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."
"At an io9
meetup, I mentioned to Annalee that I had been reading Mallett's work
and that I wanted to write a novel about a physicist who wants to travel
back in time to prevent her brother's death and becomes a supervillain
in the process. "But it won't work," she said without a second thought.
"You wrote that post about how it's a bad idea to bring people back from the dead."
"the author “also noted that he compared the main male character to Ryan
Gosling and his boss to Gene Hackman in the book as an almost immediate
way to invoke recognition of characteristics for readers.”
Dude, don't be so fucking lazy. Don't "cast" your characters, for fuck's sake. Make up your own!
"They’re not names, really. They’re actually carefully constructed codes.
“Lona” is a grouping of letters, each of which stands for something.
The “L,” the 12th letter of the alphabet, refers to December, the month
she was born in. The “O” refers to her birth date, the 15th. The “N”
signifies that she lives in the 14th sector of The Path, and the “A”
means that she’s in the first quadrant. There’s a lot of information
contained in her name, just like there is in her best friend Fenn’s –
born June 5th, Sector 14, Quadrant 14."
"The reason for putting myself through this weekly wringer is knowing that you might pick up a copy of L.A. Weekly
and read this small contribution. More than that, I hope that you might
even like it. I am not one of those "I don't care what you think about
what I do" types. I would much rather you like what I do than not like
it or not care. "I am desperate for your attention and approval!" is
what I have been saying to audiences all over the world from the stage
for many years. They laugh, but I am not joking.
I try to write this weekly piece as an ongoing conversation. Any
editor worth his weight in salt might call this rambling! However, my
attempt is to make a genuine connection with you and Los Angeles. This
is why, whenever possible, I try to reference L.A. localities, venues,
intersections, etc. As much of a stucco-coated sprawl as L.A. is, I am
trying to pull it all in a little closer somehow. That which separates
us is, for the most part, a scam. Isolation is not necessarily safety,
and stagnation definitely isn't stability.
When I go to shows or to the grocery store, etc., and meet cool
people I share this city with, I know that it is this interaction, this
breakdown of barriers, that is precisely the ass-kicking that fear so
sorely requires. When someone tells me they dug the thing I wrote, I
absolutely beam. That I did something that you liked is so cool. This is
the main motivation for the 1,000-word-a-week jam session I send in to
I have been living in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. I never
really felt it was a place to call home, just a place to work, leave and
return to without any emotional tie. I chalked that up to the place
being an artificially hydrated, baked patch of earth, full of
fly-by-nighters. But I realized I was one of the aforementioned, and the
only way to improve my evaluation of the place was to contribute.
Writing for the L.A. Weekly has furthered that effort. I have the publication and you to thank for that."
"Inspired by astronaut Lisa Nowak's 2007 arrest for the attempted murder of a romantic rival, Starcrosser’s Cut is an inner-space detective story, a cassette symphony in the tradition of Krapp's Last Tape, and an indictment of the nihilism of the US Space Program.
Based loosely on the real-life transcript of Nowak's police interview
after her arrest, a character known only as "Lisa" listens back to the
tape, re-enacts her interview with the detective, and attempts to
re-record it all. Through a labyrinth of tape edits and revisions within
revisions, the play takes an unflinching look at the "crimes that are
ours to do" - those beyond guilt."
"Then, as the tumor grew, crowding out her beautiful and sweet and
subtle brain, and as the weekly chemo and radiation started to sap her
strength and ambition, Jordis slowly realized she didn’t have much
longer to live. Our Monday calls took a turn I didn’t expect.
“This is so serious,” she’d say. “It’s like living under a big
dark thunderhead. I’m losing my ability to forget, to detach from
myself, just to really escape this thing for a few minutes and laugh,”
she told me. “Help me laugh again.”