has its roots in Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy, arguably the first early modern play that has all the elements we've come to associate with the genre, viz. a character with a serious grievance against a dangerous foe, a play within a play, an angry ghost, and just so much gore, evident in Kristy and the Snobs in the form of all the sick burns and wicked cutdowns between our heroine and the titular snobs.
So much for revenge and justice, but what of death? Do we take comfort in a Heideggerian account, which tells us that we are all always, already being-unto-death? Or can we look to Sartre, who finds ways to humanize and individualize death, ripping some of its mystery and terror from it? It is not, perhaps, in the scope of this particular book, Kristy and the Snobs, to provide answers to these questions, but merely to point out that we are all but grains of sand in a vast desert; drops in an uncaring ocean; dwindling stars in a night sky whose primary characteristic is not light but darkness. RIP, Louie. We will never forget you.
Ways of seeing and knowing the world: Claudia’s cathectic gaze is a key point of this novel, apparent in that she structures the world through her viewfinder. People, including her fellow baby-sitters, are reduced (or, if you prefer, elevated) to mere objects of aesthetic appreciation, a paradigm that is underscored by the structure of the very book we are experiencing, which, in an arch, postmodern gesture from Ann M. Martin, is being created as a gift for the babysitters to give to their parents at the end of their journey.
Stacey is moving out of Stoneybrook, and 4 to 10 new brides of Satan are moving in to take her place, so it's up to two undercover French witch-hunters to eradicate the evil threat looming over the town once and for all. Also, the dolls are in control, and Jack and Tanner make a bet that the Baby Nation is going to have to hold them to, because they're DEFINITELY going to forget.
The mystery of Sabrina Bouvier is one of the enduring riddles of the Sitterverse. Anne M. Martin has never officially weighed in on this, but it is anundeniable fact that Bouvier appears in this book as a 7-year-old pageant queen, and then pops back up in Mary Anne's Makeover #60 as a popular 8th grader with no explanation of how she aged and changed while everyone else stayed the same. Speculations abound. For real. Here is a lovely piece of fan fiction I found on the topic.
It all goes down this week: Claudia loses herself, Logan reveals his true self, Mary Anne finds her faith, The cat-people have taken Louisville, and Jack and Tanner spend WAY too much time talking about 6th century philosopher Anicius Manlius Severinus Boëthius. But that's what you tune in for, right?
This week, Jack and Tanner meet to discuss the very complex mechanical and metaphysical implications of traversing the Planes of Chaos, also known as the Immaterium, from the Warhammer 40k universe, and whether or not the human mind is capable of making sense of a senseless reality where the laws of motion and energy do not apply. But, then we cut all that out, so I guess you'll just have to listen to them talk about The Baby-Sitters Club books instead.
Dawn is forced to choose between the grey purgatory of Stoneybrook and the breathtaking paradise of California. Which is upsetting for Jack and Tanner because they frankly didn't realize they had a choice when they decided to spend every passing moment living, breathing, and dreaming about Stoneybrook. Besides, how can any of us think about leaving when we're still not sure whether Mr. Spier can get it together and tell Dawn's mom how he feels BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
The prophecy foretold of one that would unite the tribes. A being born of two worlds... of two clans, who would unite the people under her banner. Will this Mother's Day surprise fulfill the omen and seal the blood pact? Will the Seven become the One? Will Jackie Rodowsky ever find his way back to the present time? Find out this week when Jack and Tanner sit down to discuss "Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise."
Everybody, in one way or another, is searching for a "Tigger" in their lives – for some people, the Tigger they are searching for is true love, for others, it's success, and for still others, it's a more inscrutable "meaning." In Mary Anne's case, it's her cat. Who went missing. We think Logan stole it."
"I ﬁnd that, for me, the work is a safe place to put all the stuff you don't want to put in your real life. I don't want to be a crazy, manic asshole. I don't want to have an affair. I don't want to have a fucking gunﬁght. But! There's a part of your brain that wants to experience everything, and so work's a safe place to explore it all. Both in the writing and in the performing. I get to write about an affair. I get to have the guilt and the feeling of that without having to fuck my life up. [laughs] Art is the place to safely explore all those other sides of you, because the side you want to bring home is the side that wants to be a good father and be a good husband and be a good son. In art we can be fucking nuts. So I didn't have any depression left to play outside of the theater. I was like a dry sponge at the end."
During the performance, Costanzo will play a baritone horn, sing anti-capitalist songs — including a reworked version of “Over The Rainbow” — and he will also distill whiskey in the Old Stone House’s outdoor fireplace, in honor of the Whiskey Rebellion that divided men like Hamilton and Burr."