26

Edit Text

Put “Fuck” in the Headline

It’s possible the editor – if they have such arcane old things – scanned the piece, said “this isn’t very good. Put fuck in the headline” and she had to comply, but it’s likely she was taking her cue from the rest of the site.

Lileks, J. (2017, August 4). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/17/0817/080417.html


biplane-flying

Distraction

Binoche is a woman whose heart has been so pounded by war that she seems drawn to its wounded, as a distraction from her own hurts.

Ebert, R. (1996, November 22). The English Patient (Review). Retrieved from https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-english-patient-1996


Hypodermic-Needle

Grand Scheme of Things

For all his badassery, he never rises about the level of a minor supporting character—which is notable, since he’d probably be the protagonist in 90% of action thrillers taking place in urban America. The series is quite up-front about that fact that he’s just one cog in the social machine that keeps the drug trade afloat, and that few of his actions truly matter in the grand scheme of things.

The Wire Savagely Deconstructs Police Procedurals. Retrieved 2017, Dec 4 from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeconstructorFleet


Calliou

Super Accommodating

I always think of Calliou as that kid in the Twilight Zone episode who can kill with his mind, so everyone else has to be super accommodating.

gottabefunky (2017, Sept 28). Re: Henry wasn’t the only train to receive a death sentence [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.metafilter.com/169670/Henry-wasnt-the-only-train-to-receive-a-death-sentence#7179003


Like Emoticon

Because He Can

That’s the crucial thing about Facebook, the main thing which isn’t understood about its motivation: it does things because it can. Zuckerberg knows how to do something, and other people don’t, so he does it. Motivation of that type doesn’t work in the Hollywood version of life, so Aaron Sorkin had to give Zuck a motive to do with social aspiration and rejection. But that’s wrong, completely wrong. [Zuckerberg] isn’t motivated by that kind of garden-variety psychology. He does this because he can, and justifications about ‘connection’ and ‘community’ are ex-post-facto rationalizations.

Lanchester, J. (2017, August 17). London Review of Books: You Are the Product. Retrieved from https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product


MonaLisa

Nothing is Static

It used to be enough that when I came home angry and knowing that my life wasn’t toeing my five-year plan, I could clean my condominium or detail my car. Someday I’d be dead without a scar and there would be a really nice condo and car. Really, really nice, until the dust settled or the next owner. Nothing is static. Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart.

Palahniuk, C. (2005). Fight Club: A Novel. W. W. Norton.


Judge-Gavel

Predictable Answers

But let’s begin with him, skipping over his Republican enablers, who had nothing to do but lob softball questions and praise his answers.
If Judge Gorsuch wasn’t the least forthcoming Supreme Court nominee ever to appear at a confirmation hearing, it’s hard to imagine one who could be less forthcoming while still breathing. More interesting and less predictable answers could have come from Siri on an iPhone.

Greenhouse, L. (2017, March 30). The Empty Supreme Court Confirmation Hearing. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/30/opinion/the-empty-supreme-court-confirmation-hearing.html


Gas-Pump

Neither Gifted with Intelligence

We meet two of the other local studs, John and Tom, neither gifted with intelligence, both violent products of brutal backgrounds. They have the same attitude toward women that the gun nut has about prying his dying fingers off the revolver.
The film is about hanging out in gas stations and roller rinks, and lying sprawled on a couch looking with dulled eyes at television, and soul-crushing jobs, and about six-packs and country bars and Marlboros. There is a reason country music is sad.

Ebert, R. (1999, October 22). Boys Don’t Cry (Review). Retrieved from https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/boys-dont-cry-1999


Steak

Attacking the Media

Mr. Trump understands that attacking the media is the reddest of meat for his base, which has been conditioned to reject reporting from news sites outside of the conservative media ecosystem.

Sykes, C. J. (2017, February 4). Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/04/opinion/sunday/why-nobody-cares-the-president-is-lying.html


 

Raised-Fist

Active Resistance

Havel believed, “as long as our humanity remains defenseless, we will not be saved by any technical or organizational trick designed to produce better economic functioning.”

Active resistance is necessary because it is the moral and political indifference of demoralized, self-seeking citizens that normalizes despotic power. According to Havel, true escape from despotism requires “living in truth,” which means not only refusing all participation in the regime of untruth but also rejecting all false refuge in the “small pleasures of everyday life.”

Mishra, P. (2017, February 8). Václav Havel’s Lessons on How to Create a “Parallel Polis.” Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/vaclav-havels-lessons-on-how-to-create-a-parallel-polis

7

🎩

Talking-Point Armor

If Ryan and McConnell tried to remain boxed off from the earthquake, Priebus occupied another shelter, constructed of talking-point armor, alternate reality and denial.

Leibovich, M. (2016, June 21). Will Trump Swallow the G.O.P. Whole? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/magazine/will-trump-swallow-the-gop-whole.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

😠

Pre-outraged for Your Convenience

Now. What have I done wrong today? What did I just do wrong up there? This is the Internet, after all, and for those people who come pre-outraged for your convenience, there’s much that requires frant-O-type fulminations about other people’s innumerable deficiencies. I’m sure I should GET A GRIP and I’m sure I need to be told that NO ONE CARES LOL and it’s quite certain that a very, very motivated Steve Martin fan is angry that I criticized him in a dream, because his sense of self is bound up with a college identity that included enjoying “Let’s Get Small,” and attacking the work is an attack on him, and his critical faculties.
Someone is mad because their dog died after it ate chocolate, and THAT’S NOT FUNNY. I didn’t say it was. I just said I was worried about the dog in my dream. I had a lady yell at me in the grocery store for writing “I almost had a heart attack” in a column” because her husband had just had a heart attack and THAT’S NOT FUNNY.

[…]

There are civil places. But the miserable bitchery of the comments in sites that have no particular reason to exist other than barfing out clickbait chum into the canals – it’s just extraordinary, and Facebook is the tool that lets people wander in to any site and pop off.

[…]

The Internet didn’t change people. People changed the internet. We always thought it would empower everyone to have a voice, but those were the early heady days. As it turned out, we underestimated the extent to which self-righteousness, ignorance, historical illiteracy, and the utter confidence of perpetually adolescent brains would form a free-floating thundercloud of perpetual contempt. We all know this. In some way I think we all hate the internet.

Lileks, J. (2016, June 23). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/16/0616/062316.html

🔮

Safety of Obscurity

Ironically the vagueness of abstract words is one reason for their popularity. It is harder to be precise. We are often tempted to prefer the safer obscurity of the abstract.

Prowriting Aid User Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved June 26, 2016, from p. 51 https://prowritingaid.com/docs/ProWritingAidManual.pdf

🦂

Watch the Claw

When you follow all the Hot Issues of the Day Everyone Is Furious About, you’re looking the scorpion in the eye, thinking you can glare him down with your indignation. Big mistake. Watch the claw. Beware the tail.

Lileks, J. (2016, November 10). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://www.lileks.com/bleats//archive/16/1116/111016.html

👑

Oligarchs-in-Waiting

Guliani is like those things that leap out of people chests in the Alien movies. Gingrich, Christy, Bannon, Ailes, are all like characters in the bar scene in Star Wars. The First Family are like robots programmed for monarcho-fascism. So, put a bunch of paranoid crackpots, oligarchs-in-waiting and desperate has-beens in a gilded palace to divvy up unimaginable power, and place at the center a terrified, clueless, instinctively cruel narcissist who never dreamed in his worst nightmares that he would be in such an impossible position, what could go right?

(2016, November 15). Re: Why Rudy Giuliani Shouldn’t Be Secretary of State. Editorial. [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/16/opinion/why-rudy-giuliani-shouldnt-be-secretary-of-state.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region

🍕

Postmortem

When the fall of the United States is written about by future historians, the Internet will figure prominently in the postmortem. The time of the slow, deliberate spread of information is over. There is no filter, nothing to confirm or verify reports, nothing to prevent people from seeking out and occupying a narrow silo of information that merely amplifies their foolish beliefs.

No one in prior decades would have taken a rifle to a pizza shop based on a column in The Times. All the poisons that lurk in the mud are hatching out, courtesy of your local ISP.

Krugman, P. (2016, December 19). How Republics End. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/opinion/how-republics-end.html?action=click&contentCollection=World&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

🎭

Don’t Try to Make It Funny

Mr. Wilder’s rule for comedy was simple: Don’t try to make it funny; try to make it real. “I’m an actor, not a clown,” he said more than once.

Lewis, D. (2016, August 29). Gene Wilder Dies at 83; Star of “Willy Wonka” and “Young Frankenstein.” Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/30/movies/gene-wilder-dead.html

☂️

Safe Choices

You’ve made just enough safe choices to stay alive but not enough to matter. Is that what you want? You can be more. You want to be more, don’t you?

The window of opportunity is closing. This is your chance. This is not about not losing. This is about you finally having the confidence to walk out on the ledge and know that you’re not going to fall.

Halt and Catch Fire. Directed by Juan José Campanella, performance by Lee Pace, AMC. June 1, 2014. Amazon Prime, https://www.amazon.com/I-O/dp/B00KCXIHJG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1498408932&sr=8-2&keywords=halt+and+catch+fire+season+1

🔗

Populist

Many reporters are using the term “populist,” which seems both inadequate and misleading. I guess racism can be considered populist in the sense that it represents the views of some non-elite people. But are the other shared features of this movement — addiction to conspiracy theories, indifference to the rule of law, a penchant for punishing critics — really captured by the “populist” label?

Krugman, P. (2016, December 23). Populism, Real and Phony. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/23/opinion/populism-real-and-phony.html?action=click&contentCollection=Travel&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

🏭

Contempt and Dim Prospects

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, whose 2012 “Twilight of the Elites” called for rethinking the entire ethos of liberal “meritocracy” — a system, he argued, that tends to fuel self-congratulation and incompetence at the top while offering little but contempt and dim prospects for those at the bottom.

Gage, B. (2017, January 3). How “Elites” Became One of the Nastiest Epithets in American Politics. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/03/magazine/how-elites-became-one-of-the-nastiest-epithets-in-american-politics.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=mini-moth&region=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below

👫

Attachment models

Indeed, researchers said, people who have insecure attachment models tend to be drawn to those who fit their expectations, even if they are treated badly. They may subconsciously act in ways that elicit insensitive, unreliable or abusive behavior, whatever is most familiar. Or they may flee secure attachments because they feel unfamiliar.

Murphy, K. (2017, January 7). Yes, It’s Your Parents’ Fault. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/opinion/sunday/yes-its-your-parents-fault.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

👙

Luck

You’d find that Lady Luck was really a hooker, and you were fresh out of cash.

Max Payne. Dir. Sam Lake. Remedy Entertainment, 2001. Video Game.

3

THE 30/30/30 RULE

For every creative thing you do: 1/3 will love you, 1/3 will hate you, and 1/3 won’t care.

Fear creates anger, frustration, feelings of inadequacy and lack of accomplishment. Which manifests as self-anger. Which can be manifested as self-hatred. Which is difficult to own, so is taken out on others.

Altucher, J. (2014, March). The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Dealing With Haters. Retrieved from http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2014/03/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-dealing-with-haters/

💺

Sell it Back to Them

The business model of the air travel industry is to strip passengers of comfort and convenience, and then sell it back to them. You will find the comfort you seek at a price, at the airlines’ membership lounges.

Holbrook, C. (2016, April 6). Airports, Designed for Everyone but the Passenger. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/travel/airport-architecture.html?contentCollection=weekendreads&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=c-column-middle-span-region®ion=c-column-middle-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-middle-span-region&_r=0

Immense Hypocrisy

I practice part time in rural TN and can attest to this article. An entire generation of uneducated white people is self-destructing in an orgy of narcotics, alcohol, and illicit drugs. They are all politically conservative and never miss an opportunity to denigrate the federal government. The immense hypocrisy that most of them are on Medicare disability for their addictions and self-induced illnesses is completely beneath their awareness. They rail against immigrants who come to America to work in their place because they can’t be bothered by manual labor. The academicians can analyze this phenomenon and ascribe many societal factors, but at the end of the day, it comes down to personal responsibility and hard work. I have way more sympathy for inner city African-Americans who at least can complain of a legacy of discrimination.

FL Doc (2016, April 10 6:48 PM CDT). Re: A new divide in American death [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/04/10/a-new-divide-in-american-death/

Stubborn Pride

These rural folks with their wrong-headed attitudes are indeed a sadness to behold; proud of their ignorance, shunning education, science, healthcare and clinging to a deadly stubborn pride.

809212876 (2016, April 10 2:03 PM CDT). Re: A new divide in American death [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/04/10/a-new-divide-in-american-death/

🌅

Illusions Fell Through

Most of the folks this effects were generally low intelligence voters anyway, easily swayed by right-wing religion into believing that if they’d just support the godly Republicans in their fight against the evil gay loving abortion promoting godless heathen Democrats, and give all your money to Oral Roberts or Benny Hinn or Cephelo Dollar, that God would just take care of you. When all of those illusions fell through, and these folks were left rotting in poverty, they then had to resort to welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and food banks…..all things they’ve despised as being the life of those worthless welfare black people of the inner city.

Reader Response (2016, April 10). Re: A new divide in American death [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2016/04/10/a-new-divide-in-american-death/

📣

Authentic Voice

Your Authentic Voice is also someone the mammoth tends to ignore entirely. A strong opinion from a confident person in the outside world? The mammoth is all ears. But a passionate plea from your AV is largely dismissed until someone else validates it.

But in today’s large, complex world of varying cultures and personalities and opportunities and options, losing touch with your AV is dangerous. When you don’t know who you are, the only decision-making mechanism you’re left with is the crude and outdated needs and emotions of your mammoth. When it comes to the most personal questions, instead of digging deep into the foggy center of what you really believe in to find clarity, you’ll look to others for the answers. Who you are becomes some blend of the strongest opinions around you.

Losing touch with your AV also makes you fragile, because when your identity is built on the approval of others, being criticized or rejected by others really hurts. A bad break-up is painful for everyone, but it stings in a much deeper place for a mammoth-run person than for a person with a strong AV.

AVs lead. Mammoths follow.

Leadership is natural for most AVs, because they draw their thoughts and opinions from an original place, which gives them an original angle. And if they’re smart and innovative enough, they can change things in the world and invent things that disrupt the status quo. If you give someone a paintbrush and an empty canvas, they might not paint something good—but they’ll change the canvas in one way or another.
Mammoths, on the other hand, follow—by definition. That’s what they were built to do—blend in and follow the leader. The last thing a mammoth is going to do is change the status quo because it’s trying so hard to be the status quo. When you give someone a paintbrush and canvas, but the paint is the same exact color as the canvas, they can paint all they want, but they won’t change anything.

Urban, T. (2014, June 13). Taming the Mammoth: Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/06/taming-mammoth-let-peoples-opinions-run-life.html

🚄

The Teen Years

Anyone who knows 9 to 23-year-olds knows that they tend to detract more value from the world than they add, but as you can see on this graph, the teen years, and especially ages 12 to 16, are a full train wreck.

Urban, T. (2014, December 23). The Teen Years: 9 Cringe-Inducing Realizations. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/the-teen-years-9-cringe-inducing-realizations.html

🌌

Unconscious Fog

On a day-to-day level, one of the greatest challenges facing most humans is the quest to avoid living in an unconscious fog—this fog is where you are when you make big life decisions for small-minded reasons, when you short-sightedly side-step your own integrity, when you continually prioritize the wrong things over the right things, settle for mediocrity out of fear, or waste huge amounts of your precious time procrastinating.

Urban, T. (2014, October 10). How Religion Got in the Way. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/10/how-religion-got-in-the-way.html

Smallest Bit Upwards

There are no hard problems, only problems that are hard to a certain level of intelligence. Move the smallest bit upwards [in level of intelligence], and some problems will suddenly move from “impossible” to “obvious.” Move a substantial degree upwards, and all of them will become obvious.

Quote from Eliezer S. Yudkowsky appearing in Chapter Two. Kurzweil, R. (2005). The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology (1st ed.). The Viking Press.

Inflated View

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.”  He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

Urban, T. (2013, September 9). Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html

🍹

Biggest Dick

You’re then asked for your ID by someone who may not have been the biggest dick in your high school—but he was the biggest dick in someone’s high school.

Urban, T. (2014, May 27). Why You Secretly Hate Cool Bars. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/secretly-hate-bars.html

💬

No Middle Finger Button

Our friend Daniel’s post was quite a feat—in one simple paragraph, he sliced through my soul, accomplishing nearly every terrible status type and motivation discussed above.  The thing is, though, that if you looked right below his post, all you saw were likes and a couple friendly comments.

And that’s why insufferable Facebook behavior will never go away—there’s no dislike button or eye-roll button or middle finger button on Facebook, and it’s bad form to be too much of a dick in the comments below a status. So annoying statuses are just positively reinforced, and people remain un-self-aware that they regularly bring down the quality of everyone else’s life.

Urban, T. (2013, July 8). 7 Ways to Be Insufferable on Facebook. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/07/7-ways-to-be-insufferable-on-facebook.html

housefly

Popularity

You think a piece of shit feels popular because it’s surrounded by flies?

Max Payne. Dir. Sam Lake. Remedy Entertainment, 2001. Video Game.