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."
"Give up hope. That’s right, get off the hope/despair roller coaster and realize once and for all: It’s hopeless! You should have known when a U.S. presidential candidate won an election on a platform of mere hope that it was time to give it up. Embrace hopelessness! It’s OK! It makes sense."
"I discovered alcohol in college, and it was love at first sip. Drinking filled a hole I’d always had in my soul and, from the first time I tried alcohol, I knew I had found what I’d been looking for. I was a blackout drinker from the beginning, and was never able to prioritize important life commitments over drinking. I spent most of my time chasing parties, and when I discovered cocaine a few years later, it completed my bread and butter.
Today I consider the lack of control I had over my drinking and drug use to be a blessing. It led me to an early bottom, when I was in my mid-20s. Now sober for more than four years, I still have my entire life in front of me. But I’m afraid my child will go down the same path.
When I discovered I was pregnant, my joy was quickly replaced by terror. Alcoholism runs not only in my family, but in my husband’s, as well. I felt guilt at the fact that I was choosing to bring a child into this world, and that she may have to spend her life fighting the demons that I fought, feeling the feelings that I felt, struggling with the disease that I have.
I thought back to my childhood and asked myself what my parents could have done differently to ensure that I wouldn’t have become an alcoholic, and that’s when the answer became clear: Absolutely nothing. From the time I was small, my alcoholism was written in my bones. The -isms were there before the alcohol was, and I always felt awkward, out of place, like my skin didn’t quite fit. The first sip of alcohol was, for me, medicinal. And there was no way my parents could have prevented me from taking a sip of a substance that is perfectly legal." (Washington Post)
"This lamp is promptly banned by his awful boss, Mr. Waturi, not for any logical reason—it isn’t distracting Joe or his coworkers, it certainly doesn’t detract from his work—but because Waturi thinks it’s frivolous. Work isn’t supposed to be fun in Mr. Waturi’s mind, and since he’s the boss he’s allowed to humiliate his worker by treating him like a child, at the same moment that he demands his worker put away childish things. Waturi is a walking Catch-22. But there’s something else at work here… Waturi is choosing to turn this office into a circle of hell. And Joe chose to leave his old job at the fire department, as he chooses each day not to look for better work. They’re all accepting that life is supposed to be nothing but toil and the grave, and that anything beyond that is somehow wrong. Waturi even mocks the idea that a normal adult could feel “good”—”I don’t feel good! Nobody feels good! After childhood, it’s a fact of life.”
The first 20 minutes of the film are so bleak, in fact, that when Joe is finally diagnosed with a terminal ‘braincloud’ his impending death comes as a relief. This moment is even coded as comforting in the film: where Mr. Waturi’s basement is a hideously green, fluorescent dungeon, the doctor’s office is warm and wood paneled, lit by small glowing lamps and a roaring fire. It’s the first inviting space we’ve seen in the film, and we’re only there, with Joe, to learn that he’s going to die. Then we’re shunted back to the office, where we have to confront the realities of capitalism again. Joe doesn’t have any savings, he can’t afford to go on a final trip, there’s a hole in the bucket list, but Joe has to quit. Even with that horror written on his face, he uses his last moments at American Panascope to appeal to his boss and coworkers. Surely they can see that life in this office is actually a living death?
When Waturi, sneers at him, “I promise you, you’ll be easy to replace!” Joe snaps, pushes Waturi against the wall, and yells, “And why, I ask myself, why have I put up with you? I can’t imagine, but now I know. Fear. Yellow freakin’ fear. I’ve been too chicken shit afraid to live my life so I sold it to you for three hundred freakin’ dollars a week! My life! I sold it to you for three hundred dollars a week! You’re lucky I don’t kill you!” This is the first time it becomes explicit: Joe has been selling his life without questioning the transaction (the way most of us do), and only now that he sees an endpoint does he realize how much more he was worth."
This American Life's middle section covers Chris Gethard doing a phone podcast show in which he talks to a guy...who probably reminds a lot of us of ourselves.
Well, it feels like this phone call is you taking one of the actions you say you don't usually take.
So I feel some responsibility to effect permanent change via this phone call.
Yeah. That'd be nice. I don't want to put that pressure on you.
No, I'll step up. I'll do my best.
What do I gotta do on this phone call? What do I gotta do in the next 49 minutes and 28 seconds? What do I gotta do to get you to never walk back into that office again? What do I gotta do to get you to get back in your car on this phone call and drive away from that office you hate while on this phone call?
I'm going to wonder forever if you did it. We got seven minutes and I'm not convinced.
Oh. I don't know. I'm not convinced either.
No! That's not the answer I wanted! I wanted you to say, no this has effected permanent change!
So I asked the guy did he go to that open mic the next night? Nah, he didn't make it. Right after talking to Chris though, he set a date. March 21st. That's when he'd quit his job and start living.
But then as the date got close, he told me he tried to do everything he could to undermine his own plan. He wasn't sure why, he just felt like he couldn't go through with it.
And then that same week, this conversation went out on Chris's podcast. He had no idea they were going to run it. But he listened to it and he heard himself talk for an hour about all these things he wants to do but never does. And then he did it. He went in to Bank Tech and quit.
Success at Work vs. Success at Life: "That said, it isn’t that all we need to do to succeed at life is flunk school. A good life requires us to do two very tricky things: be an extremely good boy or girl for 20 years; and simultaneously never really believe blindly in the long-term validity or seriousness of what we’re being asked to study. We need to be outwardly entirely obedient while inwardly intelligently and committedly rebellious."
Why You Probably Aren't Enjoying Your Life Very Much:"If you wonder why you made such momentous errors, the reason is painfully simple: you simply had no idea what was at stake. Long ago, you were left alone with a decision that you had no capacities to address sensibly. And now you are trapped in a cage built for you by a blind 20-year-old version of yourself. Our culture is mesmerised by the experiences of a small number of exceptional people who know from a young age what their talents and inclinations are and how best to direct them in the adult world. These people – the writer, the orchestra conductor, the priest, the scientist – are propelled by a calling and apparently guided by the hand of destiny. Impressed by these characters, our societies have fallen prey to the charming but reckless democratic idea that everyone has a professional destiny – and should be left alone to discover it. But, in truth, almost no one does have such a thing. Most of us hover weakly between multiple possibilities; we have no sense of what we would deeply enjoy, what is available and what we would be best suited to. Panicked, we therefore choose blindly, in a hurry, under pressure – and, inevitably, erroneously."
BLARPING--Business Live Action Role Play. I seriously don't get why this would be fun when we all live it IRL. "Inside the BLARP, people have fake roles—from the Head of Generic Operations to Executive Kitchen Coordinator. There have been parking disasters, nuclear meltdowns, office injuries, take your pet to work day, office parties, and more. An iguana population has claimed sovereign territory of the fourth floor—before the lizards were all made redundant. There are nearly 2,500 people participating in the group, running the gamut from a high schooler to actual corporate suits."
Things Have Always Been as Bad: "What we call the news is really a business that understands that you cannot make money by telling people that things are, on balance, going to be OK. The point of news is to make money by scaring us – and it does this brilliantly. It may be trying to inform us, but its chief aim is to ensure that we’ll be panicked enough to keep reading and watching."
"One of the greatest sources of anxiety in a Delayed Return Environment is the constant uncertainty. There is no guarantee that working hard in school will get you a job. There is no promise that investments will go up in the future. There is no assurance that going on a date will land you a soulmate. Living in a Delayed Return Environment means you are surrounded by uncertainty.
"As a psychotherapist with a private practice in Manhattan, I see a lot of early- and mid-career professionals coping with relentless email and social media obligations, the erasing of work/life boundaries, starting salaries that remain unchanged since the late 1990s. I see “aging” employees (30 and up) anxiously trying to adjust to a job market in which people have to change jobs repeatedly and cultivate their “personal brand.” No one uses all her vacation days. Everyone works longer hours than he would have a generation ago.
Psychotherapy, as a field, is not prepared to respond to the major social issues affecting our patients’ lives.
When people can’t live up to the increasingly taxing demands of the economy, they often blame themselves and then struggle to live with the guilt. You see this same tendency, of course, in a variety of contexts, from children of divorce who feel responsible for their parents’ separation to the “survivor guilt” of those who live through disasters. In situations that may seem impossible or unacceptable, guilt becomes a shield for the anger you otherwise would feel: The child may be angry with her parents for divorcing, the survivor may be angry with those who perished.
This is no different at the social level. When an economic system or government is responsible for personal harm, those affected can feel profoundly helpless, and cover that helplessness with self-criticism. Today, if you can’t become what the market wants, it can feel as if you are flawed and have no recourse except to be depressed.
Over the last 30 years, I believe, these changes in the workplace have been slowly taking a psychological toll, though in a more diffuse, less detectable way than with any one traumatic event. To a degree that they may not be aware of, people feel less hope and more stress; their self-regard is damaged; they believe they are fated to take what they can get; they exist in a state approaching learned helplessness.
There comes a time when people can’t take it anymore, when too much is being demanded of them. How much blame can people tolerate directing at themselves? When do they turn it outward?"