Tv Show Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Tv Show. Here they are! All 200 of them:

In California, they don't throw their garbage away - they make it into TV shows.
Woody Allen
Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers... Choose DSY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away in the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself, choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
It's a TV show. Only the emotional damage is real.
Steven Moffat
You show me a lazy prick who's lying in bed all day, watching TV, only occasionally getting up to piss, and I'll show you a guy who's not causing any trouble.
George Carlin (Brain Droppings)
THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.
Matt Haig (Reasons to Stay Alive)
Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people” as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day” and “Weather’s awful today, eh?”, you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry” or “What do you think deja vu is for?”. Face it, you even want to talk to that girl in the elevator. But what if that girl in the elevator (and the balding man who walks past your cubicle at work) are thinking the same thing? Who knows what you might learn from taking a chance on conversation with a stranger? Everyone carries a piece of the puzzle. Nobody comes into your life by mere coincidence. Trust your instincts. Do the unexpected. Find the others…
Timothy Leary
If by that you mean that I dislike celebrity magazines, prefer food to anorexia, refuse to watch TV shows about models, and hate the color pink, then yes. I am proud to be not really a girl.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
Every day's a negotiation and sometimes it's done with guns.
Joss Whedon
Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities and commercials.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?
Warren Ellis
For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn't immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script. It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
If I had my life to live over... Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind. If I had my life to live over again I would have waxed less and listened more. Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy and complaining about the shadow over my feet, I'd have cherished every minute of it and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was to be my only chance in life to assist God in a miracle. I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded. I would have eaten popcorn in the "good" living room and worried less about the dirt when you lit the fireplace. I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth. I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted while being stored. I would have sat cross-legged on the lawn with my children and never worried about grass stains. I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life. I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband which I took for granted. I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream. I would have gone to bed when I was sick, instead of pretending the Earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for a day. I would never have bought ANYTHING just because it was practical/wouldn't show soil/ guaranteed to last a lifetime. When my child kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now, go get washed up for dinner." There would have been more I love yous ... more I'm sorrys ... more I'm listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.
Erma Bombeck (Eat Less Cottage Cheese and More Ice Cream: Thoughts on Life from Erma Bombeck)
When I've really been in love with someone, it's not because they looked a certain way or liked a certain TV show or a certain cuisine. It's more because when I watched a certain TV show or ate a certain cuisine with them, it was the most fun thing ever.
Aziz Ansari (Modern Romance)
Their devotion showed me there were no versions of love there was only... Love. That it had no equal and that it was worth searching for, even if that search took a lifetime.
Jennifer Worth (The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times)
When life gives you lemons....they could really be oranges.
Ellen DeGeneres
Maybe I should, I don't know leave? Because this is starting to sound like one of those reality shows I don't want to be in. Maybe you guys want to take turns in the confessional booth.
Rachel Caine (Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4))
You can’t know, sweetie, because you’ve never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows, but the joy you bring us is so much greater than the sadness we feel about your illness.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Much of the conversation in the country consisted of lines from television shows, both past and present.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Knowing the right questions is better than knowing all the right answers" Caleb from Pretty Little Liars (TV Show)
Sara Shepard
The television commercial is not at all about the character of products to be consumed. It is about the character of the consumers of products.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
My boy, that was a TV show. I used a stunt double. I always use a stunt double. Except in love scenes. I insist on doing those myself.
William Shatner
Most people buy the highest quality television sets, only to watch the lowest quality television shows.

Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
Reading requires actual concentration. If you skipped a paragraph, or even an important sentence, you could lose the entire story. With most TV shows, though, you didn't have to concentrate at all. You could space out for a good ten minutes, then come back and still figure out what was going on.
Daniel Ehrenhaft (The Last Dog on Earth)
I'm not normally one to take advice from my fictional characters, but there comes a point in every girl's life where she reaches a crossroads: a night alone with her sweatpants and her favorite television show, or a party with real, live, breathing people.
Francesca Zappia (Eliza and Her Monsters)
I don't know about you, but I'm kind of fed up with realism. After all, there's enough reality already; why make more of it? Why not leave realism for the memoirs of drug addicts, the histories of salt, the biographies of porn stars? Why must we continue to read about the travails of divorced people or mildly depressed Canadians when we could be contemplating the shopping habits of zombies, or the difficulties that ensue when living and dead people marry each other? We should be demanding more stories about faery handbags and pyjamas inscribed with the diaries of strange women. We should not rest until someone writes about a television show that features the Free People's World-Tree Library, with its elaborate waterfalls and Forbidden Books and Pirate-Magicians. We should be pining for a house haunted by rabbits. (from the review of Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners in The Guardian)
Audrey Niffenegger
Choose Life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol, and dental insurance. Choose fixed interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage. Choose a three-piece suit on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who the fuck you are on Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit-crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pissing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourselves. Choose your future. Choose life… But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life. I chose somethin’ else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
I've always been a 'your parents have got to come up to the school' type of person. Even now, when I do something wrong - if I say something inappropriate on a live tv show, for example - I half expect to have to deliver a note to Barbara Brand: 'Please come up to Channel 4 head office, Russell's done something despicable.
Russell Brand (My Booky Wook)
That was some weird shit. A hospital run by demons, with a nursery run by a werewolf, a vampire and an ex-angel. There was a book or a TV show in there somewhere.
Larissa Ione (Immortal Rider (Lords of Deliverance, #2; Demonica, #7))
I like to stretch my mind by reading and writing and watching educational TV shows like The Bachelor to learn the complex mating rituals of heterosexuals.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
Buy or borrow self-improvement books, but don't read them. Stack them around your bedroom and use them as places to rest bowls of cookies. Watch exercise shows on television, but don't do the exercises. Practice believing that the benefit lies in imagining yourself doing the exercises. Don't power walk. Saunter slowly in the sun, eating chocolate, and carry a blanket so you can take a nap.
S.A.R.K.
Our life is one, big proverbial coin toss.
L.J. Smith
I can't recall a single amazing thing I have seen first hand that I didn't immediately reference to amp is of a TV show. You know the awful singsong the blasé: Seeeen it. I've literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can't anymore. I don't know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
I want to be with you so badly right now. i want to take you home with me, and put you in my bed and have hours and hours with your body wrapped up in mine and to do with as I wish. I want to have you in the morning so when we wake up I can make you come, saying my name...I want to watch some crap TV show and have you fall asleep against me on the couch so I can watch you and hear you breathing
Raine Miller (Naked (The Blackstone Affair, #1))
A human being weighing 70 kilograms contains among other things: -45 litres of water -Enough chalk to whiten a chicken pen -Enough phosphorus for 2,200 matches -Enough fat to make approximately 70 bars of soap -Enough iron to make a two inch nail -Enough carbon for 9,000 pencil points -A spoonful of magnesium I weigh more than 70 kilograms. And I remember a TV series called Cosmos. Carl Sagan would walk around on a set that was meant to look like space, speaking in large numbers. On one of the shows he sat in front of a tank full of all the substances human beings are made of. He stirred the tank with a stick wondering if he would be able to create life. He didn’t succeed.
Erlend Loe (Naïve. Super)
Never trust a hug. It’s just a way to hide your face.
Steven Moffat
I wanted to end it now, like a bad TV show turned off in the middle.
Tawni O'Dell (Back Roads)
In Norway they’re watching a TV show that’s just twelve hours of nonstop knitting: “from sheep to sweater.” To promote the notion of “Slow TV.
Hendrik Groen (The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old)
I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: "C-Students from Yale." George W. Bush has gathered around him upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka Christians, and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or PPs, the medical term for smart, personable people who have no consciences. To say somebody is a PP is to make a perfectly respectable diagnosis, like saying he or she has appendicitis or athlete's foot . . . PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. They have a screw loose! . . . So many of these heartless PPs now hold big jobs in our federal government, as though they were leaders instead of sick. They have taken charge of communications and the schools, so we might as well be Poland under occupation. They might have felt that taking our country into an endless war was simply something decisive to do. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. They are going to do something every fuckin' day and they are not afraid. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reasons that they don't give a fuck what happens next. Simply can't. Do this! Do that! Mobilize the reserves! Privatize the public schools! Attack Iraq! Cut health care! Tap everybody's telephone! Cut taxes on the rich! Build a trillion-dollar missile shield! Fuck habeas corpus and the Sierra Club and In These Times, and kiss my ass! There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (A Man Without a Country)
Damon: I wanted to apologize. Elena: Good. Damon: Let me finish. I said I wanted to. And then I realized, I’m not sorry. Elena: You would rather die than be human, and you expect me to be okay with that? Damon: I didn’t say you were supposed to be okay with it, I just said I’m not sorry. But you know what I really am? Selfish, because I make bad choices that hurt you. Yes, I would rather have died than be human. I’d rather die right now than spend a handful of years with you, only to lose you when I’m too old and sick and miserable and you’re still you. I’d rather die right now than spend my last final years remembering how good I had it and how happy I was, because that’s who I am, Elena, and I’m not gonna change. And there’s no apology in the world that encompasses all the reasons that I’m wrong for you. Elena: Fine, then I’m not sorry either. I’m not sorry that I met you. I’m not sorry that knowing you has made me question everything, that in death you’re the one that made me feel most alive. You’ve been a terrible person, you’ve made all the wrong choices, and of all the choices that I’ve made this will prove to be the worst one. But I am not sorry that I’m in love with you. I love you, Damon. I love you.
L.J. Smith
The moral nihilism of celebrity culture is played out on reality television shows, most of which encourage a dark voyeurism into other people's humiliation, pain, weakness, and betrayal.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
...Oh god. I'm one of those girls." "What girls?" he asked, perplexed. "Those girls. The ones in all those books and TV shows. Some dumb high school girl falls in love with some supernatural guy, and he's all, 'Behold, I am five million years old!' and she's all, 'Oh my god, how can you ever love pathetic little me!' and he's like, 'Because of destiny!' or whatever. It's just so...ew. You know?
Lindsay Ribar (The Art of Wishing (The Art of Wishing, #1))
Why isn’t there a reality TV show filled with hot guys doing sweaty, mouthwatering tasks? Oh, right. That’s called sports
Cora Carmack (All Broke Down (Rusk University, #2))
[It] is not that television is entertaining but that it has made entertainment itself the natural format for the representation of all experience. […] The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining. (87)
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Remember! Reality's an illusion, the universe is a hologram, buy gold! Byeeee!
Bill Cipher Gravity Falls tv show
Please accept this sandwich as a gesture of solidarity.
Castiel
Surely it wasn't possible that Vin diPietro was the first assignment. "Hello?" DiPietro waved. "You in there?" Nah, Jim thought. Can't be. That would be above and beyond any call of duty. Over the guy's shoulder, the commercial that was on the TV suddenly showed a price of $49.99-no, $29.99, with a little red arrow that ... considering where Vin was standing, poined right at his head. "Sh*t, no" Jim muttered. This was the guy? On the Tv screen, some woman in a pink bathrobe smiled up at the camera and mouthed, Yes, it is!
J.R. Ward (Covet (Fallen Angels, #1))
Anyway. I’m not allowed to watch TV, although I am allowed to rent documentaries that are approved for me, and I can read anything I want. My favorite book is A Brief History of Time, even though I haven’t actually finished it, because the math is incredibly hard and Mom isn’t good at helping me. One of my favorite parts is the beginning of the first chapter, where Stephen Hawking tells about a famous scientist who was giving a lecture about how the earth orbits the sun, and the sun orbits the solar system, and whatever. Then a woman in the back of the room raised her hand and said, “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” So the scientist asked her what the tortoise was standing on. And she said, “But it’s turtles all the way down!” I love that story, because it shows how ignorant people can be. And also because I love tortoises.
Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)
The worst thing we know about other people is that we’re dependent upon them. That their actions affect our lives. Not just the people we choose, the people we like, but all the rest of them: the idiots. You who stand in front of us in every line, who can’t drive properly, who like bad television shows and talk too loud in restaurants and whose kids infect our kids with the winter vomiting bug at preschool. You who park badly and steal our jobs and vote for the wrong party. You also influence our lives, every second.
Fredrik Backman (Us Against You (Beartown, #2))
Is it just me or is this like a bad TV sci-fi show?
John Ringo (When the Devil Dances (Posleen War, #3))
I know what I want and what I don’t want. I’ve never wanted sex. Never. I’ve never understood why it has to be in every book and movie and television show ever made. I never figured out why porn is such a huge thing. I'll be fine if no guy ever takes his shirt off for me. I’m not scared, I just don’t want it.
Kathryn Ormsbee (Tash Hearts Tolstoy)
Hermes's eyes twinkled. "Martha, may I have the first package, please?" Martha opened her mouth ... and kept opening it until it was as wide as my arm. She belched out a stainless steel canister-an old-fashioned lunch box thermos with a black plastic top. The sides of the thermos were enameled with red and yellow Ancient Greek scenes-a hero killing a lion; a hero lifting up Cerberus, the three-headed dog. "That's Hercules," I said. "But how-" "Never question a gift," Hermes chided. "This is a collector's item from Hercules Busts Heads. The first season." "Hercules Busts Heads?" "Great show." Hermes sighed. "Back before Hephaestus-TV was all reality programming. Of course, the thermos would be worth much more if I had the whole lunch box-
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
I’ve seen trans people in movies and TV shows, but judging by how unrealistic and shitty bi characters tend to be, I’m gonna assume I know nothing. So what’s okay for me to ask?
Meredith Russo (If I Was Your Girl)
We all have secrets we keep locked away from the rest of the world... Friendships we pretend... Relationships we hide... But worst of all... Love we never let show. The most dangerous secrets a person can bury are those we keep from ourselves
Emily Thorne
It's easy to write upcoming scenes in books and television shows. Trusting God to write them in real life is a lot harder. But it's worth it. And you have to admit, it's an adventure.
Janice Thompson (Stars Collide (Backstage Pass, #1))
You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love 'til it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other until it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. Love isn't brains, children, it's blood -- blood screaming inside you to work its will. I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.
Joss Whedon
We are in the same tent as the clowns and the freaks-that's show business.
Edward R. Murrow
Saturday morning was their unrestricted television time, and they usually took advantage of it to watch a series of cartoon shows that would certainly have been impossible before the discovery of LSD.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3))
Closing The Cycle One always has to know when a stage comes to an end. If we insist on staying longer than the necessary time, we lose the happiness and the meaning of the other stages we have to go through. Closing cycles, shutting doors, ending chapters - whatever name we give it, what matters is to leave in the past the moments of life that have finished. Did you lose your job? Has a loving relationship come to an end? Did you leave your parents' house? Gone to live abroad? Has a long-lasting friendship ended all of a sudden? You can spend a long time wondering why this has happened. You can tell yourself you won't take another step until you find out why certain things that were so important and so solid in your life have turned into dust, just like that. But such an attitude will be awfully stressing for everyone involved: your parents, your husband or wife, your friends, your children, your sister, everyone will be finishing chapters, turning over new leaves, getting on with life, and they will all feel bad seeing you at a standstill. None of us can be in the present and the past at the same time, not even when we try to understand the things that happen to us. What has passed will not return: we cannot for ever be children, late adolescents, sons that feel guilt or rancor towards our parents, lovers who day and night relive an affair with someone who has gone away and has not the least intention of coming back. Things pass, and the best we can do is to let them really go away. That is why it is so important (however painful it may be!) to destroy souvenirs, move, give lots of things away to orphanages, sell or donate the books you have at home. Everything in this visible world is a manifestation of the invisible world, of what is going on in our hearts - and getting rid of certain memories also means making some room for other memories to take their place. Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else. Nothing is more dangerous than not accepting love relationships that are broken off, work that is promised but there is no starting date, decisions that are always put off waiting for the "ideal moment." Before a new chapter is begun, the old one has to be finished: tell yourself that what has passed will never come back. Remember that there was a time when you could live without that thing or that person - nothing is irreplaceable, a habit is not a need. This may sound so obvious, it may even be difficult, but it is very important. Closing cycles. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because that no longer fits your life. Shut the door, change the record, clean the house, shake off the dust. Stop being who you were, and change into who you are.
Paulo Coelho
Jordan leaned on the counter. He felt a little like a bartender in a TV show, dispensing sage advice. "What do you owe her?" "Life," Isabelle said. Jordan blinked. This was a little beyond his bartending and advice-offering skills. "She saved your life?" "She saved Jace's life. She could have had anything from the Angel Raziel, and she saved my brother. I've only ever trusted a few people in my life. Really trusted. My mother, Alec, Jace, and Max. I lost one of them already. Clary's the only reason I didn't lose another.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Jesus Christ, MTV would make a mint with a reality TV show about their unit. The relationship drama alone would carry the ratings, forget the actual fieldwork.
Charlie Cochet (Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, #3))
Your soul will be canceled like a dumb TV show.
Michael Poore (Reincarnation Blues)
You and your scars. Please! You don't kill youself like this!" I gesture, holding a wrist turned up to the ceiling, then pretending to cut across it with my other hand. "That's just a cry for help. That's just attention. Everbody knows that. Cutting across just gets you to the hospital. That's just from movies and TV shows and stuff like that. You didn't really try to kill yourself. you just wanted attention, but you screwed up. Try harder next time.
Barry Lyga
Life is a battle, and you either enter it armed, or surrender immediately.
the TV show "Gilmore Girls"
You are not a grenade, not to us. Thinking about you dying makes us sad, Hazel, but you are not a grenade. You are amazing. You can’t know, sweetie, because you’ve never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows, but the joy you bring us is so much greater than the sadness we feel about your illness.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
If we were to do the Second Coming of Christ in color for a full hour, there would be a considerable number of stations which would decline to carry it on the grounds that a Western or a quiz show would be more profitable.
Edward R. Murrow
Vampires were hardly the monsters we were made out to be in fairy tales and television shows. We were hardly different from humans, but for the genetic mutation, fangs, silvering eyes, and periodic penchant for blood. What? I said hardly different.
Chloe Neill (Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2))
Our lack of community is intensely painful. A TV talk show is not community. A couple of hours in a church pew each Sabbath is not community. A multinational corporation is neither a human nor a community, and in the sweatshops, defiled agribusiness fields, genetic mutation labs, ecological dead zones, the inhumanity is showing. Without genuine spiritual community, life becomes a struggle so lonely and grim that even Hillary Clinton has admitted "it takes a village".
David James Duncan
Maybe they'd use biological or chemical weapons instead. Maybe they'd crash the world economy. Maybe they'd turn every program on television into one of those reality shows." "That's mostly done already, Harry." "Oh. Well. I've got to believe that the world is worth saving anyway.
Jim Butcher (Small Favor (The Dresden Files, #10))
Romance Make eye contact. Show your form. Strut. Grunt. Throw a stick. Grunt some more. Make some moves. Romance is hard work. It looks easy on TV. I'm not sure I will ever get the hang of it.
Katherine Applegate (The One and Only Ivan)
You know what I noticed when I was with Jacob? In your world, people can reach each other in an instant. There's the telephone, and the fax - and on the computer you can talk to someone all the way around the world. You've got people telling their secrets on TV talk shows, and magazines that publish pictures of movie stars trying to hide their homes. All those connections, but everyone there seems so lonely.
Jodi Picoult (Plain Truth)
[The modern age] knows nothing about isolation and nothing about silence. In our quietest and loneliest hour the automatic ice-maker in the refrigerator will cluck and drop an ice cube, the automatic dishwasher will sigh through its changes, a plane will drone over, the nearest freeway will vibrate the air. Red and white lights will pass in the sky, lights will shine along highways and glance off windows. There is always a radio that can be turned to some all-night station, or a television set to turn artificial moonlight into the flickering images of the late show. We can put on a turntable whatever consolation we most respond to, Mozart or Copland or the Grateful Dead.
Wallace Stegner (Angle of Repose)
I've never been in love, but I've always imagined it--weirdly--like some sort of OxiClean commercial. The TV host shows a scene from an ordinary day, and then takes a big old sponge soaked in love and swipes away the stains. Suddenly that same scene is missing all the mistakes, all the loneliness. The colors are like jewels, ten times richer than they were before. The music is louder and clearer. "Love," the host will say, "makes life a little brighter.
Jodi Picoult (Between the Lines (Between the Lines, #1))
Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.
Helena Kvarnstrom
Television is our culture's principal mode of knowing about itself. Therefore -- and this is the critical point -- how television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged. It is not merely that on the television screen entertainment is the metaphor for all discourse. It is that off the screen the same metaphor prevails. (92)
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. With the laugh comes the tears and in developing motion pictures or television shows, you must combine all the facts of life — drama, pathos and humor.
Walt Disney Company
The new America, instead, is fast becoming a vast ghetto in which all of us, conservatives and progressives, are being bled dry by a relatively tiny oligarchy of extremely clever financial criminals and their castrato henchmen in government, whose job is to be good actors on TV and put on a good show.
Matt Taibbi (Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America)
To them, pain was a country they had heard of, maybe watched a show about on TV, but one whose stamp had not yet been made in their passports.
Janet Fitch (White Oleander)
In America, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and it is certainly useful to have a few when a pollster shows up. But these are opinions of a quite different roder from eighteenth- or nineteenth-century opinions. It is probably more accurate to call them emotions rather than opinions, which would account for the fact that they change from week to week, as the pollsters tell us. What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of 'being informed' by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation. I am using this world almost in the precise sense in which it is used by spies in the CIA or KGB. Disinformation does not mean false information. It means misleading information--misplace, irrelevant, fragmented or superficial information--information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing. In saying this, I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed. Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
So here’s a really stupid thing about the world: The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don’t care. I didn’t care about the gravitas of that TV show, and the freedom and security and confidence that came with that was a rush. It took me a while to realize that the feeling I was feeling was power.
Hank Green (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (The Carls, #1))
In every moment a choice exists. We can cling to the past or embrace the inevitability of change and allow a brighter future to unfold before us.
Julie Plec
...normally I consider nostalgia to be a toxic impulse. It is the twinned, yearning delusion that (a) the past was better (it wasn´t) and (b) it can be recaptured (it can´t) that leads at best to bad art, movie versions of old TV shows, and sad dads watching Fox news. At worst it leads to revisionist, extremist politics, fundamentalist terrorism, and the victory-in Appalachia in particular-of a narcissist Manhattan cartoon maybe-millionaire and cramped-up city creep who, if he ever did go up to Rocky Top in real life, would never come down again.
John Hodgman (Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches)
I was about 12 years old and I was sitting watching the television and it was some kind of talent show, you know, and on marches this monkey, this ape, in a pair of red-checked trousers with a little matching jacket holding a ukelele and it started jigging around playing it, and it was looking straight into the camera, straight at me, and I remember thinking, that's it, that'll be me, you know, that'll be me.
Nick Cave
Hermes rolled his eyes. "Surely you've seen network TV lately. It's clear they don't know whether they're coming or going. That's because Janus is in charge of programming. He loves ordering new shows and cancelling them after two episodes. God of beginnings and endings, after all. Anyway, I was bringing him some magic doormats, and I was double-parked-" "You have to worry about double-parking?" "Will you let me tell the story?" "Sorry.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus))
For the message of television as metaphor is not only that all the world is a stage but that the stage is located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
I do not mean to imply that television news deliberately aims to deprive Americans of a coherent, contextual understanding of their world. I mean to say that when news is packaged as entertainment, that is the inevitable result. And in saying that the television news show entertains but does not inform, I am saying something far more serious than that we are being deprived of authentic information. I am saying we are losing our sense of what it means to be well informed.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
It is possible to be a fan of reality TV, talent shows and bubblegum pop and still have a brain. You will also see that a great many people know perfectly well how silly and camp and trivial their fandom is. They do not check in their minds when they enter a fan site. Judgement is not necessarily fled to brutish beasts, and men have not quite lost their reason. Which is all a way of questioning whether pop-culture hero worship is really so psychically damaging, so erosive of cognitive faculties, so corrupting of the soul of mankind as we are so often told.
Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles)
Still, American television is full of smiles and more and more perfect-looking teeth. Do these people want us to trust them? No. Do they want us to think they're good people? No again. The truth is they don't want anything from us. They just want to show us their teeth, their smiles, and admiration is all they want in return. Admiration. They want us to look at them, that's all. Their perfect teeth, their perfect bodies, their perfect manners, as if they were constantly breaking away from the sun and they were little pieces of fire, little pieces of blazing hell, here on this planet simply to be worshipped.
Roberto Bolaño (2666)
I'm so not interesting in having to try and make something out of foil." What, you didn't like the poncho with wraparound leggings?" It was beyond hideou- wait a minute. You watch that show?" My mom loves it." But your suppose to be sulking in the basement getting ready to light fires." What can I say? I'm a failure as a teenager. I watch TV with my mom.
Elizabeth Scott (The Unwritten Rule)
This was insane. What was wrong with the world? Didn’t they know that ghosts and supernatural powers where little girls helped their dads and uncles solve case didn’t exist? It was books. It was television shows and movies. They had desensitized the world. "Damn writers.
Darynda Jones (Fifth Grave Past the Light (Charley Davidson, #5))
He does have immaculate taste. He's sensitive to the most minuscule of aesthetic failures, in painting, in cinema, even in novels or television shows. Sometimes when Marianne mentions a film she has recently watched, he waves his hand and says: It fails for me. This quality of discernment, she has realised, does not make Lukas a good person. He has managed to nurture a fine artistic sensitivity without ever developing any real sense of right and wrong. The fact that this is even possible unsettles Marianne, and makes art seem pointless suddenly.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
Sometimes I felt that growing up and being a girl was about learning to be afraid. Not paranoid, exactly, but always alert and aware, like checking out the exits in the movie theatre or the fire escape in a hotel. You came to know, in a way you hadn't as a kid, that the body you inhabited was vulnerable, imperfectly fortified. On TV, in the papers, in books and movies, it isn't ever men being raped or kidnapped or bludgeoned or dismembered or burned with acid. But in stories and crime shows and TV series and movies and in life too, it's going on all the time, all around you. So you learn, in your mind, that your body needs to be protected. It's both precious and totally dispensable, depending on whom you encounter.
Claire Messud (The Burning Girl)
Sometimes when you read a book or watch a TV show, you see the people and you think, Don’t do that. Don’t open that door. Don’t answer that phone. You know everything is about to change. “Stop!” you want to say. “Rewrite the story. Rewind the tape. Don’t let it happen that way.” But you can’t. The people always open the door or answer the phone. The bad thing always happens, and there is nothing you can do about it.
M.H. Herlong (The Great Wide Sea)
But I'm also addicted to books. And I know there has never been a human being or a television show, no matter how great, that could measure up to a great book.
Sherman Alexie (Flight)
Kids don't watch when they are stimulated and look away when they are bored. They watch when they understand and look away when they are confused. If you are in the business of educational television, this is a critical difference. It means if you want to know whether-and what-kids are learning from a TV show, all you have to do is to notice what they are watching. And if you want to know what kids aren't learning, all you have to do is notice what they aren't watching. Preschoolers are so sophisticated in their viewing behavior that you can determine the stickiness of children's programming by simple observation.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
I believe that, not only in chess, but in life in general, people place too much stock in ratings – they pay attention to which TV shows have the highest ratings, how many friends they have on Facebook, and it’s funny. The best shows often have low ratings and it is impossible to have thousands of real friends.
Boris Gelfand
...Television is cretinizing me – I can feel it. Soon I’ll be like the TV artists. You know the people I mean. Girls who subliminally model themselves on kid-show presenters, full of faulty melody and joy, Melody and Joy. Men whose manners show newscaster interference, soap stains, film smears. Or the cretinized, those who talk on buses and streets as if TV were real, who call up networks with strange questions, stranger demands...If you lose your rug, you can get a false one. If you lose your laugh, you can get a false one. If you lose your mind, you can get a false one.
Martin Amis (Money)
This other time, Attikol had the streets of San Francisco rearranged just so this lady's favorite show The Streets of San Francisco would be more accurate.
Rob Reger (The Lost Days (Emily the Strange, #1))
I want to be there when you get Cubbin. And I don’t want to be left out of the television show either. Little people are sexy now. Have you seen Game of Thrones? We’re hot.
Janet Evanovich (Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum, #19))
Books have survived television, radio, talking pictures, circulars (early magazines), dailies (early newspapers), Punch and Judy shows, and Shakespeare's plays. They have survived World War II, the Hundred Years' War, the Black Death, and the fall of the Roman Empire. They even survived the Dark Ages, when almost no one could read and each book had to be copied by hand. They aren't going to be killed off by the Internet.
Vicki Myron (Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World)
I still remember the day I got my first calculator Teacher: All right, children, welcome to fourth grade math. Everyone take a calculator out of the bin. Me: What are these? Teacher: From now on we'll be using calculators. Me: What do these things do? Teacher: Simple operations, like multiplication and division. Me: You mean this device just...does them? By itself? Teacher: Yes. You enter in the problem and press equal. Me: You...you knew about this machine all along, didn't you? This whole time, while we were going through this...this charade with the pencils and the line paper and the stupid multiplication tables!...I'm sorry for shouting...It's just...I'm a little blown away. Teacher: Okay, everyone, today we're going to go over some word problems. Me: What the hell else do you have back there? A magical pen that writes book reports by itself? Some kind of automatic social studies worksheet that...that fills itself out? What the hell is going on? Teacher: If a farmer farms five acres of land a day-- Me: So that's it, then. The past three years have been a total farce. All this time I've been thinking, "Well, this is pretty hard and frustrating but I guess these are useful skills to have." Meanwhile, there was a whole bin of these things in your desk. We could have jumped straight to graphing. Unless, of course, there's some kind of graphing calculator! Teacher: There is. You get one in ninth grade. Me: Is this...Am I on TV? Is this a prank show? Teacher: No.
Simon Rich (Ant Farm and Other Desperate Situations)
Scattered, disconnected pieces of thoughts broadcast straight into Sophie’s brain- like being in a room with hundreds of TV’s blaring different shows at the same time. They sliced into her consciousness, leaving sharp pains in their wake. She was a freak.
Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #1))
With winter the feeling had deepened. I would see a neighbor running along the sidewalk in front of the house, training, I imagined, for a climb up Kilimanjaro. Or a friend at my book club giving a blow-by-blow of her bungee jump from a bridge in Australia. Or - and this was the worst of all - a TV show about some intrepid woman traveling alone in the blueness of Greece, and I'd be overcome by the little sparks that seemed to run beneath all that, the blood/sap/wine, aliveness, whatever it was. It had made me feel bereft over the immensity of the world, the extraordinary things people did with their lives - though, really, I didn't want to do any of those particular things. I didn't know then what I wanted, but the ache for it was palpable.
Sue Monk Kidd (The Mermaid Chair)
People of a television culture need “plain language” both aurally and visually, and will even go so far as to require it in some circumstances by law. The Gettysburg Address would probably have been largely incomprehensible to a 1985 audience.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
during this century (the twentieth) we have for the first time been dominated by non-interactive forms of entertainment: cinema, radio, recorded music and television. Before they came along all entertainment was interactive: theatre, music, sport - the performers and audience were there together, and even a respectfully silent audience exerted a powerful shaping presence on the unfolding of whatever drama they were there for. We didn't need a special word for interactivity in the same way that we don't (yet) need a special word for people with only one head. I expect that history will show "normal" mainstream twentieth century media to be the aberration in all this. 'Please, miss, you mean they could only just sit there and watch? They couldn't do anything? Didn't everybody feel terribly isolated or alienated or ignored?' Yes, child, that's why they all went mad. Before the Restoration.' What was the Restoration again, please, miss?' The end of the twentieth century, child. When we started to get interactivity back.
Douglas Adams
This isn't television! This isn't a movie! Giles and Buffy aren't gonna appear and show us how to deal with our wonderful new powers! Some fricking owl isn't gonna come sailing in through your window from Hogwarts! There's no Dumbledore! The Cullens aren't gonna show up and invite you to live with them in Forks! There's nothing! This isn't make believe! This is it! It's us and only us.
Robin Benway
Part calico choir girl...........and part satin dance hall doll, with amber eyes and a dash of hellcat red in her hair --- the kind of woman that a man wants in his bedroom when he's sick.............and in his bed when he's not.
Linda Bloodworth-Thomason
Inside the hole, the red lips say, ”we all grew up with the same television shows. It’s like we all have the same artificial memory implants. We remember almost none of our real childhoods, but we remember everything that happened to sitcom families. We have the same basic goals. We all have the same fears.” The lips say, ”The future is not bright.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
She dances a little jig. "This would make one hell of a TV show, huh?" "Yeah. But no one would believe it." I should let it go. But it's like the hole, like the door, and I have to know. Or at least, I have to ask. "Hey, Dulcie, was any of that real?" She finishes her dance and the wings come to rest. "Who's to say what's real or not?" "Yeah, but--my barometer on reality, not so good since I started going crazy. "Yeah, well, who but the mad would choose to keep on living? In the end, aren't we all just a little crazy?
Libba Bray (Going Bovine)
I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress.
Gary Webb (Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Cocaine Explosion)
Every time I see this one particular movie star on a magazine, I can't help but feel terribly sorry for her because nobody respects her at all, and yet they keep interviewing her. And the interviews are all the same thing. They start with what food they are eating in some restaurant. "As _____ gingerly munched her Chinese Chicken Salad, she spoke of love." And all the covers say the same thing: "_____ gets to the bottom of stardom, love, and his/her hit new movie/television show/album." I think it's nice for stars to do interviews to make us think they are just like us, but to tell you the truth, I get the feeling that it's all a big lie. The problem is I don't know who's lying.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
I worry about exposing him to bands like Journey, the appreciation of which will surely bring him nothing but the opprobrium of his peers. Though he has often been resistant - children so seldom know what is good for them - I have taught him to appreciate all the groundbreaking musicmakers of our time - Big Country, Haircut 100, Loverboy - and he is lucky for it. His brain is my laboratory, my depository. Into it I can stuff the books I choose, the television shows, the movies, my opinion about elected officials, historical events, neighbors, passersby. He is my twenty-four-hour classroom, my captive audience, forced to ingest everything I deem worthwhile. He is a lucky, lucky boy! And no one can stop me.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
We're all trapped. It's always 1734. All of us, we're stuck in the same time capsule, the same as those television shows where the same people are marooned on the same desert island for thirty seasons and never age or escape. They just wear more makeup. In a creepy way, those shows are maybe too authentic.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Generally speaking, though, Americans have an inability to relax into sheer pleasure. Ours is an entertainment-seeking nation, but not necessarily a pleasure-seeking one. Americans spend billions to keep themselves amused with everything from porn to theme parks to wars, but that's not exactly the same thing as quiet enjoyment. Americans work harder and longer and more stressful hours than anyone in the world today. But...we seem to like it. Alarming statistics back this observation up, showing that many Americans feel more happy and fulfilled in their offices than they do in their own homes. Of course, we all inevitably work too hard, then we get burned out and have to spend the whole weekend in our pajamas, eating cereal straight out of the box and staring at the TV in a mild coma (which is the opposite of working, yes, but not exactly the same thing as pleasure). Americans don't really know how to do NOTHING. This is the cause of that great sad American stereotype-the overstressed executive who goes on vacation but who cannot relax.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Perhaps it would have been easier if I said that not being able to find something is like suddenly not remembering the words to your favorite song that you knew by heart. It’s like suddenly forgetting the name of someone you know really well and see every day, or the name of a television show you watched for years. It’s something so frustrating that it plays on your mind over and over again because you know there’s an answer but no one can tell you it. It niggles and niggles at me and I can’t rest until I know the answers.
Cecelia Ahern
The man sitting across from me at the cafe was thinking about murdering his wife. He imagined stabbing her and pretending like it was a robbery. Or perhaps, he thought, he'd take her hiking, push her off a cliff and say it was an accident; that she'd slipped. I wanted to tell him it wouldn't work, that in those CSI shows on T.V. they always suspected the husband first.
Lori Brighton (The Mind Readers (Mind Readers, #1))
He was a boy, she was a girl Can I make it any more obvious, He was a punk, she did ballet, What more can I say, He wanted her, she wouldn't tell, but secretly she wanted him as well, All of her friends stuck up their nose, They had a problem with his baggy clothes He was a sk8er boi, she said "see you later boy" he wasn't good enough for her, he was a sk8er boi, she said "see you later boy", he wasn't good enough for her. Five years from now, she sits at home, feeding the baby, she's all alone, she turns on TV, guess who she sees, sk8er boi rockin' on MTV, she calls up her friends, they already know, and they got tickets to see his show
Avril Lavigne (Avril LaVigne - Let Go)
Walk some night on a suburban street and pass house after house on both sides of the same street each with the lamplight of the living room, shining golden, and inside the little blue square of the television, each living family riveting its attention on probably one show; nobody talking; silence in the yards; dogs barking at you because you pass on human feet instead of wheels.
Geoff Nicholson (The Lost Art of Walking: The History, Science, and Literature of Pedestrianism)
Thom pulled nervously at his ‘Kings’ t-shirt. The Kings are a brutal West African gang that he follows onscreen. Such ‘tourist shows’, as I understand they are called, have become wildly popular in recent years, as global unrest makes actual travel less popular. Armoured imaging teams, using tiny remote drone cameras known as ‘flies’, take the viewer inside the violent, gang-controlled regions of Nigeria and Cameroon. Using a touch screen, viewers (or ‘zoners’ as they are sometimes called) can follow the action from multiple angles while cheering on their favourite gang.
Paul Christensen (Reveries of the Dreamking)
Well, I'm glad you're so amused," I said, running my fingers across the railing. Maxon hopped up to sit on the railing, looking very relaxed. "You're always amusing. Get used to it." Hmm. He was almost being funny. "So...about what you said...," he started tentatively. "Which part? The part about me calling you names or fighting with my mom or saying food was my motivation?" I rolled my eyes. He laughed once. "The part about me being good..." "Oh. What about it?" Those few sentences suddenly seemed more embarrassing than anything else I'd said. I ducked my head down and twisted a piece of my dress. "I appreciate you making things look authentic, but you didn't need to go that far." My head snapped up. How could he think that? "Maxon, that wasn't for the sake of the show. If you had asked me a month ago what my honest opinion of you was, it would have been very different. But now I know you, and I know the truth, and you are everything I said you were. And more." He was quiet, but there was a small smile on his face. "Thank you," he finally said. "Anytime." Maxon cleared his throat. "He'll be lucky, too." He got down from his makeshift seat and walked to my side of the balcony. "Huh?" "Your boyfriend. When he comes to his senses and begs you to take him back," Maxon said matter-of-factly. I had to laugh. No such thing would happen in y world. "he's not my boyfriend anymore. And he made it pretty clear he was gone with me." Even I could hear the tiny bit of hope in my voice. "Not possible. He'll have seen you on TV by now and fallen for you all over again. Though, in my opinion, you're still much too good for the dog." Maxon spoke almost as if he was bored, like he'd seen this happen a million times. "Speaking of which!" he said a bit louder. "If you don't want me to be in love with you, you're going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I'm having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you." I hit his arm. "Shut up, Maxon." "I'm not kidding. You're too beautiful for your own good. Once you leave, we'll have to send some of the guards with you. You'll never survive on your own, poor thing." He said all this with mock pity. "I can't help it." I sighed. "One can never help being born into perfection." I fanned my face as if being so pretty was exhausting. "No, I don't suppose you can help it.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
No one will know if you stay in bed all day. No one will know if you wear the same sweatpants for the entire month, if you eat every meal in front of television shows and use T-shirts as napkins. Go ahead and listen to that same song on repeat until its sound turns to nothing and you sleep the winter away. I
Nina LaCour (We Are Okay)
Go after her. Fuck, don’t sit there and wait for her to call, go after her because that’s what you should do if you love someone, don’t wait for them to give you a sign cause it might never come, don’t let people happen to you, don’t let me happen to you, or her, she’s not a fucking television show or tornado. There are people I might have loved had they gotten on the airplane or run down the street after me or called me up drunk at four in the morning because they need to tell me right now and because they cannot regret this and I always thought I’d be the only one doing crazy things for people who would never give enough of a fuck to do it back or to act like idiots or be entirely vulnerable and honest and making someone fall in love with you is easy and flying 3000 miles on four days notice because you can’t just sit there and do nothing and breathe into telephones is not everyone’s idea of love but it is the way I can recognize it because that is what I do. Go scream it and be with her in meaningful ways because that is beautiful and that is generous and that is what loving someone is, that is raw and that is unguarded, and that is all that is worth anything, really.
Harvey Milk
...On television, religion, like everything else, is presented, quite simply and without apology, as an entertainment. Everything that makes religion an historic, profound, sacred human activity is stripped away; there is no ritual, no dogma, no tradition, no theology, and above all, no sense of spiritual transcendence.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Men write more books. Men give more lectures. Men ask more questions after lectures. Men post more e-mail to Internet discussion groups. To say this is due to patriarchy is to beg the question of the behavior's origin. If men control society, why don't they just shut up and enjoy their supposed prerogatives? The answer is obvious when you consider sexual competition: men can't be quiet because that would give other men a chance to show off verbally. Men often bully women into silence, but this is usually to make room for their own verbal display. If men were dominating public language just to maintain patriarchy, that would qualify as a puzzling example of evolutionary altruism—a costly, risky individual act that helps all of one's sexual competitors (other males) as much as oneself. The ocean of male language that confronts modern women in bookstores, television, newspapers, classrooms, parliaments, and businesses does not necessarily come from a male conspiracy to deny women their voice. It may come from an evolutionary history of sexual selection in which the male motivation to talk was vital to their reproduction.
Geoffrey Miller (The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature)
Boy bands, fan fiction, soap operas, reality TV, most shows and movies with female main characters . . . We’re still so rarely front and center, even rarer when you consider race and sexuality, and then when we do get something that’s just for us, we’re made to feel bad for liking it. We can’t win.
Rachel Lynn Solomon (Today Tonight Tomorrow)
television’s way of knowing is uncompromisingly hostile to typography’s way of knowing; that television’s conversations promote incoherence and triviality; that the phrase “serious television” is a contradiction in terms; and that television speaks in only one persistent voice—the voice of entertainment
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it through a desiccated question, and then will submerge it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into--what else?--another piece of news. Thus we have here a great loop of impotence: The news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
She begins to feel that the reality show is the university she never attended. Vicarious reality. Emotion without a value-added tax. Movement without danger. Alma finds her reality. She no longer has a reason to put herself at risk and go out into the hostile, degrading world.
Carlos Fuentes (Todas las familias felices)
There will come a time--perhaps even by the time you read this--that people will no longer be on Facebook. There will come a time when the stars of your favorite teen TV show will be sixty. There will come a time when you will have the same unalienable rights as your straightest friend. (Probably before any of the stars of your favorite teen TV show turn sixty.) There will come a time when the gay prom won't have to be separate. There will come a time when you look at someone younger than your and feel that he or she will know more than you ever did. There will come a time when you will worry about being forgotten. There will come a time when the gospel will be rewritten. If you play your cards right, the next generation will have so much more than you did.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
Worship isn't destructive, Martin. I know that. I don't. I only know it's the core of his life. What else has he got? He can hardly read. He knows no physics or engineering to make to world real for him. No paintings to show him how others have enjoyed it. No music except television jingles. No history except tales from a desperate mother. No friends. Not one kid to give him a joke, or make him know himself more moderately. He's a modern citizen for whom society doesn't exist.
Peter Shaffer (Equus)
It is absolutely what I think.' He looks deadly serious now. 'These academic guys have to feel important. They give papers and present TV programmes to show they're useful and valuable. But you do useful, valuable work every day. You don't need to prove anything. How many people have you treated? Hundreds. You've reduced their pain. You've made hundreds of people happier. Has Antony Tavish ever made anyone happier?
Sophie Kinsella (I've Got Your Number)
It was called evolutionary biology. Under its sway, the sexes were separated again, men into hunters and women into gatherers. Nurture no longer formed us; nature did. Impulses of hominids dating from 20,000 B.C. were still controlling us. And so today on television and in magazines you get the current simplifications. Why can't men communicate? (Because they had to be quiet on the hunt.) Why do women communicate so well? (Because they had to call out to one another where the fruits and berries were.) Why can men never find things around the house? (Because they have a narrow field of vision, useful in tracking prey.) Why can women find things so easily? (Because in protecting the nest they were used to scanning a wide field.) Why can't women parallel-park? (Because low testosterone inhibits spatial ability.) Why won't men ask for directions? (Because asking for directions is a sign of weakness, and hunters never show weakness.) This is where we are today. Men and women, tired of being the same, want to be different again.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
I... briefly wondered why I kept running into repeat uses of various locations around town. This wasn't the first time I'd dealt with the bad guys choosing to reuse a location different bad guys had used before them. Maybe there was a Villainous Time-share Association. Maybe my life was actually a basic-cable television show, and they couldn't afford to spend money on new sets all the time.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
Quick note here: if this crush-slash-swooning stuff is hard for you to stomach; if you’ve never had a similar experience, then you should come to grips with the fact that you’ve got a TV dinner for a heart and might want to consider climbing inside a microwave and turning it on high for at least an hour, which if you do consider only goes to show what kind of idiot you truly are because microwaves are way too small for anyone, let alone you, to climb into.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
I tried to go to sleep with my headphones still on, but then after a while my mom and dad came in, and my mom grabbed Bluie from the shelf and hugged him to her stomach, and my dad sat down in my desk chair, and without crying he said, 'You are not a grenade, not to us. Thinking about you dying makes us sad, Hazel, but you are not a grenade. You are amazing. You can't know, sweetie, because you've never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows, but the joy you bring us is so much greater than the sadness we feel about your illness.' 'Okay,' I said. 'Really,' my dad said. 'I wouldn't bullshit you about this. If you were more trouble than you're worth, we'd just toss you out on the streets.' 'We're not sentimental people,' Mom added, deadpan. 'We'd leave you at an orphanage with a note pinned to your pajamas.
John Green
she gradually became aware of how dumb the damn show was she was watching and she stared at it, wondering how in the hell they could put anything so absurdly infantile and intellectually and esthetically insulting on television, and she started asking herself over and over how they could do it, what kind of nonsense this is, and she continued to stare and shake her head, more and more of her mind being absorbed by the absurdity she was watching, suddenly leaning back on the couch as a section of the show ended and a commercial came blaringly on and she stared at them too, wondering what sort of cretins watch this garbage and are influenced by it and actually go out and buy those things, and she shook her head, unbelievable, it is simply unbelievable, how can they manage to make so many obnoxious commercials, one right after the other?
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
Race scholars use the term white supremacy to describe a sociopolitical economic system of domination based on racial categories that benefits those defined and perceived as white. This system of structural power privileges, centralizes, and elevates white people as a group. If, for example, we look at the racial breakdown of the people who control our institutions, we see telling numbers in 2016–2017: - Ten richest Americans: 100 percent white (seven of whom are among the ten richest in the world) - US Congress: 90 percent white - US governors: 96 percent white - Top military advisers: 100 percent white - President and vice president: 100 percent white - US House Freedom Caucus: 99 percent white - Current US presidential cabinet: 91 percent white - People who decide which TV shows we see: 93 percent white - People who decide which books we read: 90 percent white - People who decide which news is covered: 85 percent white - People who decide which music is produced: 95 percent white - People who directed the one hundred top-grossing films of all time, worldwide: 95 percent white - Teachers: 82 percent white - Full-time college professors: 84 percent white - Owners of men’s professional football teams: 97 percent white These numbers are not describing minor organizations. Nor are these institutions special-interest groups. The groups listed above are the most powerful in the country. These numbers are not a matter of “good people” versus “bad people.” They represent power and control by a racial group that is in the position to disseminate and protect its own self-image, worldview, and interests across the entire society.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
These people go on to tell us that mobile phones will cook our children’s ears, that long-haul flights will fill our legs with thrombosis and that meat is murder. They want an end to all deaths – and it doesn’t stop there. They don’t even see why anyone should have to suffer from a spot of light bruising. Every week, as we filmed my television chat show, food would be spilt on the floor, and every week the recording would have to be stopped so it could be swept away. ‘What would happen,’ said the man from health and safety, ‘if a cameraman were to slip over?’ ‘Well,’ I would reply, ‘he’d probably have to stand up again.
Jeremy Clarkson (The World According to Clarkson (World According to Clarkson, #1))
Everyone lies about writing. They lie about how easy it is or how hard it was. They perpetuate a romantic idea that writing is some beautiful experience that takes place in an architectural room filled with leather novels and chai tea. They talk about their “morning ritual” and how they “dress for writing” and the cabin in Big Sur where they go to “be alone”—blah blah blah. No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver. I wrote this book after my kids went to sleep. I wrote this book on subways and on airplanes and in between setups while I shot a television show. I wrote this book from scribbled thoughts I kept in the Notes app on my iPhone and conversations I had with myself in my own head before I went to sleep. I wrote it ugly and in pieces.
Amy Poehler (Yes Please)
I was also sick of my neighbors, as most Parisians are. I now knew every second of the morning routine of the family upstairs. At 7:00 am alarm goes off, boom, Madame gets out of bed, puts on her deep-sea divers’ boots, and stomps across my ceiling to megaphone the kids awake. The kids drop bags of cannonballs onto the floor, then, apparently dragging several sledgehammers each, stampede into the kitchen. They grab their chunks of baguette and go and sit in front of the TV, which is always showing a cartoon about people who do nothing but scream at each other and explode. Every minute, one of the kids cartwheels (while bouncing cannonballs) back into the kitchen for seconds, then returns (bringing with it a family of excitable kangaroos) to the TV. Meanwhile the toilet is flushed, on average, fifty times per drop of urine expelled. Finally, there is a ten-minute period of intensive yelling, and at 8:15 on the dot they all howl and crash their way out of the apartment to school.” (p.137)
Stephen Clarke (A Year in the Merde)
The sky was thick with TV. If you wore special glasses you could see them spinning through the sky among the bats and homing birds—blondes, wars, famines, football, food shows, coups d'état, hairstyles stiff with hair spray. Designer pectorals. Gliding towards Ayemenem like skydivers. Making patterns in the sky. Wheels. Windmills. Flowers blooming and unblooming.
Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things)
I should go so far as to say that embedded in the surrealistic frame of a television news show is a theory of anticommunication, featuring a type of discourse that abandons logic, reason, sequence and rules of contradiction. In aesthetics, I believe the name given to this theory is Dadaism; in philosophy, nihilism; in psychiatry, schizophrenia. In the parlance of the theater, it is known as vaudeville.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
A TV show comprises many departments—Costumes, Props, Talent, Graphics, Set Dressing, Transportation. Everyone in every department wants to show off their skills and contribute creatively to the show, which is a blessing. You’re grateful to work with people who are talented and enthusiastic about their jobs. You would think that as a producer, your job would be to churn up creativity, but mostly your job is to police enthusiasm. You may have an occasion where the script calls for a bran muffin on a white plate and the Props Department shows up with a bran cake in the shape of Santa Claus sitting on a silver platter that says “Welcome to Denmark.” “We just thought it would be funny.” And you have to find a polite way to explain that the character is Jewish, so her eating Santa’s face might have negative connotations, and the silver tray, while beautiful, is giving a weird glare on camera and maybe let’s go with the bran muffin on the white plate. And then sometimes Actors have what they call “ideas.” Usually it involves them talking more, or, in the case of more experienced actors, sitting more. When Actors have ideas it’s very important to get to the core reason behind their idea.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I’m sitting here on the Kaye Gibbons Show, and all I can think is that the whole country is sick. Sick with the idea that it’s good to be known as seen by as many people as possible, to show every part of our lives to the public at large. Whether it’s Facebook photos, blogs, or reality TV, it’s like nobody is content to just live life. The worth of our existence seems to be measured in pixels and megabytes and “likes.” Those of use whose lives can be downloaded seem to have the most value – until someone outrageous comes along to claim their time in the spotlight.
Heather Demetrios (Something Real (Something Real, #1))
[from the television show,"Evade the Question Time"] At the end of the first round, I will award three points to Mr. Kaine for an excellent nonspecific condemnation, plus one bonus point for blaming the previous government and another for successfully mutating the question to promote the party line. Mr. van de Poste gets a point for a firm rebuttal, but only two points for his condemnation, as he tried to inject an impartial and intelligent observation.
Jasper Fforde (Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4))
I'd love to watch TV all the time, but it rots our brains. Before I came down from Heaven Ma left it on all day long and got turned into a zombie that's like a ghost but walks 'thump thump.' So now she always switches off after one show, then the cells multiply again in the day and we can watch another show after dinner and grow more brains in our sleep.
Emma Donoghue (Room)
Postfeminism, as a term, suggests that women have made plenty of progress because of feminism, but that feminism is now irrelevant and even undesirable because it supposedly made millions of women unhappy, unfeminine, childless, hairy, lonely, bitter and prompted them to fill their closets with combat boots and really bad India print skirts. Supposedly women have gotten all they could out of feminism, are now "equal," and so can, by choice, embrace things we used to see as sexist, like a TV show in which some self-satisfied lunk samples the wares of twenty-five women before rejecting twenty-four and keeping the one he likes best, or like the notion that mothers should have primary responsibility for raising the kids. Postfeminism means that you can now work outside the home even in jobs previously restricted to men, go to graduate school, pump iron, and pump your own gas, as long as you remain fashion conscious, slim, nurturing, deferential to men, and become a doting, selfless mother.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
But now it seems clear that literary criticism was inherently doomed. Explicitly or otherwise it had based itself on a structure of echelons and hierarchies; it was about the talent elite. And the structure atomized as soon as the forces of democratization gave their next concerted push. Those forces – incomparably the most potent in our culture – have gone on pushing. And they are now running up against a natural barrier. Some citadels, true, have proved stormable. You can become rich without having any talent (via the scratchcard and the rollover jackpot). You can become famous without having any talent (by abasing yourself on some TV nerdathon; a clear improvement on the older method of simply killing a celebrity and inheriting the aura). But you cannot become talented without having any talent. Therefore, talent must go. Literary criticism, now almost entirely confined to the universities, thus moves against talent by moving against the canon. Academic preferment will not come from a respectful study of Wordsworth’s poetics; it will come from a challenging study of his politics – his attitude toward the poor, say, or his unconscious ‘valorization’ of Napoleon; and it will come still faster if you ignore Wordsworth and elevate some (justly) neglected contemporary, by which process the canon may be quietly and steadily sapped. A brief consultation of the Internet will show that meanwhile, everyone has become a literary critic – or at least, a book-reviewer.
Martin Amis (The War against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000)
There are thousands of talented writers at work in America, and only a few of them (I think the number might be as low as five per cent) can support their families and themselves with their work. There’s always some grant money available, but it’s never enough to go around. As for government subsidies for creative writers, perish the thought. Tobacco subsidies, sure. Research grants to study the motility of unpreserved bull sperm, of course. Creative-writing subsidies, never. …America has never much revered her creative people; as a whole, we’re more interested in commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint and Internet greeting-cards. And if you don’t like it, it’s a case of tough titty, said the kitty, ‘cause that’s just the way things are. Americans are a lot more interested in TV quiz shows than in the short fiction of Raymond Carver.
Stephen King
You're not a grenade, not to us. Thinking about you dying makes us sad, Hazel, but you are not a grenade. You are amazing. You can't know, sweetie, because you've never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows, but the joy you bring us is so much greater than the sadness we feel about your illness.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
Hey,maybe I could have a talk show, since you aren't going to be my June Cleaver anymore. I could call it the O'Neal Hour. Sounds important, doesn't it?" [Butch to Vishous] "First of all, you were going to be June Cleaver-" "Screw that. No way I'd bottom for you." "Whatever. And second, I don't think there's much of a market for your particular brand of psychology." "So not true." "Butch, you and I just beat the crap out of each other." "You started it. And actually, it would be perfect for Spike TV. UFC meets Oprah. God, I'm brilliant." "Keep telling yourself that.
J.R. Ward
She wanted to tell him everything: that her worst fears had come true, that her husband had managed to place a surveillance device into her mind, the whole story. But she didn't want to seem crazy. This was shitty because the truth was crazy, not her. There had been a tagline of a TV show, 'The truth is out there,' that Hazel had initially misinterpreted and felt comforted by. 'That is for sure!' she'd thought, the truth was the most far-out thing possible. Hazel had always felt this--when she learned about periods and sex, when she learned about death, when she learned about the impossible living conditions of the other planets in the solar system and the manufacturing of processed meats. Almost always, the truth was way more bizarre and gross than she would've imagined. Then one night she commented on this to a friend and was told, 'No, dumbass, the show is saying that the truth will be discovered. Like how aliens are real and the U.S. government knows it.
Alissa Nutting (Made for Love)
So you have chosen aloneness. You have chosen the security and the relative freedom of solitude, because there is no risk involved. You can stay up every night and watch your TV shows and eat ice cream out of the box and scroll through your Tumblr and never let your brain sit still, not even for a moment. You can fill your days up with books and coffees and trips to the store where you forget what you wanted the second you walk in the automatic sliding door. You can do so many little, pointless things throughout the day that all you can think of is how badly you want to sleep, how heavy your whole body is, how much your feet hurt. You can wear yourself out again and again on the pavement, and you do, and it feels good. No one will ever bridge that gap and point to your stomach or your hair or your eyes in the mirror and magically make you see the wonderful things about getting to be next to you. And maybe that’s it, after all, this fear that no one will ever truly feel about you the way you want to be felt about. Maybe what you want is someone to make you love yourself, to put sense into all that positive rhetoric, to make it so the aloneness of TV and blasting music in your ears at all times isn’t the most happy place you can think of. Maybe you want someone who makes you so sure of how wonderful things are that you cannot help but to tell them your feelings first, even at the risk of being humiliated. Because you will know that, when you’re telling them you love them, what you’re really saying is “I love who I become when I am with you.
Chelsea Fagan
I’ve heard it said that the secret to a happy marriage is to simply talk a lot with your partner. One study showed that happily married couples talked with each other five more hours per week than couples that aren’t happy. If people are busy taking care of their possessions, quarreling over them, spending time in separate rooms, or watching a lot of TV, they’re naturally going to have less time for conversations.
Fumio Sasaki (Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism)
Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed- interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose a three piece suite on hire purchase in a range of fucking fabrics. Choose DIY and wondering who you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing sprit- crushing game shows, stuffing fucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away at the end of it all, pishing you last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked-up brats you have spawned to replace yourself. Choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
John Hodge (Trainspotting: A Screenplay (Based on the Novel by Irvine Welsh))
People are tired of this mainstream shit; television and radio is ghastly and the public can smell the corporate meeting. When you watch a show with Simon Cowell, you know no human touch has been near it, that they've carefully engineered the outcome and picked those they're going to humiliate. We live in an age of information glut, but so many people don't question what they're spoon-fed or bother to search for themselves.
Greg Proops
The Priestess Her skin was pale, and her eyes were dark, and her hair was dyed black. She went on a daytime talk show and proclaimed herself a vampire queen. She showed the cameras her dentally crafted fangs, and brought on ex-lovers who, in various stages of embarrassment, admitted that she had drawn their blood, and that she drank it. "You can be seen in a mirror, though?" asked the talk show hostess. She was the richest woman in America, and had got that way by bringing the freaks and the hurt and the lost out in front of her cameras and showing their pain to the world. The studio audience laughed. The woman seemed slightly affronted. "Yes. Contrary to what people may think, vampires can be seen in mirrors and on television cameras." "Well, that's one thing you finally got right, honey," said the hostess of the daytime talk show. But she put her hand over her microphone as she said it, and it was never broadcast.
Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders)
There is nothing wrong with entertainment. As some psychiatrist once put it, we all build castles in the air. The problems come when we try to live in them. The communications media of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with telegraphy and photography at their center, called the peek-a-boo world into existence, but we did not come to live there until television. Television gave the epistemological biases of the telegraph and the photograph their most potent expression, raising the interplay of image and instancy to an exquisite and dangerous perfection. And it brought them into the home. We are by now well into a second generation of children for whom television has been their first and most accessible teacher and, for many, their most reliable companion and friend. To put it plainly, television is the command center of the new epistemology. There is no audience so young that it is barred from television. There is no poverty so abject that it must forgo television. There is no education so exalted that it is not modified by television. And most important of all, there is no subject of public interest—politics, news, education, religion, science, sports—that does not find its way to television. Which means that all public understanding of these subjects is shaped by the biases of television.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Your powers are what you always have with you. It’s one piece of knowledge we all share here. No matter how many dossiers the government keeps on you, no matter what data your enemies have collected, no one knows your powers the way you do. Everyone has seen them on TV. For everyone else, it’s a momentary fantasy. They don’t have to take them into the kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom. Or wake up in the night in flames, or sweep up shattered glass in their apartment, or show up late for work with a black eye. No one else knows where they itch or bruise you, or has tried the things you’ve tried with them when you were bored or desperate. No one else falls asleep with them and finds them still there in the morning, a dream that won’t disperse upon waking.
Austin Grossman (Soon I Will Be Invincible)
Honestly, seriously, you don’t know what to do about food? Here is an idea: Eat like an adult. Stop eating fast food, stop eating kid’s cereal, knock it off with all the sweets and comfort foods whenever your favorite show is not on when you want it on, ease up on the snacking and—don’t act like you don’t know this—eat vegetables and fruits more. Really, how difficult is this? Stop with the whining. Stop with the excuses. Act like an adult and stop eating like a television commercial. Grow up.
Dan John (Mass Made Simple)
What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that's the only name I can think of for it...like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. "What's new?" is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and "best" was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.
Robert M. Pirsig (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (Phaedrus, #1))
Gore Vidal, for instance, once languidly told me that one should never miss a chance either to have sex or to appear on television. My efforts to live up to this maxim have mainly resulted in my passing many unglamorous hours on off-peak cable TV. It was actually Vidal's great foe William F. Buckley who launched my part-time television career, by inviting me on to Firing Line when I was still quite young, and giving me one of the American Right's less towering intellects as my foil. The response to the show made my day, and then my week. Yet almost every time I go to a TV studio, I feel faintly guilty. This is pre-eminently the 'soft' world of dream and illusion and 'perception': it has only a surrogate relationship to the 'hard' world of printed words and written-down concepts to which I've tried to dedicate my life, and that surrogate relationship, while it, too, may be 'verbal,' consists of being glib rather than fluent, fast rather than quick, sharp rather than pointed. It means reveling in the fact that I have a meretricious, want-it-both-ways side. My only excuse is to say that at least I do not pretend that this is not so.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I taught how to be sociable with ink on paper. I told my students that when they were writing they should be good dates on blind dates, should show strangers good times. Alternatively, they should run really nice whorehouses, come one, come all, although they were in fact working in perfect solitude. I said I expected them to do this with nothing but idiosyncratic arrangements in horizontal lines of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numbers, and maybe eight punctuation marks, because it wasn't anything that hadn't been done before. In 1996, with movies and TV doing such good jobs of holding the attention of literates and illiterates alike, I have to question the value of my very strange, when you think about it, charm school. There is this: Attempted seductions with nothing but words on paper are so cheap for would-be ink-stained Don Juans or Cleopatras!They don't have to get a bankable actor or actress to commit to the project, and then a bankable director, and so on, and then raise millions and millions of buckareenies from manic-depressive experts on what most people want. Still and all, why bother? Here's my answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: "I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don't care about them. You are not alone.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Timequake)
You sure you don't want to go?” Grandma Mazur asked my mother. “I didn't know Moogey Bues,” my mother told her. “I've got better things to do than to go to a viewing of a perfect stranger.” “I wouldn't go either,” Grandma Mazur said, “but I'm helping Stephanie with this here manhunt. Maybe Kenny Mancuso will show up, and Stephanie will need some extra muscle. I was watching Television, and I saw how you stick your fingers in a person's eyes to slow them down.” “She's your responsibility,” my mother said to me. “She sticks her fingers in anybody's eyes I'm holding you accountable.
Janet Evanovich (Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2))
I am not the kind of person who becomes so invested in a book or movie or television show that my interest becomes a hobby or intense obsession, one where I start to declare allegiances or otherwise demonstrate a serious level of commitment to something fictional I had no hand in creating. Or, I didn't used to be that kind of person. Let me be clear: Team Peeta. I cannot fathom how one could be on any other team. Gale? I can barely acknowledge him. Peeta, on the other hand, is everything. He frosts things and bakes bread and is unconditional and unwavering in his love, and also he is very, very strong. He can throw a sack of four, is what I'm saying. Peeta is a place of solace and hope, and he is a good kisser.
Roxane Gay
Life is depressing and hopeless enough, without imbibing further depression and hopelessness through story. I don’t care how realistic people like to think that is. It’s not what inspires me, or makes me love and cherish a book or a television show or a movie. When I am imbibing fiction, I want to be inspired. I want bold tales, told boldly. I want genuine Good People who, while not perfect, are capable of rising beyond their ordinary beginnings. To make a positive difference in their world. Even when all hope or purpose might seem lost. Because this is what I think fiction—as originally told around the campfires, through verbal legend—ought to do, more than anything else: Illuminate the way, shine a spiritual beacon, tell us that there is a bright point in the darkness, a light to guide the way, when all other paths are cast in shadow.
Brad R. Torgersen
We need to suggest the enemy within. We need enemies of the people we want their judges called enemies of the people we want their journalists called enemies of the people we want the people we decide to call enemies of the people called enemies of the people we want to say loudly over and over again on as many tv and radio shows as possible how they're silencing us. We need to say all the old stuff like it's new. We need news to be what we say it is. We need words to mean what we say they mean. We need to deny what we're saying while we're saying it. We need it not to matter what words mean.
Ali Smith (Spring (Seasonal, #3))
I’M LOSING FAITH IN MY FAVORITE COUNTRY Throughout my life, the United States has been my favorite country, save and except for Canada, where I was born, raised, educated, and still live for six months each year. As a child growing up in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I aggressively bought and saved baseball cards of American and National League players, spent hours watching snowy images of American baseball and football games on black and white television and longed for the day when I could travel to that great country. Every Saturday afternoon, me and the boys would pay twelve cents to go the show and watch U.S. made movies, and particularly, the Superman serial. Then I got my chance. My father, who worked for B.F. Goodrich, took my brother and me to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Mistake on the Lake in Cleveland. At last I had made it to the big time. I thought it was an amazing stadium and it was certainly not a mistake. Amazingly, the Americans thought we were Americans. I loved the United States, and everything about the country: its people, its movies, its comic books, its sports, and a great deal more. The country was alive and growing. No, exploding. It was the golden age of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The American dream was alive and well, but demanded hard work, honesty, and frugality. Everyone understood that. Even the politicians. Then everything changed. Partly because of its proximity to the United States and a shared heritage, Canadians also aspired to what was commonly referred to as the American dream. I fall neatly into that category. For as long as I can remember I wanted a better life, but because I was born with a cardboard spoon in my mouth, and wasn’t a member of the golden gene club, I knew I would have to make it the old fashioned way: work hard and save. After university graduation I spent the first half of my career working for the two largest oil companies in the world: Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The second half was spent with one of the smallest oil companies in the world: my own. Then I sold my company and retired into obscurity. In my case obscurity was spending summers in our cottage on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka, Ontario, and winters in our home in Port St. Lucie, Florida. My wife, Ann, and I, (and our three sons when they can find the time), have been enjoying that “obscurity” for a long time. During that long time we have been fortunate to meet and befriend a large number of Americans, many from Tom Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation.” One was a military policeman in Tokyo in 1945. After a very successful business carer in the U.S. he’s retired and living the dream. Another American friend, also a member of the “Greatest Generation”, survived The Battle of the Bulge and lived to drink Hitler’s booze at Berchtesgaden in 1945. He too is happily retired and living the dream. Both of these individuals got to where they are by working hard, saving, and living within their means. Both also remember when their Federal Government did the same thing. One of my younger American friends recently sent me a You Tube video, featuring an impassioned speech by Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. In the speech, Rubio blasts the spending habits of his Federal Government and deeply laments his country’s future. He is outraged that the U.S. Government spends three hundred billion dollars, each and every month. He is even more outraged that one hundred and twenty billion of that three hundred billion dollars is borrowed. In other words, Rubio states that for every dollar the U.S. Government spends, forty cents is borrowed. I don’t blame him for being upset. If I had run my business using that arithmetic, I would be in the soup kitchens. If individual American families had applied that arithmetic to their finances, none of them would be in a position to pay a thin dime of taxes.
Stephen Douglass
The point is that television does not reveal who the best man is. In fact, television makes impossible the determination of who is better than whom, if we mean by 'better' such things as more capable in negotiation, more imaginative in executive skill, more knowledgeable about international affairs, more understanding of the interrelations of economic systems, and so on. The reason has, almost entirely, to do with 'image.' But not because politicians are preoccupied with presenting themselves in the best possible light. After all, who isn't? It is a rare and deeply disturbed person who does not wish to project a favorable image. But television gives image a bad name. For on television the politician does not so much offer the audience an image of himself, as offer himself as an image of the audience. And therein lies one of the most powerful influences of the television commercial on political discourse.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30. This is something Lorne [Michaels] has said often about Saturday Night Live, but I think it’s a great lesson about not being too precious about your writing. You have to try your hardest to be at the top of your game and improve every joke you can until the last possible second, and then you have to let it go. You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. (And I’m from a generation where a lot of people died on waterslides, so this was an important lesson for me to learn.) You have to let people see what you wrote. It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated. Perfect is boring on live TV. What I learned about ‘bombing’ as an improviser at Second City was that bombing is painful, but it doesn’t kill you. No matter how badly an improv set goes, you will still be physically alive when it’s over. What I learned about bombing as a writer at Saturday Night is that you can’t be too worried about your ‘permanent record.’ Yes, you’re going to write some sketches that you love and are proud of forever—your golden nuggets. But you’re also going to write some real shit nuggets. And unfortunately, sometimes the shit nuggets will make it onto the air. You can’t worry about it. As long as you know the difference, you can go back to panning for gold on Monday.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
It’s like we've been flung back in time," he said. "Here we are in the Stone Age, knowing all these great things after centuries of progress but what can we do to make life easier for the Stone Agers? Can we make a refrigerator? Can we even explain how it works? What is electricity? What is light? We experience these things every day of our lives but what good does it do if we find ourselves hurled back in time and we can’t even tell people the basic principles much less actually make something that would improve conditions. Name one thing you could make. Could you make a simple wooden match that you could strike on a rock to make a flame? We think we’re so great and modern. Moon landings, artificial hearts. But what if you were hurled into a time warp and came face to face with the ancient Greeks. The Greeks invented trigonometry. They did autopsies and dissections. What could you tell an ancient Greek that he couldn’t say, ‘Big Deal.’ Could you tell him about the atom? Atom is a Greek word. The Greeks knew that the major events in the universe can’t be seen by the eye of man. It’s waves, it’s rays, it’s particles." “We’re doing all right.” “We’re sitting in this huge moldy room. It’s like we’re flung back.” “We have heat, we have light.” “These are Stone Age things. They had heat and light. They had fire. They rubbed flints together and made sparks. Could you rub flints together? Would you know a flint if you saw one? If a Stone Ager asked you what a nucleotide is, could you tell him? How do we make carbon paper? What is glass? If you came awake tomorrow in the Middle Ages and there was an epidemic raging, what could you do to stop it, knowing what you know about the progress of medicines and diseases? Here it is practically the twenty-first century and you’ve read hundreds of books and magazines and seen a hundred TV shows about science and medicine. Could you tell those people one little crucial thing that might save a million and a half lives?” “‘Boil your water,’ I’d tell them.” “Sure. What about ‘Wash behind your ears.’ That’s about as good.” “I still think we’re doing fairly well. There was no warning. We have food, we have radios.” “What is a radio? What is the principle of a radio? Go ahead, explain. You’re sitting in the middle of this circle of people. They use pebble tools. They eat grubs. Explain a radio.” “There’s no mystery. Powerful transmitters send signals. They travel through the air, to be picked up by receivers.” “They travel through the air. What, like birds? Why not tell them magic? They travel through the air in magic waves. What is a nucleotide? You don’t know, do you? Yet these are the building blocks of life. What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
The conference is geared to people who enjoy meaningful discussions and sometimes "move a conversation to a deeper level, only to find out we are the only ones there." . . . When it's my turn, I talk about how I've never been in a group environment in which I didn't feel obliged to present an unnaturally rah-rah version of myself. . . . Scientists can easily report on the behavior of extroverts, who can often be found laughing, talking, or gesticulating. But "if a person is standing in the corner of a room, you can attribute about fifteen motivations to that person. But you don't really know what's going on inside." . . . So what is the inner behavior of people whose most visible feature is that when you take them to a party they aren't very pleased about it? . . . The highly sensitive tend to be philosophical or spiritual in their orientation, rather than materialistic or hedonistic. They dislike small talk. They often describe themselves as creative or intuitive . . . . They dream vividly, and can often recall their dreams the next day. They love music, nature, art, physical beauty. They feel exceptionally strong emotions--sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear. Highly sensitive people also process information about their environments--both physical and emotional--unusually deeply. They tend to notice subtleties that others miss--another person's shift in mood, say, or a lightbulb burning a touch too brightly. . . . [Inside fMRI machines], the sensitive people were processing the photos at a more elaborate level than their peers . . . . It may also help explain why they're so bored by small talk. "If you're thinking in more complicated ways," she told me, "then talking about the weather or where you went for the holidays is not quite as interesting as talking about values or morality." The other thing Aron found about sensitive people is that sometimes they're highly empathic. It's as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people's emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world. They tend to have unusually strong consciences. They avoid violent movies and TV shows; they're acutely aware of the consequences of a lapse in their own behavior. In social settings they often focus on subjects like personal problems, which others consider "too heavy.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Parents embraced “Sesame Street” for several reasons, among them that it assuaged their guilt over the fact that they could not or would not restrict their children’s access to television. “Sesame Street” appeared to justify allowing a four- or five-year-old to sit transfixed in front of a television screen for unnatural periods of time. Parents were eager to hope that television could teach their children something other than which breakfast cereal has the most crackle. At the same time, “Sesame Street” relieved them of the responsibility of teaching their pre-school children how to read—no small matter in a culture where children are apt to be considered a nuisance.... We now know that “Sesame Street” encourages children to love school only if school is like “Sesame Street.” Which is to say, we now know that “Sesame Street” undermines what the traditional idea of schooling represents.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Think about it. Why does one eat a snack? Why is a snack necessary? The answer—and we’ve done a million studies on this—is because our lives are filled with tedium and drudgery and endless toil and we need a tiny blip of pleasure to repel the gathering darkness. Thus, we give ourselves a treat. “But here’s the thing,” Periwinkle continues, his eyes all aglow, “even the things we do to break the routine become routine. Even the things we do to escape the sadness of our lives have themselves become sad. What this ad acknowledges is that you’ve been eating all these snacks and yet you are not happy, and you’ve been watching all these shows and yet you still feel lonely, and you’ve been seeing all this news and yet the world makes no sense, and you’ve been playing all these games and yet the melancholy sinks deeper and deeper into you. How do you escape?” “You buy a new chip.” “You buy a missile-shaped chip! That’s the answer. What this ad does is admit something you already deeply suspect and existentially fear: that consumerism is a failure and you will never find any meaning there no matter how much money you spend. So the great challenge for people like me is to convince people like you that the problem is not systemic. It’s not that snacks leave you feeling empty, it’s that you haven’t found the right snack yet. It’s not that TV turns out to be a poor substitute for human connection, it’s that you haven’t found the right show yet. It’s not that politics are hopelessly bankrupt, it’s that you haven’t found the right politician yet. And this ad just comes right out and says it. I swear to god it’s like playing poker against someone who’s showing his cards and yet still bluffing by force of personality.
Nathan Hill (The Nix)
Years ago, I was yapping to my mother about Buffy and Xena and talking about how great it is that we now have these TV shows about such strong female characters. My mother, who admittedly has never watched either show, asked me if these really WERE strong female characters, or if they were merely male characters with boobs. Having a blonde cheerleader save the world with her martial arts skills doesn't equal feminism, she said. That's a male tactic. How about her saving the day using tactics that aren't all about punching and kicking and killing? I didn't have an answer for her then. I still don't, even now. There's a whole debate to be had that I'm just not ready for, that I may never be ready for. My mother is a pacifist. I am not. We see the world differently, we operate differently, even though we want the same things. We both want equality and peace. My mother is the sort to talk her way to equality and peace. I'm the sort to talk to the point where I reckon more talk won't do any good, and then smash my way through to an understanding. It is not an enlightened viewpoint I hold. It is a crass, brutish viewpoint — but in a crass, brutish world, I believe my way is the way to go. Mum believes otherwise. And that's the difference, I think, between us. We live in a world carved by men, where fear and oppression and violence are a part of our lives. I can't even IMAGINE a world sculpted by women, where other values have taken hold. I'm limited in that way. I could try not to be, but I honestly wouldn't know where to start. That's kind of sad, when you think about it. For all my imagination, I can't even imagine that... ... (turns to stare hauntingly out the window).
Derek Landy
There’s something you need to understand, Jonah. For every person who’s stealing and setting fires and turning over police cars, there are three or four others in the same neighborhood who want no part of it, who’re more afraid of lawbreakers than they are of the law.” “Doesn’t look that way.” “Because the TV only shows you the ones who’re doing it. The news isn’t all the news, Jonah. Not by a long shot. It’s just what reporters want to tell you about. Riots come and go, wars come and go, but under the tumult, day after day, century after century, millions of people are doing nice things for one another, making sacrifices, mostly small things, but it’s all those little kindnesses that hold civilization together, all those people who live quiet lives and never make the news.
Dean Koontz (The City)
Aside from wanting to write cracking good books that turn children into lifelong readers, I really want to create stories that enable kids to LOOK at the world around them. To see it for what it is, with wide open, wondering eyes. Our mass media is so horribly skewed. It presents this idea of 'normalcy' which excludes and marginalises so many for an idea of commercial viability which is really nothing but blinkered prejudice. People who are black and Asian and Middle Eastern and Hispanic, people who are gay or transgendered or genderqueer, people who have disabilities, disfigurements or illnesses - all have this vision of a world which does not include them shoved down their throats almost 24-7, and they're told 'No one wants to see stories about people like you. Films and TV shows about people like you won't make money. Stories about straight, white, cisgendered, able-bodied people are universal and everyone likes them. You are small and useless and unattractive and you don't matter.' My worry is that this warped version of 'normal' eventually forms those very same blinkers on children's eyes, depriving them of their ability to see anyone who isn't the same as them, preventing them from developing the ability to empathise with and appreciate and take joy in the lives and experiences of people who are different from them. If Shadows on the Moon - or anything I write - causes a young person to look at their own life, or the life of another, and think, 'Maybe being different is cool' I will die a happy writer. -Guest blog - what diversity means to me
Zoë Marriott
Well, life isn't cheap. It's the greatest mystery of any millennium, and television needs to do all it can to broadcast that...to show and tell what the good in life is all about. But how do we make goodness attractive? By doing whatever we can do to bring courage to those whose lives move near our own--by treating our 'neighbor' at least as well as we treat ourselves and allowing that to inform everything that we produce. Who in your life has been such a servant to you? Who has helped you love the good that grows within you? Let's just take ten seconds to think of some of those people who have loved us and wanted what was best for us in life, those who have encouraged us to become who we are tonight - just ten seconds of silence. No matter where they are, either here or in heaven, imagine how pleased those people must be to know that you thought of them right now.
Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember)
Every television program must be a complete package in itself. No previous knowledge is to be required. There must not be even a hint that learning is hierarchical, that it is an edifice constructed on a foundation. The learner must be allowed to enter at any point without prejudice. This is why you shall never hear or see a television program begin with the caution that if the viewer has not seen the previous programs, this one will be meaningless. Television is a nongraded curriculum and excludes no viewer for any reason, at any time. In other words, in doing away with the idea of sequence and continuity in education, television undermines the idea that sequence and continuity have anything to do with thought itself.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
In this image-driven age, wildlife filmmakers carry a heavy responsibility. They can influence how we think and behave when we’re in nature. They can even influence how we raise our kids, how we vote and volunteer in our communities, as well as the future of our wildlands and wildlife. If the stories they create are misleading or false in some way, viewers will misunderstand the issues and react in inappropriate ways. People who consume a heavy diet of wildlife films filled with staged violence and aggression, for example, are likely to think about nature as a circus or a freak show. They certainly won’t form the same positive connections to the natural world as people who watch more thoughtful, authentic, and conservation-oriented films.
Chris Palmer (Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom)
I see things in windows and I say to myself that I want them. I want them because I want to belong. I want to be liked by more people, I want to be held in higher regard than others. I want to feel valued, so I say to myself to watch certain shows. I watch certain shows on the television so I can participate in dialogues and conversations and debates with people who want the same things I want. I want to dress a certain way so certain groups of people are forced to be attracted to me. I want to do my hair a certain way with certain styling products and particular combs and methods so that I can fit in with the In-Crowd. I want to spend hours upon hours at the gym, stuffing my body with what scientists are calling 'superfoods', so that I can be loved and envied by everyone around me. I want to become an icon on someone's mantle. I want to work meaningless jobs so that I can fill my wallet and parentally-advised bank accounts with monetary potential. I want to believe what's on the news so that I can feel normal along with the rest of forever. I want to listen to the Top Ten on Q102, and roll my windows down so others can hear it and see that I am listening to it, and enjoying it. I want to go to church every Sunday, and pray every other day. I want to believe that what I do is for the promise of a peaceful afterlife. I want rewards for my 'good' deeds. I want acknowledgment and praise. And I want people to know that I put out that fire. I want people to know that I support the war effort. I want people to know that I volunteer to save lives. I want to be seen and heard and pointed at with love. I want to read my name in the history books during a future full of clones exactly like me. The mirror, I've noticed, is almost always positioned above the sink. Though the sink offers more depth than a mirror, and mirror is only able to reflect, the sink is held in lower regard. Lower still is the toilet, and thought it offers even more depth than the sink, we piss and shit in it. I want these kind of architectural details to be paralleled in my every day life. I want to care more about my reflection, and less about my cleanliness. I want to be seen as someone who lives externally, and never internally, unless I am able to lock the door behind me. I want these things, because if I didn't, I would be dead in the mirrors of those around me. I would be nothing. I would be an example. Sunken, and easily washed away.
Dave Matthes
On the TV screen in Harry's is The Patty Winters Show, which is now on in the afternoon and is up against Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. Today's topic is Does Economic Success Equal Happiness? The answer, in Harry's this afternoon, is a roar of resounding "Definitely," followed by much hooting, the guys all cheering together in a friendly way. On the screen now are scenes from President Bush's inauguration early this year, then a speech from former President Reagan, while Patty delivers a hard-to-hear commentary. Soon a tiresome debate forms over whether he's lying or not, even though we don't, can't, hear the words. The first and really only one to complain is Price, who, though I think he's bothered by something else, uses this opportunity to vent his frustration, looks inappropriately stunned, asks, "How can he lie like that? How can he pull that shit?" "Oh Christ," I moan. "What shit? Now where do we have reservations at? I mean I'm not really hungry but I would like to have reservations somewhere. How about 220?" An afterthought: "McDermott, how did that rate in the new Zagat's?" "No way," Farrell complains before Craig can answer. "The coke I scored there last time was cut with so much laxative I actually had to take a shit in M.K." "Yeah, yeah, life sucks and then you die." "Low point of the night," Farrell mutters. "Weren't you with Kyria the last time you were there?" Goodrich asks. "Wasn't that the low point?" "She caught me on call waiting. What could I do?" Farrell shrugs. "I apologize." "Caught him on call waiting." McDermott nudges me, dubious. "Shut up, McDermott," Farrell says, snapping Craig's suspenders. "Date a beggar." "You forgot something, Farrell," Preston mentions. "McDermott is a beggar." "How's Courtney?" Farrell asks Craig, leering. "Just say no." Someone laughs. Price looks away from the television screen, then at Craig, and he tries to hide his displeasure by asking me, waving at the TV, "I don't believe it. He looks so... normal. He seems so... out of it. So... un dangerous." "Bimbo, bimbo," someone says. "Bypass, bypass." "He is totally harmless, you geek. Was totally harmless. Just like you are totally harmless. But he did do all that shit and you have failed to get us into 150, so, you know, what can I say?" McDermott shrugs. "I just don't get how someone, anyone, can appear that way yet be involved in such total shit," Price says, ignoring Craig, averting his eyes from Farrell. He takes out a cigar and studies it sadly. To me it still looks like there's a smudge on Price's forehead. "Because Nancy was right behind him?" Farrell guesses, looking up from the Quotrek. "Because Nancy did it?" "How can you be so fucking, I don't know, cool about it?" Price, to whom something really eerie has obviously happened, sounds genuinely perplexed. Rumor has it that he was in rehab.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Nature Boy I was just a boy when I sat down To watch the news on TV I saw some ordinary slaughter I saw some routine atrocity My father said, don't look away You got to be strong, you got to be bold, now He said, that in the end it is beauty That is going to save the world, now And she moves among the sparrows And she floats upon the breeze She moves among the flowers She moves something deep inside of me I was walking around the flower show like a leper Coming down with some kind of nervous hysteria When I saw you standing there, green eyes, black hair Up against the pink and purple wisteria You said, hey, nature boy, are you looking at me With some unrighteous intention? My knees went weak, I couldn't speak, I was having thoughts That were not in my best interests to mention And she moves among the flowers And she floats upon the smoke She moves among the shadows She moves me with just one little look You took me back to your place And dressed me up in a deep sea diver's suit You played the patriot, you raised the flag And I stood at full salute Later on we smoked a pipe that struck me dumb And made it impossible to speak As you closed in, in slow motion, Quoting Sappho, in the original Greek She moves among the shadows She floats upon the breeze She moves among the candles And we moved through the days and through the years Years passed by, we were walking by the sea Half delirious You smiled at me and said, Babe I think this thing is getting kind of serious You pointed at something and said Have you ever seen such a beautiful thing? It was then that I broke down It was then that you lifted me up again She moves among the sparrows And she walks across the sea She moves among the flowers And she moves something deep inside of me She moves among the sparrows And she floats upon the breeze She moves among the flowers And she moves right up close to me
Nick Cave
Geeks are not the world’s rowdiest people. We’re quiet and introspective, and usually more comfortable communing with our keyboards or a good book than each other. Our idea of how to paint the Emerald City red involves light liquor, heavy munchies, and marathon sessions of video games of the ‘giant robots shooting each other and everything else in sight’ variety. We debate competing lines of software or gaming consoles with passion, and dissect every movie, television show, and novel in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres. With as many of us as there are in this town, people inevitably find ways to cater to us when we get in the mood to spend our hard-earned dollars. Downtown Seattle boasts grandiose geek magnets, like the Experience Music Project and the Experience Science Fiction museum, but it has much humbler and far more obscure attractions too, like the place we all went to for our ship party that evening: a hole-in-the-wall bar called the Electric Penguin on Capitol Hill.
Angela Korra'ti (Faerie Blood (The Free Court of Seattle #1))
Each person must, on some level, take himself as the calibration point for normalcy, must assume that the room of his own mind is not, cannot be, entirely opaque to him. Perhaps this is what we mean by sanity: that, whatever our self-admitted eccentricities might be, we are not the villains of our own stories. In fact, it is quite the contrary: we play, and only play, the hero, and in the swirl of other people’s stories, insofar as those stories concern us at all, we are never less than heroic. Who, in the age of television, hasn’t stood in front of a mirror and imagined his life as a show that is already perhaps being watched by multitudes? Who has not, with this consideration in mind, brought something performative into his everyday life? We have the ability to do both good and evil, and more often than not, we choose the good. When we don’t, neither we nor our imagined audience is troubled, because we are able to articulate ourselves to ourselves, and because we have through our other decisions, merited their sympathy. They are ready to believe the best about us, and not without good reason.
Teju Cole (Open City)
I'm going to tell you something that no magazine or novel or television show will ever let on. Love wears you down. We think of it as hearts and flowers and happily ever after but in real life, the things you have to do in the name of love kill you... You end up doing a thousand things in a day in the name of love that you wouldn't ask a dog to do. Sex is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal innocence is attractive in children, but it makes brittle, disappointed adults. Someone liking you is just the beginning; it always starts nicely but before you know it it's like Persephone being dragged into the Underworld. Romantic love is an illusion Hughie,. It can be manupulated, twisted, piled up like a bunch of fun-house mirrors. The very nature of it is deceptive. It promises closeness but the only thing is ever really reveals is the dreams and fears of the person with the obsessions. That's why it's so easy to control
Kathleen Tessaro (The Flirt)
But now it seems clear that literary criticism was inherently doomed. Explicitly or otherwise it had based itself on a structure of echelons and hierarchies; it was about the talent elite. And the structure atomized as soon as the forces of democratization gave their next concerted push. Those forces – incomparably the most potent in our culture – have gone on pushing. And they are now running up against a natural barrier. Some citadels, true, have proved stormable. You can become rich without having any talent (via the scratchcard and the rollover jackpot). You can become famous without having any talent (by abasing yourself on some TV nerdathon; a clear improvement on the older method of simply killing a celebrity and inheriting the aura). But you cannot become talented without having any talent. Therefore, talent must go. Literary criticism, now almost entirely confined to the universities, thus moves against talent by moving against the canon. Academic preferment will not come from a respectful study of Wordsworth’s poetics; it will come from a challenging study of his politics – his attitude toward the poor, say, or his unconscious ‘valorization’ of Napoleon; and it will come still faster if you ignore Wordsworth and elevate some (justly) neglected contemporary, by which process the canon may be quietly and steadily sapped. A brief consultation of the Internet will show that meanwhile, everyone has become a literary critic – or at least, a book-reviewer.
Martin Amis (The War against Cliché: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000)
You will encounter resentful, sneering non-readers who will look at you from their beery, leery eyes, as they might some form of sub-hominid anomaly, bookimus maximus. You will encounter redditters, youtubers, blogspotters, wordpressers, twitterers, and facebookers with wired-open eyes who will shout at from you from their crazy hectoring mouths about the liberal poison of literature. You will encounter the gamers with their twitching fingers who will look upon you as a character to lock crosshairs on and blow to smithereens. You will encounter the stoners and pill-poppers who will ignore you, and ask you if you have read Jack Keroauc’s On the Road, and if you haven’t, will lecture you for two hours on that novel and refuse to acknowledge any other books written by anyone ever. You will encounter the provincial retirees, who have spent a year reading War & Peace, who strike the attitude that completing that novel is a greater achievement than the thousands of books you have read, even though they lost themselves constantly throughout the book and hated the whole experience. You will encounter the self-obsessed students whose radical interpretations of Agnes Grey and The Idiot are the most important utterance anyone anywhere has ever made with their mouths, while ignoring the thousands of novels you have read. You will encounter the parents and siblings who take every literary reference you make back to the several books they enjoyed reading as a child, and then redirect the conversation to what TV shows they have been watching. You will encounter the teachers and lecturers, for whom any text not on their syllabus is a waste of time, and look upon you as a wayward student in need of their salvation. You will encounter the travellers and backpackers who will take pity on you for wasting your life, then tell you about the Paulo Coelho they read while hostelling across Europe en route to their spiritual pilgrimage to New Delhi. You will encounter the hard-working moaners who will tell you they are too busy working for a living to sit and read all day, and when they come home from a hard day’s toil, they don’t want to sit and read pretentious rubbish. You will encounter the voracious readers who loathe competition, and who will challenge you to a literary duel, rather than engage you in friendly conversation about your latest reading. You will encounter the slack intellectuals who will immediately ask you if you have read Finnegans Wake, and when you say you have, will ask if you if you understood every line, and when you say of course not, will make some point that generally alludes to you being a halfwit. Fuck those fuckers.
M.J. Nicholls (The 1002nd Book to Read Before You Die)
Dear Jeff, I happened to see the Channel 7 TV program "Hooray for Hollywood" tonight with the segment on Blade Runner. (Well, to be honest, I didn't happen to see it; someone tipped me off that Blade Runner was going to be a part of the show, and to be sure to watch.) Jeff, after looking—and especially after listening to Harrison Ford discuss the film—I came to the conclusion that this indeed is not science fiction; it is not fantasy; it is exactly what Harrison said: futurism. The impact of Blade Runner is simply going to be overwhelming, both on the public and on creative people—and, I believe, on science fiction as a field. Since I have been writing and selling science fiction works for thirty years, this is a matter of some importance to me. In all candor I must say that our field has gradually and steadily been deteriorating for the last few years. Nothing that we have done, individually or collectively, matches Blade Runner. This is not escapism; it is super realism, so gritty and detailed and authentic and goddam convincing that, well, after the segment I found my normal present-day "reality" pallid by comparison. What I am saying is that all of you collectively may have created a unique new form of graphic, artistic expression, never before seen. And, I think, Blade Runner is going to revolutionize our conceptions of what science fiction is and, more, can be. Let me sum it up this way. Science fiction has slowly and ineluctably settled into a monotonous death: it has become inbred, derivative, stale. Suddenly you people have come in, some of the greatest talents currently in existence, and now we have a new life, a new start. As for my own role in the Blade Runner project, I can only say that I did not know that a work of mine or a set of ideas of mine could be escalated into such stunning dimensions. My life and creative work are justified and completed by Blade Runner. Thank you...and it is going to be one hell of a commercial success. It will prove invincible. Cordially, Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
I watched the light flicker on the limestone walls until Archer said, "I wish we could go to the movies." I stared at him. "We're in a creepy dungeon. There's a chance I might die in the next few hours. You are going to die in the next few hours. And if you had one wish, it would be to catch a movie?" He shook his head. "That's not what I meant. I wish we weren't like this. You know, demon, demon-hunter. I wish I'd met you in a normal high school, and taken you on normal dates, and like, carried your books or something." Glancing over at me, he squinted and asked, "Is that a thing humans actually do?" "Not outside of 1950s TV shows," I told him, reaching up to touch his hair. He wrapped an arm around me and leaned against the wall, pulling me to his chest. I drew my legs up under me and rested my cheek on his collarbone. "So instead of stomping around forests hunting ghouls, you want to go to the movies and school dances." "Well,maybe we could go on the occasional ghoul hunt," he allowed before pressing a kiss to my temple. "Keep things interesting." I closed my eyes. "What else would we do if we were regular teenagers?" "Hmm...let's see.Well,first of all, I'd need to get some kind of job so I could afford to take you on these completely normal dates. Maybe I could stock groceries somewhere." The image of Archer in a blue apron, putting boxes of Nilla Wafers on a shelf at Walmart was too bizarre to even contemplate, but I went along with it. "We could argue in front of our lockers all dramatically," I said. "That's something I saw a lot at human high schools." He squeezed me in a quick hug. "Yes! Now that sounds like a good time. And then I could come to your house in the middle of the night and play music really loudly under your window until you took me back." I chuckled. "You watch too many movies. Ooh, we could be lab partners!" "Isn't that kind of what we were in Defense?" "Yeah,but in a normal high school, there would be more science, less kicking each other in the face." "Nice." We spent the next few minutes spinning out scenarios like this, including all the sports in which Archer's L'Occhio di Dio skills would come in handy, and starring in school plays.By the time we were done, I was laughing, and I realized that, for just a little while, I'd managed to forget what a huge freaking mess we were in. Which had probably been the point. Once our laughter died away, the dread started seeping back in. Still, I tried to joke when I said, "You know, if I do live through this, I'm gonna be covered in funky tattoos like the Vandy. You sure you want to date the Illustrated Woman, even if it's just for a little while?" He caught my chin and raised my eyes to his. "Trust me," he said softly, "you could have a giant tiger tattooed on your face, and I'd still want to be with you." "Okay,seriously,enough with the swoony talk," I told him, leaning in closer. "I like snarky, mean Archer." He grinned. "In that case, shut up, Mercer.
Rachel Hawkins (Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2))
social media addict? This is a very real problem—so much so that researchers from Norway developed a new instrument to measure Facebook addiction called the Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale.[3] Social media has become as ubiquitous as television in our everyday lives, and this research shows that multitasking social media can be as addictive as drugs, alcohol, and chemical substance abuse. A large number of friends on social media networks may appear impressive, but according to a new report, the more social circles a person is linked to, the more likely the social media will be a source of stress.[4] It can also have a detrimental effect on consumer well-being because milkshake-multitasking interferes with clear thinking and decision-making, which lowers self-control and leads to rash, impulsive buying and poor eating decisions. Greater social media use is associated with a higher body mass index, increased binge eating, a lower credit score, and higher levels of credit card debt for consumers with many close friends in their social network—all caused by a lack of self-control.[5] We Can Become Shallow
Caroline Leaf (Switch On Your Brain: The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health)
Ultimately, the roast turkey must be regarded as a monument to Boomer's love. Look at it now, plump and glossy, floating across Idaho as if it were a mammoth, mutated seed pod. Hear how it backfires as it passes the silver mines, perhaps in tribute to the origin of the knives and forks of splendid sterling that a roast turkey and a roast turkey alone possesses the charisma to draw forth into festivity from dark cupboards. See how it glides through the potato fields, familiarly at home among potatoes but with an air of expectation, as if waiting for the flood of gravy. The roast turkey carries with it, in its chubby hold, a sizable portion of our primitive and pagan luggage. Primitive and pagan? Us? We of the laser, we of the microchip, we of the Union Theological Seminary and Time magazine? Of course. At least twice a year, do not millions upon millions of us cybernetic Christians and fax machine Jews participate in a ritual, a highly stylized ceremony that takes place around a large dead bird? And is not this animal sacrificed, as in days of yore, to catch the attention of a divine spirit, to show gratitude for blessings bestowed, and to petition for blessings coveted? The turkey, slain, slowly cooked over our gas or electric fires, is the central figure at our holy feast. It is the totem animal that brings our tribe together. And because it is an awkward, intractable creature, the serving of it establishes and reinforces the tribal hierarchy. There are but two legs, two wings, a certain amount of white meat, a given quantity of dark. Who gets which piece; who, in fact, slices the bird and distributes its limbs and organs, underscores quite emphatically the rank of each member in the gathering. Consider that the legs of this bird are called 'drumsticks,' after the ritual objects employed to extract the music from the most aboriginal and sacred of instruments. Our ancestors, kept their drums in public, but the sticks, being more actively magical, usually were stored in places known only to the shaman, the medicine man, the high priest, of the Wise Old Woman. The wing of the fowl gives symbolic flight to the soul, but with the drumstick is evoked the best of the pulse of the heart of the universe. Few of us nowadays participate in the actual hunting and killing of the turkey, but almost all of us watch, frequently with deep emotion, the reenactment of those events. We watch it on TV sets immediately before the communal meal. For what are footballs if not metaphorical turkeys, flying up and down a meadow? And what is a touchdown if not a kill, achieved by one or the other of two opposing tribes? To our applause, great young hungers from Alabama or Notre Dame slay the bird. Then, the Wise Old Woman, in the guise of Grandma, calls us to the table, where we, pretending to be no longer primitive, systematically rip the bird asunder. Was Boomer Petaway aware of the totemic implications when, to impress his beloved, he fabricated an outsize Thanksgiving centerpiece? No, not consciously. If and when the last veil dropped, he might comprehend what he had wrought. For the present, however, he was as ignorant as Can o' Beans, Spoon, and Dirty Sock were, before Painted Stick and Conch Shell drew their attention to similar affairs. Nevertheless, it was Boomer who piloted the gobble-stilled butterball across Idaho, who negotiated it through the natural carving knives of the Sawtooth Mountains, who once or twice parked it in wilderness rest stops, causing adjacent flora to assume the appearance of parsley.
Tom Robbins (Skinny Legs and All)
They're trying to breed a nation of techno-peasants. Educated just enough to keep things going, but not enough to ask tough questions. They encourage any meme that downplays thoughtful analysis or encourages docility or self indulgence or uniformity. In what other society do people use "smart" and "wise" as insults? We tell people "don't get smart." Those who try, those who really like to learn, we call "nerds." Look at television or the press or the trivia that passes for political debate. When a candidate DOES try to talk about the issues, the newspapers talk about his sex life. Look at Saturday morning cartoon shows. Peasants, whether they're tilling fields or stuffing circuit boards, are easier to manipulate. Don't question; just believe. Turn off your computer and Trust the Force. Or turn your computer on and treat it like the Oracle of Delphi. That's right. They've made education superficial and specialized. Science classes for art majors? Forget it! And how many business or engineering students get a really good grounding in the humanities? When did universities become little more than white collar vocational schools?
Michael Flynn (In the Country of the Blind)
Because I questioned myself and my sanity and what I was doing wrong in this situation. Because of course I feared that I might be overreacting, overemotional, oversensitive, weak, playing victim, crying wolf, blowing things out of proportion, making things up. Because generations of women have heard that they’re irrational, melodramatic, neurotic, hysterical, hormonal, psycho, fragile, and bossy. Because girls are coached out of the womb to be nonconfrontational, solicitous, deferential, demure, nurturing, to be tuned in to others, and to shrink and shut up. Because speaking up for myself was not how I learned English. Because I’m fluent in Apology, in Question Mark, in Giggle, in Bowing Down, in Self-Sacrifice. Because slightly more than half of the population is regularly told that what happens doesn’t or that it isn’t the big deal we’re making it into. Because your mothers, sisters, and daughters are routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied, harassed, threatened, punished, propositioned, and groped, and challenged on what they say. Because when a woman challenges a man, then the facts are automatically in dispute, as is the speaker, and the speaker’s license to speak. Because as women we are told to view and value ourselves in terms of how men view and value us, which is to say, for our sexuality and agreeability. Because it was drilled in until it turned subconscious and became unbearable need: don’t make it about you; put yourself second or last; disregard your feelings but not another’s; disbelieve your perceptions whenever the opportunity presents itself; run and rerun everything by yourself before verbalizing it—put it in perspective, interrogate it: Do you sound nuts? Does this make you look bad? Are you holding his interest? Are you being considerate? Fair? Sweet? Because stifling trauma is just good manners. Because when others serially talk down to you, assume authority over you, try to talk you out of your own feelings and tell you who you are; when you’re not taken seriously or listened to in countless daily interactions—then you may learn to accept it, to expect it, to agree with the critics and the haters and the beloveds, and to sign off on it with total silence. Because they’re coming from a good place. Because everywhere from late-night TV talk shows to thought-leading periodicals to Hollywood to Silicon Valley to Wall Street to Congress and the current administration, women are drastically underrepresented or absent, missing from the popular imagination and public heart. Because although I questioned myself, I didn’t question who controls the narrative, the show, the engineering, or the fantasy, nor to whom it’s catered. Because to mention certain things, like “patriarchy,” is to be dubbed a “feminazi,” which discourages its mention, and whatever goes unmentioned gets a pass, a pass that condones what it isn’t nice to mention, lest we come off as reactionary or shrill.
Roxane Gay (Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture)
of the problem was that Chaos got a little creation-happy. It thought to its misty, gloomy self: Hey, Earth and Sky. That was fun! I wonder what else I can make. Soon it created all sorts of other problems—and by that I mean gods. Water collected out of the mist of Chaos, pooled in the deepest parts of the earth, and formed the first seas, which naturally developed a consciousness—the god Pontus. Then Chaos really went nuts and thought: I know! How about a dome like the sky, but at the bottom of the earth! That would be awesome! So another dome came into being beneath the earth, but it was dark and murky and generally not very nice, since it was always hidden from the light of the sky. This was Tartarus, the Pit of Evil; and as you can guess from the name, when he developed a godly personality, he didn't win any popularity contests. The problem was, both Pontus and Tartarus liked Gaea, which put some pressure on her relationship with Ouranos. A bunch of other primordial gods popped up, but if I tried to name them all we’d be here for weeks. Chaos and Tartarus had a kid together (don’t ask how; I don’t know) called Nyx, who was the embodiment of night. Then Nyx, somehow all by herself, had a daughter named Hemera, who was Day. Those two never got along because they were as different as…well, you know. According to some stories, Chaos also created Eros, the god of procreation... in other words, mommy gods and daddy gods having lots of little baby gods. Other stories claim Eros was the son of Aphrodite. We’ll get to her later. I don’t know which version is true, but I do know Gaea and Ouranos started having kids—with very mixed results. First, they had a batch of twelve—six girls and six boys called the Titans. These kids looked human, but they were much taller and more powerful. You’d figure twelve kids would be enough for anybody, right? I mean, with a family that big, you’ve basically got your own reality TV show. Plus, once the Titans were born, things started to go sour with Ouranos and Gaea’s marriage. Ouranos spent a lot more time hanging out in the sky. He didn't visit. He didn't help with the kids. Gaea got resentful. The two of them started fighting. As the kids grew older, Ouranos would yell at them and basically act like a horrible dad. A few times, Gaea and Ouranos tried to patch things up. Gaea decided maybe if they had another set of kids, it would bring them closer…. I know, right? Bad idea. She gave birth to triplets. The problem: these new kids defined the word UGLY. They were as big and strong as Titans, except hulking and brutish and in desperate need of a body wax. Worst of all, each kid had a single eye in the middle of his forehead. Talk about a face only a mother could love. Well, Gaea loved these guys. She named them the Elder Cyclopes, and eventually they would spawn a whole race of other, lesser Cyclopes. But that was much later. When Ouranos saw the Cyclops triplets, he freaked. “These cannot be my kids! They don’t even look like me!” “They are your children, you deadbeat!” Gaea screamed back. “Don’t you dare leave me to raise them on my own!
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
The television commercial has mounted the most serious assault on capitalist ideology since the publication of Das Kapital. To understand why, we must remind ourselves that capitalism, like science and liberal democracy, was an outgrowth of the Enlightenment. Its principal theorists, even its most prosperous practitioners, believed capitalism to be based on the idea that both buyer and seller are sufficiently mature, well informed and reasonable to engage in transactions of mutual self-interest. If greed was taken to be the fuel of the capitalist engine, the surely rationality was the driver. The theory states, in part, that competition in the marketplace requires that the buyer not only knows what is good for him but also what is good. If the seller produces nothing of value, as determined by a rational marketplace, then he loses out. It is the assumption of rationality among buyers that spurs competitors to become winners, and winners to keep on winning. Where it is assumed that a buyer is unable to make rational decisions, laws are passed to invalidate transactions, as, for example, those which prohibit children from making contracts...Of course, the practice of capitalism has its contradictions...But television commercials make hash of it...By substituting images for claims, the pictorial commercial made emotional appeal, not tests of truth, the basis of consumer decisions. The distance between rationality and advertising is now so wide that it is difficult to remember that there once existed a connection between them. Today, on television commercials, propositions are as scarce as unattractive people. The truth or falsity of an advertiser's claim is simply not an issue. A McDonald's commercial, for example, is not a series of testable, logically ordered assertions. It is a drama--a mythology, if you will--of handsome people selling, buying and eating hamburgers, and being driven to near ecstasy by their good fortune. No claim are made, except those the viewer projects onto or infers from the drama. One can like or dislike a television commercial, of course. But one cannot refute it.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
Pettiness often leads both to error and to the digging of a trap for oneself. Wondering (which I am sure he didn't) 'if by the 1990s [Hitchens] was morphing into someone I didn’t quite recognize”, Blumenthal recalls with horror the night that I 'gave' a farewell party for Martin Walker of the Guardian, and then didn't attend it because I wanted to be on television instead. This is easy: Martin had asked to use the fine lobby of my building for a farewell bash, and I'd set it up. People have quite often asked me to do that. My wife did the honors after Nightline told me that I’d have to come to New York if I wanted to abuse Mother Teresa and Princess Diana on the same show. Of all the people I know, Martin Walker and Sidney Blumenthal would have been the top two in recognizing that journalism and argument come first, and that there can be no hard feelings about it. How do I know this? Well, I have known Martin since Oxford. (He produced a book on Clinton, published in America as 'The President We Deserve'. He reprinted it in London, under the title, 'The President They Deserve'. I doffed my hat to that.) While Sidney—I can barely believe I am telling you this—once also solicited an invitation to hold his book party at my home. A few days later he called me back, to tell me that Martin Peretz, owner of the New Republic, had insisted on giving the party instead. I said, fine, no bones broken; no caterers ordered as yet. 'I don't think you quite get it,' he went on, after an honorable pause. 'That means you can't come to the party at all.' I knew that about my old foe Peretz: I didn't then know I knew it about Blumenthal. I also thought that it was just within the limit of the rules. I ask you to believe that I had buried this memory until this book came out, but also to believe that I won't be slandered and won't refrain—if motives or conduct are in question—from speculating about them in my turn.
Christopher Hitchens
Like That" Love me like a wrong turn on a bad road late at night, with no moon and no town anywhere and a large hungry animal moving heavily through the brush in the ditch. Love me with a blindfold over your eyes and the sound of rusty water blurting from the faucet in the kitchen, leaking down through the floorboards to hot cement. Do it without asking, without wondering or thinking anything, while the machinery’s shut down and the watchman’s slumped asleep before his small TV showing the empty garage, the deserted hallways, while the thieves slice through the fence with steel clippers. Love me when you can’t find a decent restaurant open anywhere, when you’re alone in a glaring diner with two nuns arguing in the back booth, when your eggs are greasy and your hash browns underdone. Snick the buttons off the front of my dress and toss them one by one into the pond where carp lurk just beneath the surface, their cold fins waving. Love me on the hood of a truck no one’s driven in years, sunk to its fenders in weeds and dead sunflowers; and in the lilies, your mouth on my white throat, while turtles drag their bellies through slick mud, through the footprints of coots and ducks. Do it when no one’s looking, when the riots begin and the planes open up, when the bus leaps the curb and the driver hits the brakes and the pedal sinks to the floor, while someone hurls a plate against the wall and picks up another, love me like a freezing shot of vodka, like pure agave, love me when you’re lonely, when we’re both too tired to speak, when you don’t believe in anything, listen, there isn’t anything, it doesn’t matter; lie down with me and close your eyes, the road curves here, I’m cranking up the radio and we’re going, we won’t turn back as long as you love me, as long as you keep on doing it exactly like that.
Kim Addonizio (Tell Me)
During my first few months of Facebooking, I discovered that my page had fostered a collective nostalgia for specific cultural icons. These started, unsurprisingly, within the realm of science fiction and fantasy. They commonly included a pointy-eared Vulcan from a certain groundbreaking 1960s television show. Just as often, though, I found myself sharing images of a diminutive, ancient, green and disarmingly wise Jedi Master who speaks in flip-side down English. Or, if feeling more sinister, I’d post pictures of his black-cloaked, dark-sided, heavy-breathing nemesis. As an aside, I initially received from Star Trek fans considerable “push-back,” or at least many raised Spock brows, when I began sharing images of Yoda and Darth Vader. To the purists, this bordered on sacrilege.. But as I like to remind fans, I was the only actor to work within both franchises, having also voiced the part of Lok Durd from the animated show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was the virality of these early posts, shared by thousands of fans without any prodding from me, that got me thinking. Why do we love Spock, Yoda and Darth Vader so much? And what is it about characters like these that causes fans to click “like” and “share” so readily? One thing was clear: Cultural icons help people define who they are today because they shaped who they were as children. We all “like” Yoda because we all loved The Empire Strikes Back, probably watched it many times, and can recite our favorite lines. Indeed, we all can quote Yoda, and we all have tried out our best impression of him. When someone posts a meme of Yoda, many immediately share it, not just because they think it is funny (though it usually is — it’s hard to go wrong with the Master), but because it says something about the sharer. It’s shorthand for saying, “This little guy made a huge impact on me, not sure what it is, but for certain a huge impact. Did it make one on you, too? I’m clicking ‘share’ to affirm something you may not know about me. I ‘like’ Yoda.” And isn’t that what sharing on Facebook is all about? It’s not simply that the sharer wants you to snortle or “LOL” as it were. That’s part of it, but not the core. At its core is a statement about one’s belief system, one that includes the wisdom of Yoda. Other eminently shareable icons included beloved Tolkien characters, particularly Gandalf (as played by the inimitable Sir Ian McKellan). Gandalf, like Yoda, is somehow always above reproach and unfailingly epic. Like Yoda, Gandalf has his darker counterpart. Gollum is a fan favorite because he is a fallen figure who could reform with the right guidance. It doesn’t hurt that his every meme is invariably read in his distinctive, blood-curdling rasp. Then there’s also Batman, who seems to have survived both Adam West and Christian Bale, but whose questionable relationship to the Boy Wonder left plenty of room for hilarious homoerotic undertones. But seriously, there is something about the brooding, misunderstood and “chaotic-good” nature of this superhero that touches all of our hearts.
George Takei
The morning grass was damp and cool with dew. My yellow rain slicker must have looked sharp contrasted against the bright green that spring provided. I must have looked like an early nineteenth century romantic poet (Walt Whitman, perhaps?) lounging around a meadow celebrating nature and the glory of my existence. But don’t make this about me. Don’t you dare. This was about something bigger than me (by at least 44 feet). I was there to unselfishly throw myself in front of danger (nothing is scarier than a parked bulldozer), in the hopes of saving a tree, and also procuring a spot in a featured article in my local newspaper. It’s not about celebrity for me, it’s about showing that I care. It’s not enough to just quietly go about caring anymore. No, now we need the world to see that we care. I was just trying to do my part to show I was doing my part. But no journalists or TV news stations came to witness my selfless heroics. In fact, nobody came at all, not even Satan’s henchmen (the construction crew). People might scoff and say, “But it was Sunday.” Yes, it was Sunday. But if you’re a hero you can’t take a day off. I’d rather be brave a day early than a day late. Most cowards show up late to their destiny. But I always show up early, and quite often I leave early too, but at least I have the guts to lay down my life for something I’d die for. Now I only laid down my life for a short fifteen-minute nap, but I can forever hold my chin high as I loudly tell anyone who will listen to my exploits as an unsung hero (not that I haven’t written dozens of songs dedicated to my bravery). Most superheroes hide anonymously behind masks. That’s cowardly to me. I don’t wear a mask. And the only reason I’m anonymous is that journalists don’t respond to my requests for interviews, and when I hold press conferences nobody shows up, not even my own mother. The world doesn’t know all the good I’ve done for the world. And that’s fine with me. Not really. But if I have to go on being anonymous to make this world a better place, I will. But that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about changing my hours of altruism from 7-8 am Sunday mornings to 9-5 am Monday through Friday, and only doing deeds of greatness in crowded locations.
Jarod Kintz (Gosh, I probably shouldn't publish this.)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)