🚘 Professionalism

I trust this garage, because I’ve gone there for years and never been able to figure out how they’re screwing me over, and that’s a level of professionalism you have to respect.

Lileks, J. (2015, January 19). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/15/0115/011915.html

TurtleneckOne or Two Geniuses

Unfortunately, when we believe one or two geniuses are mainly responsible, we not only reward them with exorbitant compensation, we lead them to believe they really are geniuses, which in turn leads to grandiosity, monomania, and unchecked power.

johnny (2014, Dec 17). Re: What Happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/magazine/what-happened-when-marissa-mayer-tried-to-be-steve-jobs.html?_r=1

🎮 Hate Movement

Critics see Gamergate as a hate movement, born of extremists, which has grown by providing a sense of belonging, self-worth, and direction to those experiencing crisis or disaffection.

Parkin, S. (2014, October 17). Gamergate: A Scandal Erupts in the Video-Game Community. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/gamergate-scandal-erupts-video-game-community

⚖️ Tried by 12

“There’s a really common adage in policing: It’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by six,” said Jim Bueermann, a former Redlands, Calif., police chief who is now the president of the Police Foundation, a research group.

Eligon, J., Yee, V., & Furber, M. (2017, July 22). In Minneapolis, Unusual Police Killing Raises an Old Outcry: Why? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/us/minneapolis-police-shooting.html?_r=0

💘 Somebody Finally Loves You

When you are socialized to accept abuse as authority, any situation that isn’t outright hurtful feels like a win. Our schools teach kids that their voices don’t matter, that they should unquestioningly follow the dictates of teachers and other adults because it is the only way they will get ahead in life. When we get to the workforce, we are told we are lucky to be there. We are told that there is a line of people waiting to take our place, that we are disposable, regardless of the degrees, work experience, and dedication. So when you stumble upon a company or workplace that says “You are valuable.” you go out of your mind to work even harder. Because somebody finally loves you.

Until we teach ourselves that we are valuable for who we are, not the work we do, we will continue to confuse authority with abuse and continue to be eager to work for places that respect us less than they should.

teleri025 (2017, July 19). Re: The Tyranny of Work [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/168292/The-tyranny-of-work#7099050

⛅ Motivation

If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon.

Despair, Inc. Retrieved from https://despair.com/products/motivation

🎩 Class Distinction

“Basic” is, at bottom, a stereotype. And like all stereotypes, we fling it at others in order to distance ourselves from them. These people are this thing; therefore, I am this other thing. Stereotypes are deployed most fervently — and with the most hostility — when the group wielding them is most anxious to distance itself from another group that, in truth, isn’t so distant after all. See: “Fresh Off the Boat,” “White Trash,” “Hipster.” These stereotypes are explicitly rooted in race, but implicitly, and most powerfully, are rooted in class distinction. By calling someone “white trash,” a certain segment of white consumer person distinguishes themselves from another segment of white consumer, thereby bolstering their position within the capitalist hierarchy.

Petersen, A. H. (2014, October 20). What We’re Really Afraid Of When We Call Someone “Basic.” Retrieved from https://www.buzzfeed.com/annehelenpetersen/basic-class-anxiety?utm_term=.na4JX19NG#.isQ1NXdJo

💺💺💺 Emotion Neutral

Robert Rubin was the prototypical Goldman banker. He was probably born in a $4,000 suit, he had a face that seemed permanently frozen just short of an apology for being so much smarter than you, and he exuded a Spock-like, emotion-neutral exterior; the only human feeling you could imagine him experiencing was a nightmare about being forced to fly coach.

Taibbi, M. (2010, April 5). The Great American Bubble Machine. Retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-great-american-bubble-machine-20100405


Sea of Cracked Asphalt

Oh yes, we anticipate a large role for a sprawling liquor store set back in a sea of cracked asphalt. Oh, if that funky-junky bookstore on the corner hangs around for a few years that’ll be fine; it’s colorful, but really, can’t you see a Panera there? People love those sandwiches.

Lileks, J. (2016, February 27). Lileks: You get a facility! Everyone gets a facility! Retrieved from http://www.startribune.com/james-lileks-you-get-a-facility-everyone-gets-a-facility/370378971/

🗒️ Couldn’t be Mad

Every step of the way, the News reporter, Bill Hendricks—the longtime cop reporter with all the sources—was just getting everything that I wasn’t getting. It was so bad that my bosses couldn’t even be mad at me. They treated me as if I were developmentally disabled.

Green, E. (2017, July 17). Writers dish on scoops that slipped away. Retrieved from https://www.cjr.org/business_of_news/scoops-fahrenthold-greg-howard.php


Lure You Into Hubris

As an aside … this little piece that cost $2.49? I have no fucking idea of what anyone would ever use it for. It was like RadioShack slid that into their stores as a red herring. Like it was some Machiavellian plot to lure you into hubris, destroy your ego, and remind you how much smarter we were than you. Sorry. God, I’m sorry.

Bois, J. (2012, July 24). Revisiting The RadioShack Product Catalog, Part 2. Retrieved from http://www.progressiveboink.com/2012/7/24/3174840/revisiting-the-radioshack-product-catalog-part-2

⚗️ Too Much Poison

How did our politics get so poisonous? I think it’s ’cause we overdosed, especially this year. We drank too much of the poison. You take a little bit of it so you can hate the other side. And it tastes kinda good. And you like how it feels. And there’s a gentle high to the condemnation, right? You know you’re right, right? You know you’re right.

Colbert, S. (2016, November 11). Showtime Election Night Special[Television broadcast]. CBS.

Know Thyself

If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.

Dunning, D. (2012). Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself (Essays in Social Psychology). Psychology Press.

🍺 Cult of Ignorance

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

Asimov, I. (1980, January). My Turn/A Cult of Ignorance. Newsweek, 19.



Timeless Poverty

After scouting locations with Walon Green and John Box, the production designer, they chose La Altagracia village as the main location. Friedkin described the place as “a prison without walls” with a “sense of timeless poverty and persecution.”

Sorcerer (film). (2017, June 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:31, June 19, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sorcerer_(film)&oldid=786489978



young (adj.): Unburdened by the knowledge that it would be better to never have been born.

Sottek, T. (2015, April 5). The New Devil’s Dictionary. Retrieved from https://www.theverge.com/a/new-devils-dictionary


Ideally Psychotic

Reality TV is about placing dumb and ideally psychotic but physically attractive people in ridiculous, contrived situations and feeding them alcohol and scripted lines until they fight or sleep with each other with commercials in between for energy drinks, diet pills and tanning products featuring people from other reality shows. It’s a glorious feedback loop in which entertainment becomes even more mean-spirited and shit. Yes, I hear you say, but isn’t that a bad thing? Well, not if you’re making money out of it, hand over fist. Production companies love reality TV because it’s cheap. A few shirtless douchebags, a fresh batch of yeast-infected sluts, a few bottles of bottom shelf liquor and you’ve got yourself a show.

From Grand Theft Auto V in-game parody website: www.therealitymill.com/about



Repeat until disappointed in mankind.

Rio, C. (2016, June 1). 6 Bands Who Followed Up Their One Hit With Drooling Insanity. Retrieved from http://www.cracked.com/blog/mmmbop-to-aliens-insane-songs-albums-one-hit-wonders/


Nail Cutters

Marx might have called this kind of work “estranged labor,” but the phrase isn’t quite right. My experience working in fine dining was marked by hard, repetitive and often meaningless work. But it wasn’t completely “estranging,” not at first. To the contrary, I found that hard, repetitive work, however “estranged” in some abstract or theoretical sense, could be incredibly affirming. Executing the same tasks with machine-like precision over and over and over again, like one of Adam Smith’s nail-cutters, offered a special kind of enjoyment. There was no reflection, no question about what my job required of me, and I could indulge, for hours, in the straightforward immediacy of action.

Frame, E. (2015, August 22). Dinner and Deception. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/dinner-and-deception.html?ref=opinion&_r=0


Of What Use Would I Be?

At the time of the story, the region was largely agrarian and peasant, and many were skilled craftsmen, artisans, and laborers. I thought, ‘I’m also an intellectual. Of what use would I be in the forest?’ The film works in a way as a cautionary tale. Most of us live in a precarious balance above the bedrock of physical labor.

Ebert, R. (2009, January 14). Review: Defiance (2009). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/defiance-2009


Motel Shootout

The class clown, the guy that gets up and sets the clock ahead twenty minutes, that guy always dies in a motel shootout.

The Howard Stern Show. (2015, February 25). Sirius XM Radio.


Lawsuit Avoidance

The videos seem well-made and valid, and I wish we did far more unpacking of bias in our lives. Perhaps I am being uncharitable, but this (at least in a vacuum) feels more like corporate lawsuit-avoidance than it does a meaningful set of resources. I’d personally think that a proper treatment of biases in decision-making would be a little broader than this list, if only because it feels like “these are some lawsuits we keep getting hit with because we could be doing better in this space.”

(2015, July 28). Managing Unconscious Bias. Comment posted at 9:44 AM by Phyltre. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/151616/Managing-Unconscious-Bias


Rails of Celluloid Cocaine

Sex was okay—so was an R rating. Adults were treated as adults rather than as overgrown children hell-bent on enshrining their own arrested development.

Then came Top Gun. The man calling the shots may have been Tony Scott, but the film’s real auteurs were producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, two men who pioneered the “high-concept” blockbuster—films for which the trailer or even the tagline told the story instantly. At their most basic, their movies weren’t movies; they were pure product—stitched-together amalgams of amphetamine action beats, star casting, music videos, and a diamond-hard laminate of technological adrenaline all designed to distract you from their lack of internal coherence, narrative credibility, or recognizable human qualities. They were rails of celluloid cocaine with only one goal: the transient heightening of sensation.

Harris, M. (2011, February 10). The Day the Movies Died. Retrieved from http://www.gq.com/story/the-day-the-movies-died-mark-harris


One Way to Feel Special

The narcissism of minor differences finds expression in the food-intolerance explosion: Having a special dietary requirement is one way to feel special in the prevailing “me” culture. But I don’t want to show the intolerance of the omnivore for faddish food particularism, however overblown it may be. There’s a lot that’s good in food fetishes.

Cohen, R. (2015, October 19). This Column Is Gluten-Free. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/20/opinion/this-column-is-gluten-free.html?action=click&contentCollection=Books&module=MostPopularFB&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article&_r=0


Blur of Traffic Passing On the Highway

sonder, n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

Johnny Wallflower (2016, April 3). Re: Haters gonna hate, baby. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158345/Haters-gonna-hate-baby#6468195


Lazy Excuse

The term “hater” is just a lazy excuse to avoid having to address any criticism. It ends up hurting yourself, too, because if you refuse to engage with any criticism you’re never going to get any better.

Sangermaine (2016, April 3). Re: Haters gonna hate, baby. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158345/Haters-gonna-hate-baby#6468083


I am right and have always been right because I’m a member of a victimized sex/race, and therefore hold no responsibility for my actions.

Amazom.com customer (2001, January 18). Re: The way forward is with a broken heart (1st ed.). Random House. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2STFIIZ9IP5IA/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0345407954#R2STFIIZ9IP5IA


Hear it Panting

The wolf isn’t at the door, but you can hear it panting out there in the woods.

Garner, D. (2016, April 5). ‘Disrupted,’ a Tech Takedown by Dan Lyons, a.k.a. Fake Steve Jobs. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/06/books/review-disrupted-dan-lyons-fake-steve-jobs.html?action=click&contentCollection=Book%20Review&module=RelatedCoverage®ion=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article%3E

🔫 🔫

Permanent War

The movie offers no answers to the problems it presents—rampant street crime in poor neighborhoods; a gun-worshiping American culture tied to capitalist rapaciousness that’s hooked into the country’s culture of Permanent War; the lure of machismo, which makes violent confrontation seem “sexier” than negotiation and de-escalation.

Seitz, M. Z. (2015, December 2). Review: Chi-Raq (2015). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/chi-raq-2015


Impeccable Mediocrity

Into his classroom every autumn come several dozen would-be Harvard law graduates, who fall into the categories we all remember from school: (a) the drones, who get everything right but will go forth to lead lives of impeccable mediocrity; (b) the truly intelligent, who will pass or fail entirely on the basis of whether they’re able to put up with the crap; (c) those with photographic memories, who can remember everything but connect nothing; (d) the students whose dogged earnestness will somehow pull them through; and (e) the doomed.

Ebert, R. (1973, October 16). Review: The Paper Chase (1973). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-paper-chase-1973