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."
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."
"Now, I can only say that my worst job was being a professional literary agent in my 20s in the ’90s, which was obviously a much more pleasant job to have. I mean, I loved the people that I worked with and I loved my clients and I loved books and writing and publishing and I liked going to lunch for free with people that threatened to buy books from me. And I liked taking naps in the agency in the afternoon. Book publishing in the 1990s was still a very nap-tolerant industry.
So in all ways it was a wonderful job except for how I knew it wasn’t the job that I wanted in my life. What I wanted was to not represent the creative people I loved, but instead to be the creative person. So I spent seven years doing a job that I knew, and representing authors, but misrepresenting myself to them and to the world and to myself. Because I didn’t want to do it. It wasn’t what I wanted to do, and I was wasting time and I knew it, and I was scared to do anything about it until I finally did.
I hate to admit what a mind-blowing idea that was for me. It was the first time I actually thought of what it meant to be yourself.
This idea required more bravery and self-confidence than I was able to muster, so it was a gradual process of forming myself. I am sure this particular journey is about as generic as it gets, but for me, I believe I stood a good chance of not getting it, ever."
"Imagine you are standing in a room, between two walls. Imagine that you have two giant rubber bands around your waist, each stretching to an opposite wall, where it is securely attached. On the wall to your right, you see the words, “I want …” (we’ll use “to get better sleep” for our example). To the wall on your left, you see the words, “I can’t have what I want.”
As you move toward the thing you desire (in this case, better sleep), the tension of the rubber band attached to the “I want to get better sleep” wall loosens while the tension of the rubber band from the other wall grows stronger. Eventually the tension from that other wall becomes so strong, it slings you back in the other direction, toward “I can’t have what I want.” In other words, the more you work on sleeping better (going to bed earlier, reducing distractions, sleeping in when you can), the better sleep you will get (hopefully) and the less tension you will feel about needing better sleep. As you feel less tension about needing better sleep, you are then more likely to stay up later and get up early every day, thus pushing you back toward the “I can’t have what I want” stance and worse sleep.
Are you with me so far? As you ponder this, you will begin to see all kinds of “rubber bands” in your life. Some examples include: working hard to lose weight only to loosen up on your diet on exercise once you’ve lost that first 10 pounds; enforcing rules in your home in order to have more structure, only to find that you relax once the “structure” is in place and things once again become chaotic (leading to enforcing rules again); or frantically getting rid of clutter and finally being “clutter-free,” only to loosen up and then find your home cluttered again a few months later. These “rubber-band structures” are everywhere once you look. And they are, unfortunately, ultimately unsolvable. They keep us stuck in our “problems.” Psychologist Carl Jung observed the same phenomenon: “All the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble…. They can never be solved, but only outgrown. This “outgrowth” proved on further investigation to require a new level of consciousness. Some higher or wider interest appeared on the patient’s horizon, and through this broadening of his or her outlook the insoluble problem lost its urgency. It was not solved logically in its own terms but faded when confronted with a new and stronger life urge.”
If we deny our hate, and try to suppress our ambivalence, then we become risky to others. In this state of denial, intent on seeing only one side of our natures, we are apt to demonise others, to cheer tabloids when they ‘name and shame’ paedophiles; to wallow in the stories of Jimmy Savile’s abuses at the same time as we turn a blind eye to the moments when we lash out at our own children, or allow our own cruelty, rather than appropriate discipline, to inform our sanctions or punishments.
Becoming aware of our destructive impulses is painful, and it can bring on a degree of guilt-driven depression. But guilt sometimes has its uses. It can spur thought about how to do better next time; to repair what we might have damaged. And in the end, our children survive our hate, just as they survive our love."
"If you are a production line worker at a Foxconn factory in China, a retail operative at Walmart or a call-centre assistant at the Next offices in Leicestershire, the chances of finding any measure of creativity in your work are slim. They are sure to be less than those of the graphic designer using the Apple iPad, the billionaire inheritors of the Walmart fortune, or me sitting here typing this essay on my laptop. As much as our social hierarchies are about limiting and controlling access to wealth, they are also about limiting and controlling access to creativity. Increasingly, the real benefit that money buys is the time, freedom and power to act creatively.
The key to unlocking our full human potential lies in our creative drive. As a writer and critic of science fiction, I am fascinated by the prospect of a world where our full human potential has been realised, and I believe that a ‘creator culture’ is the necessary next step on the path to achieving that vision. We are already well on the way; it might arrive much sooner than many of us expect.
That’s because, though it isn’t a utopia itself, a creator culture might eventually let us bring about the utopian visions of science fiction. Imagine our planet populated by billions of humans, educated to the standard of the greatest scientists and given the freedom to cultivate their full measure of creativity. At our disposal is any technology we can conceive and create. Within our reach is a universe of unlimited resources. In the whole of that universe, humans are the only beings we know with the power of creation. And there are only a few billion of us — a large number on a small planet perhaps, a vanishingly small one in an infinite cosmos. We’re going to need the wondrous creativity of every single human being to knock this universe in to shape. I wonder, what will we create?
We need to learn this lesson as a culture. We have to place the human capacity to create at the very centre of our social and political life. Instead of treating it as a peripheral benefit of economic growth, we need to understand that our wealth only grows at the speed that we can develop our creative capacities. And we must realise that we can no longer afford to empower the creativity of the few at the cost of the many. Our systems of government, business and education must make it their mission to support the creative fulfilment of every human being."
"Do you have a dog? You could train it to leave deposits all over the corner of your yard where the bus pulls up. You are in a fix because the previous owners allowed your yard to be the designated waiting area for the school bus crew. Shooing people off is your right, but no matter how nicely you do it, there will be a general feeling that someone awful has moved in. Maybe there is a horticultural solution. You can put in some new plantings along the edge of your property and then place a small wire fence along the length of it. If people continue to trespass, you can open the door and explain you have plantings and need to keep them from being trampled. But start saving that money for a fence—you’re going to need it."
"He seems obsessed with the idea of my flashing truckers when we are on the road. He will pull up beside an 18-wheeler and slow down, expecting me to show off the goods. This makes me very uncomfortable. When I refuse, it turns into a huge fight and he ends up not speaking to me for days. He claims that he does so much for me every day and he can’t understand why I can’t do this thing for him. It has caused a lot of ridiculous fights between us. What can I do?"
"He gets turned on by your exposing yourself to strangers driving a rig who if they get distracted could squash you like a bug. The answer to your boyfriend’s request is very firm, “No.” If that causes him to stop speaking to you, then you need to extend the silence to forever because he’s simply a creep."
And finally...the story of the Bible hussy:
"This may be your community, but if it turns out they’re fine with you being called a hussy because you are dating someone who is not romantically interested in their self-appointed spiritual leader, then you’ve got to rethink what you’re doing there."