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."
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."
I'm not going to ID the podcast, but there's one podcast I listen to where I swear, the first 20 minutes of every podcast is Every Horrible Thing Happening To This Guy And His Mother lately. I can summarize it all as "they're broke and sickly," but the sheer amount of constant disaster that is going on for this guy, his mom, or any other relative of theirs...and it's FRESH disaster, every week.... is giving me horrible flashbacks to one of my exes who had a life like that. Except this guy is topping my ex for constant bad things happening to him, and that's saying something.
I just kinda wish he'd stop telling us how awful he's doing and get on to the podcast subject matter. Because this is making me want to drink. Or cry.
"On Monday evening over the phone, I asked this man who had shared my bed for three nights running why we had not made love. "Your body is too wrinkly," he said without a pause. "I have spoiled myself over the years with young women. I just can't get excited with you. I love your energy and your laughter. I like your head and your heart. But, I just can't deal with your body." I was stunned. The hurt would come later. I asked him slowly and carefully if he found my body hard to look at. He said yes. "So, this means seeing me naked was troublesome to you?" I asked. He told me he had just looked away. And when the lights were out, he pretended my body was younger -- that I was younger. My breath came deep and full as I processed this information. My face blazed as I felt embarrassed and shamed by memories of my easy nakedness with him in days just passed.
When I told Dave that I never wanted to see or hear from him again, he was confused and complained that I was making a big deal out of nothing. He whined that I had taken a small part of our relationship and made it a major event. I didn't even want to try to explain the hurt and the horror that he had inflicted upon me."
"This is a hot-button topic. I am doing it with some trepidation, and only after two women of my acquaintance found it interesting, and had VERY different reactions to it.
Then I talked to another woman friend, in her early 30s. She entirely disagreed with friend 1. She said the guy was monstrously insensitive, and he could and should have been honest but in a diplomatic way: "Some chemistry is missing. I'd like to work on it." Or some such. I'm mostly with her, I think. I found what he told her to be savagely cruel, and I cannot imagine ever saying anything like that, ever, to anyone. Especially someone I cared about, but anyone, really. I am in the extreme minority, in this poll. I would have chosen the option "lie." Lie to give yourself time. Once you have said even "chemistry," you are telling the woman that the issue is her body, even doing it gently. If I were in fact freaked out by the age of her body but wanted a future with her, I would have lied, then figured out a way, in my own mind, to get past my prejudice."
Most people of both sexes thought this: "He should have lied a little, been much less precise: "I didn't feel sexual chemistry" would have sufficed. Then they take it from there, if there is anywhere left to go."
Most men thought: "Basically, a cad. Some redeeming characteristics, but a man to be avoided."
most women thought: "Ick. Ick, ick, ick. Ick."
Here's some interesting answers:
"I'm a 30-year-old guy, and I think Dave's pretty gross. My perspective comes from my mom's current dating experiences. When people in her generation date, here's what you get: the other person is going to have some baggage (because life happens to you by the time you're that age), they're going to have some irritating habits they will refuse to change (because they've been doing it that way for 40 years), and they're going to look their age (because, again, life). Asking that the other person somehow change or "deal with" any of those three things is insulting, a waste of time, and a guaranteed argument. Dave's behavior would have been better not by being dishonest with his date, but by being more honest with himself about what he was getting involved with way before this came up and deciding what he was willing to accept in exchange for a relationship."
"I keep wondering what would have happened if she'd asked him, while they were in bed, instead of later on the phone what was going on. (I almost said what's (not) up, but that would have been in bad taste.) I suppose that this is part of my dislike for Dave -- I find the detailed critique over the phone cowardly -- I'm nearly 100% certain that he wouldn't have had the nerve to deliver it while naked in bed -- when he could see the effect of the pain he was causing, and when he would be vulnerable to a similar assessment."
Gene Weingarten: "Seriously, I cannot imagine uttering those words in any venue, over any medium."
"My reaction was quite different than ick ick ick. It was more red flag, red flag, red flag. On some level I appreciated him being honest so she could run away - why would she want to be with someone who didn't want her for her? If he's being this unaccepting now, why would I expect that to get better? The red flags come from a tone of control I picked up, albeit a small one... a form of I'll like you if you just do what I tell you. In my opinion, she lucked out that he was honest."
Gene Weingarten: "Many, many people have expressed this sentiment. You expressed it best."
"Men. Bleah. Well, thanks for that poll. I needed another reminder that, as a single 46 year old straight woman, the odds of my ever finding a pleasant, intelligent, kind straight male partner somewhere in my age range are doomed. I forgot from an hour ago."
Gene Weingarten: "That was the main reason I hesitated doing this poll."
"I answered with the first option of he did what he should have done, but I didn't agree with the rest of the answer. I do think he should have been honest - so she could see what she was dealing with and not waste any more time trying to please him. As stupid as his reason was, I would far rather know what was actually behind it then to keep trying to answer a vague answer like "wasn't feeling sexual chemistry." The first one leads to hurt feelings, sure, but at least then she knew not to waste any more time on him. Now she can use that time finding someone who is attracted to her as she is."
Gene Weingarten: "I hear ya. But it was just so promiscuously cruel! Here's where I'm not sure: "As stupid as his reason was..." I'm not entirely sure you can fault the guy for the condition of his lusts. I do think this is a good question to ask, though. Is there something "wrong" with Dave because he has trouble being turned on by someone his own age? As I write this, I'm thinking, maybe. What do you think?"
"As Carolyn Hax would say, why are you extrapolating this one instance into a condemnation of all the people of one gender in the world? (For the record, I'm female.)"
Gene Weingarten: "Well, because we are all human, and humans are vulnerable to despair."
"Dave doesn't want to date Robin. Dave wants to date a woman with the body of a 25-year-old and the life experience of a 59-year-old. Who obviously doesn't exist, and if she didn't exist, she certainly doesn't want to date a 55-year-old with the mind of a 15-year-old."
"Is there something "wrong" with Dave because he has trouble being turned on by someone his own age?" I don't know if I would call it wrong, but I would argue it shows a level of immaturity on his part. As you already said, he most likely is showing similar signs of aging. If he can't be attracted to a woman with those same signs, than it's a little presumptuous for him to think a younger woman should be attracted to those same signs on him. I think the only way he could be mature about it is if he realized he's being hypocritical and take himself out of the dating game altogether."
"My issue is not Dave's candor per se. I don't think he should have lied to lubricate an awkward social situation. My issue is with his obliviousness. With absolutely no self-awareness about what his own body looks like or any understanding about what life does to a woman's body (pregnancy and childbirth and nursing put a hurt on your body), he wraps his mantle of privilege around himself, sighs deeply, and explains that he just simply cannot find anything to admire about an older woman's body because he has been SPOILED by all the hot young things panting for him. Hey, I like the hot young men I see playing vampires and werewolves and spies on tv but SOMEHOW I manage to have relations with my significant other who is not exactly a stand-in for said male actors. Dave should have kept his mouth shut and followed the sage advice of my mother: if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. The problem was not in fact Robin's body, it was Dave's myopic and crude perspective of women's bodies."
"I read Robin Korth's essay when it made the rounds a few weeks ago. As a 44-year-old woman, it touches on a lot of the hot button issues that women grapple with as they get older. While I understand why the author was hurt and angry, I think Dave's candor is quite to be applauded. It's not often that shallow jerks make themselves known in such a spectacular and shameless way. He saved everyone a lot of time and heartache, in my opinion. Of course the larger issue is the glorification of youth that has so distorted our sense of beauty that a man finds a woman his own age so hideous he needs to look away and pretend she is someone else. Thank goodness there are good men out there who can take aging in stride and still consider their wives to be beautiful at any age."
Gene Weingarten: "Several people are making your first point, that Dave's main achievement was identifying what a shallow a-hole he is. I would add that, conversely, he is ALSO demonstrating that to him sexual compatibility isn't everything. It's interesting, no?" "But what really bothers me about Dave is that it's pretty obvious that he would not have been attracted to any 59-year-old woman. if that's the case, why did he even try? And I guess (as someone midway between 55 and 59) I am offended on my own behalf. So yeah, Ick."
"I didn't like the options for question 4. I was OK with Dave being honest, but I didn't like the rest of the explanation of his honesty (asking her to meet him halfway). Therefore, I chose option 2. I thought it was interesting that Robin didn't even try to describe Dave, except to provide his age. Unless this guy is Tom Selleck, it seems hard to believe he doesn't have his own wrinkles, flabby skin, ear hair, etc. (and even Tom Selleck probably has that stuff!). If he wasn't a perfect specimen, why expect it of his female companion? And, even young women have flaws, just not the ones that bother Dave, apparently. I thought he was a total tool."
"There might be something wrong with Dave for not being turned on by women his own age, but there is DEFINITELY something wrong with him that he thinks the solution is for the woman to undertake a series of demeaning, self-negating steps to make herself palatable for him."
As for me: dudes, this is the equivalent of stabbing a woman in the heart. She won't forget this and she'll never forgive you for it. It is hard to get MORE personally insulting to a woman than this. Saying this will make her hate you forever. Why? Because she can't do a damn thing about it (not really, despite this guy's "helpful suggestions"), and it damns her as forever unlovable because she didn't die young. This is not fair to anyone. Especially when it comes from a dude who is probably not looking perfect himself. Maybe Tom Cruise can get away with saying this because he still looks perfect at 50, but he has money and trainers and the rest of us do not. Dave here probably has a pot belly and some wrinkles himself. But he's a man, so that's perfectly okay because he can still and always get 20-year-old tail. Or so he seems to be indicating, anyway. It's okay for a man to age, but women should probably all die at 30, except then nobody would raise the babies and make the dinners.
I hate being a woman. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.
"The game gives you a choice of three endings: You can settle down with Katherine, live la vida loca with the sufficiently existing Catherine, or stay single and blast off into space (really). If you choose Catherine, you get to co-rule the underworld with a gaggle of succubi at your side. If you stick with Katherine, you maybe get a nice wedding, some kids, and a lot of laundry. It's like having to choose between becoming Han Solo or Homer Simpson."
"Catherine is, in short, a nightmare portrait of a man totally lacking agency, in which the only thing worse than the gods picking on you is settling down and having a family. It divides the world in half: matrimonial prison reality and male-only video game fantasy. To choose marriage with Katherine explicitly requires you to sacrifice the fantasy life given you by video games.That is to say that succubus Catherine is A) not real, B) a wish-fulfillment fantasy, and C) fine with you seeing other women as long as she’s no. 1—in other words, she is video games. Vincent faces a choice between fantasy and reality, but it’s also a choice between escapist fantasy and the female gender itself."
"A guy I dated for about three months ended things a few weeks ago because, in his words, I didn't let him "pursue" me enough (read: I got too invested too quickly, and started contacting him more than he was comfortable with). He said that he cared about me very much, but that he wanted to feel that the person he was with was a bit "hard to get." I was sad, but understanding, and I ended all contact.
Right on cue, after about two weeks of no contact from me, he started calling, texting and emailing again and eventually wanted to meet up for drinks.
This seems so on-the-nose (I didn't call, so he suddenly felt ravenous for me again) that it's almost insulting."
No kidding! Gag me.
Here's Carolyn Hax's response, which is more polite than mine would be:
"This whole love-to-pursue thing -- what do people do with it once they've committed to each other? Do they demand/promote an aura of mystery in their shared home? All body noises and hygiene rituals get rushed discreetly into locked, soundproof bathrooms? All unsightly ailments get immediately quarantined and tended to by hired nurses? All calls and texts go unreturned for a time -- not a fixed amount, but instead on a random-reward system to maximize cravings?"
Hah. This is what reminded me of The Rules. You can't have a real relationship when you are being "mysterious" and "not wanting him" and "being chased" or whatever.
"Yes, pursuit is a rush, a two-person amusement park. But it's better at teaching you about yourself than it is at bringing you closer to others, because it's not about the other person; it's about what the other person does for you. Fine to learn on but otherwise pretty thin."
She ends it with....
"If you're up for a game, then, fine, give him his second chance; he might grow up to be a lovely person someday. But go into it knowing this: He isn't calling because he realized his error in breaking up with such a great person. He's calling because he gave you strict instructions on how to hold his attention, and this is your reward for following them to the letter. Instructions that include wanting him but pretending you don't. Barf."
Seconding the barfing. If I have to play hard to get to keep you, then what's the point?
And it's kind of funny how he hooked up with a lesbian:
"Piper was the ultimate platonic playmate: We drank bourbon, ogled girls, shot pool in lesbian bars, and walked on weekends to all parts of the city, stopping to catch a church gospel service or grabbing a Bloody Mary. Best of all, no one gave me better advice on women, holding nothing back and offering a few pointers. If you’re a straight, single guy, I cannot recommend a no-bullshit lesbian bestie highly enough."
“Now there’s a nice, all-American girl,” Louis Smith, Esq., announced. “Why don’t you go date her?”
“Thing is, Dad, that’s the all-American lesbian,” I explained."
Heh. Later on...
"But the scene that played out before us was pretty close to what happens between Piper Chapman and Larry Bloom in the first episode of Season 1 of Orange Is the New Black. I didn’t say, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Clearly she wasn’t. The blood did not drain out of my body leaving me lifeless, nor did I lose my mind and start screaming. I didn’t, like Larry Bloom, exclaim, “Who are you? I feel like I’m in a Bourne movie! Have you killed?” But I wish I had—it’s a great line."
As for the slight advantages to the situation:
"As the actual sentence neared, we began what felt like both a coming out (“I’m a convicted felon…”) and a farewell party (“…who will be going away for a while”) as we told our larger circle of friends. We spilled the story to gaping looks, uncertain questions, and supportive hand squeezes. If we seemed calm, it was because we were both ready for her to get in and then out of prison and move on with our lives. We got good at these talks; it became a script we had down cold. I also realized that when you tell your friends a story like this one, they pick up the check. I started booking these get-togethers at better restaurants."
Always look on the bright side of life....
"In other words: Honey, if any couple has to have a spouse go to prison, it probably ought to be you, because at least your friends all know you’ll be okay. He looked at me, and we all looked at each other, nodding in tacit agreement: Larry, on the other hand, wouldn’t do so well in the pokey."
"I appreciate your honesty."
Larry Bloom, in one of his best lines, explains: “I gotta lock this shit down before you leave, Pipes.” I’m pretty sure it’s something I said, too, and even if I didn’t, it’s the scene at which my friends dropped their vocal opposition to Jason Biggs. For the record, though, I have never called her “Pipes.”
"It’s trippy to watch an adapted version of some of the most intense, intimate moments of your life play out on TV, in some version of real time, and know millions of others have watched it as well and have formed an opinion of “Piper and Larry.” It’s one thing to see someone reading your wife’s book on the subway; quite another to be standing in line for a movie in Brooklyn and hear the guy in front of you say to his date, “That newsstand we passed looks just like the one where Larry in Orange Is the New Black bought all those papers that printed his article.” It’s like living an out-of-body experience out of someone else’s body.
It’s also surreal to be moved by your own fictional—though mostly true-to- life—marriage proposal, recited by someone else. It’s funny to at once wish I had said a few of the things Jason Biggs (who plays Larry) said to Taylor Schilling (who plays Piper) and also be annoyed the writers didn’t use some of my lines."
Good point! Especially since you come up with some pretty good ones! Oh, and here's Piper's:
"As she waited to be released, she watched Martha Stewart leave her prison in West Virginia by helicopter on the women’s unit TV. “That bitch stole my thunder,” she said."