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."
You knew this was coming after this (Washington Post).
"People Who Make Studies, look at the world around you and ask yourself: Is this the news we need? Maybe it is the news we deserve, but is it the news we need? “Here,” these studies say, “let us kick you, world, while you are down. Do not go to your chamber to cloister yourself away with thoughts of a fictional 18th-century man with a broad chest and strong chin who will tell you that things are all right. He had, at BEST, a pale oval face, and his chin was nothing to write home about.”
I guess, in a larger sense, it is a good thing to take every opportunity of pointing out that the past was a terrible place and everyone there was shorter and uglier than we would like, but — come on.
First, it turns out Atticus Finch is a terrible racist, and now Mr. Darcy appears to be the Before picture in an ad for liver supplements. Soon there will be no fictional heart-throbs left. Even the dimensions of Moby Dick will prove to be greatly exaggerated.
Next, some “study” will say that Jean Valjean was not a muscle-bound hunk who could lift carts and parkour down walls, or that Romeo had terrible breath and was full of black bile, or that the Great Gatsby was mediocre, at BEST, and his real name was James Gatz, or that Mr. Rochester had another WIFE locked in his attic? Look, many fictional heart-throbs do not hold up on a second reading.
Still, I thought the whole point of fiction was that you could picture the people however you wanted. That is why Jane Austen did not specify how Mr. Darcy looked, other than that he was attractive and appeared to have money. Jane Austen was right to do so.
It is one thing for people to go through history announcing that all the people in it were much less sexy and much more morally ambiguous than anyone wanted them to be. That is just history.
But fiction offers us people who are better and less changeable than reality. Sometimes, anyway. So I wish these authors of studies would stop it and leave us our fictional heroes. They are the only kind that we can count on."
"Their answers were part of my research on how they managed to find the one thing I couldn’t wrap my arms around without it slipping away from me — a loving and supportive relationship. I figured that hearing about their meet-cutes would give me enough inspiration and motivation to stop rolling my eyes at dating. But after a while, their answers started to fall into three main buckets: The ones who met their match back in high school or college, an opportunity I clearly missed. The ones who met them at work, which wasn’t going to happen to me since I was running a business of one employee (me!) from my living room. The ones who met through the modern-day fairy tale of swiping right on each other’s profile. I had tried that, again and again, without any luck. By asking that question over 40 times in two years, I hoped that I would hear an unusual answer that would somehow magically end my long-running reputation as the “single one” in my group of friends. Quite literally, I was always the bridesmaid but never the bride.
“So, tell me, where did you and your fiance meet?” I asked, wondering what bucket her answer would fall into.
“I gamified dating,” she said, sipping her hot chocolate.
“What does that mean?” I shot back.
“I decided to join JDate and go on four dates every Saturday. I made a spreadsheet. Ranked guys by my preferences and narrowed down my pool of guys into a top five and then picked the best one. It only took me a month to meet my fiance.”
“You went on four dates a day?” I asked, wondering how she had the stamina.
“Yes. Each date was 30 minutes. After it was over, I’d walk around the block and come back inside to meet my next date.”
Here I was, talking to someone who treated dating like you might would treat shopping for a car. Yet I was intrigued by her technique. It seemed like an exhausting but fun challenge. I wondered if I could survive it.
“It is a numbers game,” she told me.
I knew she was right. Going on one bad date every six months was not helping my odds of finding something lasting.