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?”
Edward is now Edythe, Bella is Beau and Jacob is Julie. Meyer’s young adult series has often been criticized for romanticizing an abusive relationship between a domineering man and his much younger, submissive girlfriend. The author told GMA that, “It’s always bothered me a little bit because anyone surrounded by superheroes is going to be … in distress. We don’t have the powers. I thought, ‘What if we switched it around a bit and see how a boy does,’ and, you know, it’s about the same.” There’s an impulse to applaud this as a feminist remix on a traditionally patriarchal book. However, considering the extent of sexism and racism in the four books of the original series and the fact that this text inspired 50 Shades of Grey, we’ll wait to read it before we jump to any girl power praise."
Rebecca Carroll, formerly an editor at xoJane, recalls reading one submission by a white woman about how few black people were in her yoga class that was “pretty tone deaf, just totally un-self-aware.” It would have taken too much time to fully overhaul it. Still, Carroll published it, knowing that—brutally honest as it was—it was sure to be provocative. “There was an enormous backlash, and the writer was traumatized,” Carroll says. “I felt like I just shouldn’t have run the piece at all, because I fundamentally misestimated how prepared the writer was for this to go public.”
It’s harder than ever to weigh the ethics of publishing these pieces against the market forces that demand them, especially as new traffic analytics make it easy to write and edit with metrics in mind. “I’ve always loved unvarnished, almost performative, extemporaneous bloggy writing,” Gould says. “But now an editor will be like, can you take this trending topic and make it be about you?” Sarah Hepola, who edits Salon’s personal essays, says that the question “What am I doing to these writers?” is always in the back of her mind: “I try to warn them that their Internet trail will be ‘I was a BDSM person,’ and they did it for $150.” But editors’ best efforts aside, this is, more than anything, a labor problem—writers toiling at the whims of a system with hazardous working conditions that involve being paid next to nothing and guaranteed a lifetime of SEO infamy. The first-person boom, Tolentino says, has helped create “a situation in which writers feel like the best thing they have to offer is the worst thing that ever happened to them.”
it gave Chenier a nagging feeling that if she wanted to be a writer who didn’t want to write about sleeping with her dad, the scales weren’t tipped in her favor. “All I’d said in that first pitch was, I’ve experienced this trauma, and the editor was like, ‘You’re in,’ ” Chenier says. “They didn’t know who I was; they didn’t know if I was a good writer. They just knew I’d experienced something terrible.” Chenier remembers being so sure that she wanted to write that piece. She’d felt so strongly that it was worth the risk. “But when I step back and think about everything I put on the line …”
Mating With The Raptor (yup, more dinoporn)."At this point I should probably mention that at no point can you forget that this woman is having sex with a dinosaur. Every sentence not describing the effects of the sauropod’s sausage was detailing its scales, its arms, its claws as they grasped her leather bodice. There’s no forgetting. There’s no escape!"
Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover (yeah, THAT kind). "The book opens with an always-promising apology its his poor-quality writing. “I am sure that almost anybody could write a better novel than this,” Brenner states, and I am inclined to agree with him. It’s a curious thing that he chose to apologize for his writing rather than for fucking a caged animal, but after suffering through 350 pages of his rambling, I’m honestly not sure which was Brenner’s worse crime."
The Princess and the Penis:"I once went through a phase of downloading and reading pretty much any free book which came my way. Occasionally this was a good thing; usually it was a bad thing. No, scratch that—usually, it was a downright horrible thing."
"Of course it wasn’t his fault, thought Professor Hardcourt. He wouldn’t have had to do this if his students exerted the slightest effort or interest. Historical Recreation was a required course. Every undergrad had to spend a few semesters living inside another time to better understand human history. He’d thought that if it was mixed in with period drama, Victoriana Recreation 101 might be less of a slog. But the students had other ideas. ” Why don’t Algernon and Jack just fuck like they clearly want to?” “Why are the women so passive?” “Why do they keep going to parties they clearly hate?” “Why can’t people just talk to each other openly?” Why, why, why, why. They had no context, no willingness to get into the spirit of the thing.
Playing dressup with some weightless hologram or recorded simulation bored them. It only took a few weeks for the entire class to game the simulation and get top scores without actually playing. Blasting away Extreme Garden Party in God Mode might have been fun, but they weren’t learning anything."
and then...OH MY.
"The simulation chamber doors locked and the mantel clock started up at exactly 3:15 pm, October 16th, 1895. Afterward, every slip, every flub, every cough, every anachronistic phrasing or story note from AUNT-E reset the clocks to tea-time. By Hardcourt’s estimation, it had been 3:15 over four hundred times.
AUNT-E wasn’t strict at first - she let alone actors who weren’t accurate but performed with great expression—but as time went on she expressed concern they weren’t taking it seriously, and therefore failing to deliver a “successful narrative.” No one was going home, she said, until they had produced a decent play that fulfilled her arcane requirements.
This comment is extremely good talking about this trope--the writer was asked to turn a white character into a black one.
"It seems like being black or being white -- especially in America, and especially in the American south -- would be an essential aspect of your character and identity. It would (or at least could) influence the experiences and opportunities you had, to put it mildly. You can't just say "Bing! You're black!" A black person and a white person would act differently based on these experiences. Wouldn't they?
For instance, there's a scene where Zoom uses a magnifying glass to set fire to the junk mail gathered on the neighbor's porch, so he can lure the neighbor out into the open. A 13-year-old white boy might not think twice about doing this. If he gets caught by the gold-old-boy cops in this town, it's just innocent childhood mischief. But if a 13-year-old black boy is setting fire to the neighbor's mail? Are you kidding me? Tampering with the mail is a federal offence, don't you know, as is arson (I don't know if arson really is, but you get what I'm saying.) Plus, dangerous weapon! On the ground, now!
Where are Zoom's parents if he's black? Haven't they told him about the dangers of being a young black guy? Haven't they insisted that he be more polite, more reserved, more well behaved than others in public in order to avoid problems? Are they just letting him run around town with a 13-year-old white girl, solving mysteries and setting things on fire? Are they insane?
Also, I get really sick of the Inexplicable Ethnic Sidekick role that shows up in so many stories. "Wow, white person, your best friend is a sassy black lady? Or a zany black fellow? Mine too!" How is this possible? Where are these random black people best friends in real life? Because a whole lot of us live in defacto segregation. Our school cafeterias and playgrounds (and sometimes the whole school) are segregated, as are our neighborhoods and churches. I'm not saying it's across the board like this, but as the article said, it's hard to make friends organically with people who are different from you, partially because there is not a lot of daily contact. Just "making someone black" in a story checks off a box and makes everybody feel better, and it's shorthand for "the protagonist is a nice, inclusive, good person," but it doesn't reflect reality. It doesn't say that if you want to be friends you have to build bridges, cross gaps, mend fences, grade driveways, and other construction metaphors. You have to take risks, and maybe be uncomfortable sometimes. Nope, you don't have to do anything at all. Because eventually you will have a cool friend like on TV. And they'll be just like you! Only black!
But then I thought about how one of the only ways people ever get to meet, or sometimes even SEE, each other is through stories. If we keep writing and showing a homogenous, segregated reality, that is what people will think reality is, and so that's what reality will be. Maybe if we write books with real characters in them who have their own identities and own reasons for being and who aren't dependent on the white main character for existence, that will change expectations about who those "other" people are, and why they are here? It's worth a shot, anyway, and this article seems to confirm that it works."