18

🛥️ Mild

A [United Nations] Secretary-General in the eighties, Javier Perez de Cuellar, was said to be so mild that he could fall out of a boat and not make a splash.

Osnos, E. (2014, December 22). In the Land of the Possible. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/22/land-possible


🏡 Financial Albatross

Instead of seeing home ownership as a reliably safe investment, many of today’s young adults may now see some risk that houses could become financial albatrosses due to events beyond their control.

Brainard, L. (2015, April 2). Coming of Age in the Great Recession. Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/brainard20150402a.htm


Gavel-300px Parade of the Clueless and Entitled

WHY oh why, daughter asks, do I watch [Judge Judy]? Because it’s fascinating. Not the yelling at people in need of a dressing-down, although of course that’s part of it. It’s the parade of clueless and entitled people who’ve never been told that it is not bad luck that put them here, but bad choices. Last night JJ barked at someone a remark that her son shouldn’t have gotten a young girl pregnant, and that the kids had behaved stupidly.

Mom was appalled. That’s judgmental, she said.

That’s the worst thing you can be in her world.

Lileks, J. (2014, June 13). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0614/061314.html


🍸Ease of Suicide

If your economic thrust is based on all the debaucherous things bros can do when frittering away their life savings, your city may need to rethink itself. It looks like that time is coming for Las Vegas, as the gaming industry struggles with the rise of online gambling and other cities are jumping on the casino bandwagon as a bulwark for their local economy.

One local writer, struggling to come up with the ten best things about the city (after listing gambling and entertainment in the top five), opted to choose “ease of suicide” for the number nine slot.

Gallagher, B. (2013, March 15). 10 Most Overrated Cities in America. Retrieved from http://www.complex.com/city-guide/2013/03/overrated-cities-in-america/las-vegas


🎦 The Gene Siskel Test

Is this movie more entertaining than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?

Eugene Kal “Gene” Siskel (January 26, 1946 – February 20, 1999). American film critic and journalist for Chicago Tribune.


🎬 Things Happen for a Reason

Movies are about telling the same lies over and over again. You know, good beats evil, things happen for a reason, attractive people are interesting.
~ Michael De Santa

Grand Theft Auto V. Houser, S., & Humphries, R. Rockstar Games. 2013. Video Game.


♗Ennobled by Suffering

But once more, so-called liberals indulge their penchant for wanting to see these people as ennobled by the very act of their suffering, and, therefore, to be forgiven for all acts of personal failings.

SouthernView (2014, July 22). Re: When Struggling Families Spark Internet Rage [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/when-struggling-families-spark-internet-rage/?_r=0


📣 Speaks for Itself

People who are comfortably living on their own terms don’t announce that to people. Their comfort speaks for itself through the absence of any need or impulse to sell.

Hax, C. (2014, September 13). Carolyn Hax: Long-distance lover under a cloud of suspicion. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-long-distance-lover-under-a-cloud-of-suspicion/2014/09/13/383544de-2d5c-11e4-bb9b-997ae96fad33_story.html


Eye_ChartMyopic

They can only see through the myopia of their pain and experience. It’s the sole filter. And that’s just because that is their emotional truth.

[…]

After all, you have to remember that the number one way to spread propaganda, politically speaking, is to legitimize a lie as being a “side” of an argument, and then you can just appeal to the emotional subtext of those who are most likely to believe that emotional truth underneath it. As such, the lie becomes a weapon.

[…]

But just as I have argued many times, we have such a difficult time seeing ourselves as anything but a person in a momentary interaction. And so we only like to debate the fairness of that myopic interaction itself. We are so damn bad at seeing ourselves as part of a larger trend / system. We are so bad at seeing what we are actually advocating on the whole.

Film Crit Hulk. (2014, October 27). Film Crit Hulk Smash: ON DESPAIR, GAMERGATE AND QUITTING THE HULK. Retrieved from http://badassdigest.com/2014/10/27/film-crit-hulk-smash-on-despair-gamergate-and-quitting-the-hulk/


MP-5

Now I can solve up to 800 problems a minute.
~ Gordon Freeman, after picking up an MP-5

Freeman’s Mind: Episode 11. Dir. Ross Scott. Accursed Farms. N.p., 4 May 2009. Web. 14 Dec. 2010.


🚄 A Trip to the Edge of Despair

But all of it sounds like what smart, privileged young people flirting in a foreign country, might say to one another as they turned themselves inside out, dying to make an impression. Linklater, writing this script with Kim Krizan, understood that modern mating rituals depend on put-ons, games, boasts, self-deprecation, egotism dissolving into laughter.

[…]

Self-certainty has triumphed; that’s the way Celine and Jesse–and, by extension, most of us–manage to survive.

[…]

Celine and Jesse are not married, but their fight goes to questions at the heart of upper-middle-class matrimony. Who gets a full share of gratification, who has to sacrifice in order to keep things going?

[…]

Delpy’s Celine turns quarrelsome, almost preëmptively angry, and Hawke’s Jesse becomes defensive and sarcastic. The hotel clash is both harrowing and funny, a trip to the edge of despair and dissolution taken by people whose anger and wit never run out.

Denby, D. (2013, May 27). Review: Before Midnight (2013). Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/05/27/couples-4


⛲ Amusement

Life has an aching void I cannot fill without constant, meaningless amusement.

Lileks, J. Comic Sins: Richie Rich. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/institute/comicsins/covers/rich/52.html

14

✈️

Make it Look Effortless

At 28, I can say that sometimes I feel like an adult and a lot of the time, I don’t. Being a Millennial and trying to adult is wildly disorienting. I can’t figure out if I’m supposed to start a non-profit, get another degree, develop a wildly profitable entrepreneurial venture, or somehow travel the world and make it look effortless online. Mostly it just looks like taking a job that won’t ever pay off my student debt in a field that is not the one that I studied.

Eleusiniotis, M. (2016, January 5). When Are You Really an Adult? Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/when-are-you-really-an-adult/422487/?single_page=true

🧠

Plasticity

At about age 22 or 23, the brain is pretty much done developing, according to Steinberg, who studies adolescence and brain development. That’s not to say you can’t keep learning—you can! Neuroscientists are discovering that the brain is still “plastic”—malleable, changeable—throughout life. But adult plasticity is different from developmental plasticity, when the brain is still developing new circuits, and pruning away unnecessary ones. Adult plasticity still allows for modifications to the brain, but at that point, the neural structures aren’t going to change.
“It’s like the difference between remodeling your house and redecorating it,” Laurence Steinberg, the distinguished university professor of psychology at Temple University, says.

Beck, J. (2016, January 5). When Are You Really an Adult? Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/when-are-you-really-an-adult/422487/?single_page=true

Nostalgia Voters

Trump’s campaign—with its sweeping promise to “make American great again”—triumphed by converting self-described “values voters” into what I’ve called “nostalgia voters.” Trump’s promise to restore a mythical past golden age—where factory jobs paid the bills and white Protestant churches were the dominant cultural hubs—powerfully tapped evangelical anxieties about an uncertain future.

[…]

The clearest example of evangelical ethics bending to fit the Trump presidency is white evangelicals’ abandonment of their conviction that personal character matters for elected officials.
In 2011 and again just ahead of the 2016 election, PRRI asked Americans whether a political leader who committed an immoral act in his or her private life could nonetheless behave ethically and fulfill their duties in their public life. In 2011, consistent with the “values voter” brand and the traditional evangelical emphasis on the importance of personal character, only 30 percent of white evangelical Protestants agreed with this statement. But with Trump at the top of the Republican ticket in 2016, 72 percent of white evangelicals said they believed a candidate could build a kind of moral dyke between his private and public life.

[…]

And Donald Trump’s installation as the 45th president of the United States may in fact temporarily prop up, by pure exertions of political and legal power, what white Christian Americans perceive they have lost. But these short-term victories will come at an exorbitant price. Like Esau, who exchanged his inheritance for a pot of stew, white evangelicals have traded their distinctive values for fleeting political power. Twenty years from now, there is little chance that 2016 will be celebrated as the revival of White Christian America, no matter how many Christian right leaders are installed in positions of power over the next four years. Rather, this election will mostly likely be remembered as the one in which white evangelicals traded away their integrity and influence in a gambit to resurrect their past.

Jones, R. P. (2017, July 4). Trump Can’t Reverse the Decline of White Christian America. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/07/robert-jones-white-christian-america/532587/

🐍

Irretrievably Depraved

“Developments in psychology and brain science continue to show fundamental differences between juvenile and adult minds,” the [Supreme] Court wrote in its 2010 decision. “For example, parts of the brain involved in behavior control continue to mature through late adolescence… Juveniles are more capable of change than are adults, and their actions are less likely to be evidence of ‘irretrievably depraved character’ than are the actions of adults.”

Beck, J. (2016, January 5). When Are You Really an Adult? Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/01/when-are-you-really-an-adult/422487/?single_page=true

Gavel-300px

Pre-hate

One site I will not be doing anytime soon: the Faces of Judge Judy. Possibly because people would think it consisted entirely of 47 screen grabs of JJ scowling or making that happy-harpy face when someone really steps in it. I love her show, but not for the usual “reality” TV show reasons. It’s the only show where people who have never been told off in their life get told. Hard. In a world that regards Judgment with the same terror a Lutheran has in church when the new preacher instructs the congregation to turn left and hug the next person in the pew, the bestowal of stern, sharp, and un-appealable judgment for personal behavior is wonderfully bracing.

Sometimes the people’s behavior is so uncouth, so selfish, so clueless that she hates them before she comes out; you can tell when she shoots a death-glare at a defendant when taking the bench. It’s also just nice to see people who got by their whole lives on what they presumed to be charm being instructed that they are simply not that impressive. It’s a good experience for people who have been tossing their hair and giggling all their lives and thinking they’re just adorable.

Lileks, J. (2014, May 15). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0514/051514.html

Piercing our Complacency

Comedy, in the hands of gifted artists, is a weapon that pierces our complacency, that forces us to acknowledge the absurdity of Nazism, of goose-stepping, believing that orders given to you by your superiors must be followed without question.

Anker, D. (Director). (2004). Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust[Motion picture]. USA: Anker Productions.

📱

Exponential Growth Potential

I have an ex who has been emailing/texting me for four years. I haven’t responded in all that time and did take precautions to make sure that he wouldn’t be able to find out where I live (set my legal address to my father’s house, etc.). Eventually, I realized that he doesn’t expect me to respond, he just wants to feel heard in a world where he has no one to listen. Sort of like that friend everyone has who stream-of-consciously vents and wants everyone to sit silently and listen to their catharsis. They need an audience for their insecurities and outbursts, even when they’re really just talking to themselves. They aren’t dangerous, per say, just an annoyance with exponential growth potential.

Shouraku. (2013, January 4). Stalker, No Stalking! Retrieved from http://ask.metafilter.com/232431/Stalker-No-Stalking#3364521

🏛️

Doubling Down

When it takes 20 months to build one thing, your skill set becomes less about innovation and more about navigating bureaucracy. That means the longer you stay, the more you’re doubling down on staying even longer.

Sulzberger, A. G. (2014). New York Times Innovation Report, 88. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/doc/224332847/NYT-Innovation-Report-2014

🏖️

Vagaries of Passion

There was a nice view of the beach though and you can use the binoculars to observe much younger people and I stood there for a while trying to reconcile the advantages of wealth and experience against the pleasures of the flesh now denied to me, but I realized that the denial was my own doing, that I had not succumbed to time but run into its dry, brittle embrace, feeling from the vagaries of passion to the rote expectations of comfort and routine.

Lileks, J. (2014, May 21). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0514/052114.html

🤡

Ceaseless Parade

If you knew nothing of earth you might assume there was a plague of light-sensitivity, or perhaps a human mutation that made people so horrible to behold everyone bricked up the windows so they wouldn’t have to gaze on the ceaseless parade of nightmares.

Lileks, J. (2014, May 22). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0514/052214.html

💨

Opposite of BS

Whatever the opposite of bullshit is, I think that’s what James Gandolfini was searching for.

flamencow. James Gandolfini Tribute to a Friend. Online video clip. YouTube. Youtube, 22 Jan 2014. Web. 14 May 2014. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZ_XzlIvgEQ