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."
"That’s definitely a sign I’ve been watching way too much prestige television, because it’s not how the Hallmark Channel rolls. I’d hate to spoil the ending for you, but I’ll give you a hint: Frank has a white beard.
This plot summary is basically gender-flipped Doc Hollywood: hot shot big city woman is exposed to idyllic small town life, rolls her eyes at first, but then is completely charmed. (If you’re too young to remember Doc Hollywood, the Pixar movie Cars is basically the same thing.) The Hallmark Channel uses this template over and over again. Here are some of the offerings for 2016, as described in the official marketing materials:
“When a TV personality has an on-air snafu and admits she hates Christmas, she is invited to the Most Christmas-y town in the US to try and repair her image.”
“Aunt Sally’s Christmas Cookie Company is sold to a large conglomerate and executive Hannah must seal the deal and shut down the factory, which is the small town of Cookie Jar’s lifeblood.”
“One of the most famous actresses in the world heads to the Christmas-obsessed town of Homestead, Iowa, to shoot a holiday-themed movie.”
And maybe the most Doc Hollywood of all: “Maddie, a high-powered marketing executive, is on her way to a client’s wedding but her plans are derailed by car trouble. When a fork in the road leads her to Christmas Valley, a town in love with Christmas, an unexpected encounter and a group of strangers that start to feel like family will have her questioning what she’s really been missing in life.”
In the real world, these small towns are emptying out all over America as the jobs dry up. In the Hallmark world, people are ditching their Manhattan apartments for split level colonials in the middle of nowhere. “No one ever wants to leave!” chirps a resident literally one minute into this year’s Christmas Cookies. “It’s pretty much the best place on earth,” another agrees.
But if you peel back the jolly exterior, you can see glimpses of the real America peeking through here. Take another look at that Christmas Under Wraps trailer. “You haven’t had a doctor here in a year?” Candace Cameron asks incredulously. “That’s Garland for you!” shrugs the hunky guy with a grin. Sure, this town may basically be a third world country as far as basic healthcare is concerned, but look at how pretty that wreath is! Then there’s this year’s Christmas Cookies, in which a big New York company buys a small town cookie factory and plans to outsource production. The female executive saves the jobs, but there’s something real dark about an idyllic Christmas town basically being bought by a major conglomerate to profit off of their holiday spirit. That’s what passes as a happy ending here: benevolent corporate overlords."
In the Hallmark Channel universe, there is actually a town called Cookie Jar and the characters in Christmas Cookies somehow manage to say it over and over again with straight faces. In Christmas Under Wraps, a doctor is forced to go work in Garland, Alaska. Nice try. Every Christmas Has a Story features a journalist working on a profile of the town with the most holiday spirit: Hollyvale, North Dakota. That sounds like a place where cartoon cats would live. Christmas in Homestead is about — you guessed it — going home for Christmas in Homestead, Iowa. Okay, that one might actually exist.
“You know how people are always like, ‘I wonder why there aren’t more female comedians?’ Maybe it’s because every time a woman opens her mouth to tell a joke, someone tries to put their dick in it. It’s not a lot of guys — #NotAllMen, #PleaseDon’tLeaveMeMeanMessages — it’s just a few guys getting away with harassment and assault over and over and over again.” —Full Frontal, February
10. “What is the point of encouraging little girls to dream big if any career puts them in the path of boob honkers? There’s not a workplace on land or sea or even at the bottom of a big deep hole in the ground where we’re actually keeping women safe. … Wouldn’t it be so nice if they could go to work without carrying bear spray? Except for the park ranger, she definitely needs the bear spray.” —Full Frontal, February
11. “Right now I’m actually picturing some guy saying, ‘Uh, what am I supposed to do? Stop asking women out at work because it makes them uncomfortable?’ Yes, you are at work.” —Full Frontal, February
Episode 7."I love this subplot with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. It’s about two people who need each other desperately and who are irretrievably broken, and it’s all been done in action, the little bit of dialogue used to advance it oblique, shadowing the emotion under the surface. The conflict is great because I want both sides to survive, but they’re caught in a crucible and only one can win. It’s just great writing."
Intermission: "And now we pause for a diagram about story acts and turning points....Somebody should have said, “Our problem is his immortality. Let’s figure out what to do about that.”
Episodes 11-13: "It’s too late to fix this mess. Get out and start a new season/story."
Episodes 14-16: "The last three episodes of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow are: Episode 14: “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?,” Episode 15: “Now THAT’S a Climax,” Episode 16: “Oh, Yeah, We Still Have To Kill Vandal Savage.”
Season 2, episodes 1-6:"So let’s look at how rebooting a flawed series with huge potential is like revising a flawed first draft with huge potential."