♛ Important People

As John Whitehead, the godfather of Goldman’s modern culture, wrote in a set of guidelines for executives: “Important people like to deal with other important people. Are you one?”

Hagan, J. (2009, July 26). Tenacious G: Inside Goldman Sachs. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/news/business/58094/

🌏 Life Goes On

Life goes on, but you wish it went someplace better.

Source Unknown


It was meant sincerely, and like all things sincerely intended, the Boomers had to turn him into a sarcastic joke to show they could see right through all the things that were wrong with the world.  Like sincerity, I suppose.

Lileks, J. (2012). Graveyard Special (Mill City Book 1) . Amazon Digital Services LLC. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/Graveyard-Special-Mill-City-Book-ebook/dp/B00962GFES/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1500508490&sr=1-3

🌰 Comedy Brain

I use it to illustrate the comedy brain. It picks up so much except a lot of the basic stuff that you really need.

Jerry Seinfeld

 VoxophoneFoolish Girls

God made foolish girls so he’d have something to play with.

Fitzroy, D (1912, Feb 12). A Place in the World. Soldier’s Field Voxophone, Recording 022. Bioshock Infinite. 2K Games. 2013. Video Game.


Tony: Turns out I’m a fucking robot to my own pussy-ass weakness.

Weiner, M., & Winter, T. (Writers). (2004, May 2). Unidentified Black Males [Television series episode]. In The Sopranos. HBO.


Deacon: That’s sweeping leaves on a windy day.

Simon, D., & Price, R. (Writers). (2004, September 26). All Due Respect [Television series episode]. In The Wire. HBO.

👍 Patronize

… and the thing about patronization is that it hides its self-involvement with a pretense of goodwill.

Ivan Fyodorovich (2014, Oct 27). Re: What the garbageman doesn’t know [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/143948/What-the-garbageman-doesnt-know#5791826

🕒 Everything is Fleeting

Time, and our interaction with time, and the way in which we are all ultimately overmatched and worn down by time, and the notion of cinema as a means of sculpting with time: these and other aspects of temporality are at the heart of “Boyhood.” Time is the core around which all of this movie’s musings on childhood and parenthood are woven. It’s the river down which the scenes and characters travel without consciously realizing that they are on individual journeys that all have the same ending. If life is “about” anything, it’s about realizing and accepting that fact: that everything is fleeting. Time gives birth and nourishes and then obliterates as it moves ahead, like the family which, in an early scene, prepares to move out of a house by covering murals and hand-lettered height charts with white paint. The film ends and the credits come up and you ask the same question that you ask at the end of an evening spent with old, dear friends: where did the time go?

Seitz, M. Z. (2014, July 11). Review: Boyhood (2014). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/boyhood-2014

🌲🌲🌲 Enlightened Environmentalists

The Bay Area, on the whole, is a case study in how liberalism – and I mean specifically liberalism, rather than socialism/leftism – fails in practice. The city, the peninsula, Silicon Valley, the exurban East Bay, the north bay, and even great swathes of Oakland and Berkeley are places where hyperindividualist liberalism is the governing ideology. Although the residents here mouth statements about inclusivity and acceptance in the abstract, they are completely gung ho about avoiding all of those things should they appear to threaten either property values or creature comforts when actually realized. Moreover, the idea of collective action is absolutely anathema to them, since individual choice is the only version of freedom comprehensible to them. This is how a bunch of property owners in wretched little towns like Palo Alto and Menlo Park, all of whom think of themselves as enlightened environmentalists, end up frantically trying to sabotage high speed rail lines in order to protect the sanctity of their large backyards. This is how Marin county ends up as a hotbed for measles outbreaks triggered by selfish antivaxxers. This is how they all find themselves either comfortable with or totally oblivious to Tom Steyer’s hedge fund’s use of economic force majeure to expel long-term residents of West Oakland to make way for white people – after all, if the people being foreclosed upon after being stuck with predatory loan terms had simply freely chosen not to get scammed, they’d still have their houses, right?

You Can’t Tip a Buick (2015, Feb 4). Re: It’s always the dentists [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/146736/Its-always-the-dentists#5923043

🎦 Productivity Theater

I suspect in most cases you’re still only getting 30-40 hours of real work output, even if someone is physically in the office or at their computer 80 hours a week. The rest is productivity theater.

almostmanda (2015, May 4). Re: Why some men pretend to work 80-hour weeks [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/149348/Why-some-men-pretend-to-work-80-hour-weeks#6033639



Cover its Tracks

Contempt is frequently overt, but it can also be very subtle. Sometimes it hides itself under superficially polite language and behavior, with the real meaning recognizable only to its targets. Often it is put forward as merely good-natured fun or, in the parlance of 2016, “locker room” talk. It is troublingly easy for contempt to cover its tracks. It is also troublingly easy for listeners to take up another’s contempt without realizing it. This is particularly true when contempt is expressed as mockery.

Stohr, K. (2017, January 23). Our New Age of Contempt. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/opinion/our-new-age-of-contempt.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region


To Annihilate Truth

The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov drew upon long familiarity with that process when he tweeted: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

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?_r=0


Judge a Friend

Speaking on Tuesday night, Mr. Maher, who counts himself as a liberal, did not sound particularly chastened by these assessments. He said he knew his interview with Mr. Yiannopoulos would never be satisfactory to some viewers. “No matter what I did,” he said, “it was never going to be enough for that slice of liberalism that would much rather judge a friend than engage an enemy, because it’s easier.”

Itzkoff, D. (2017, February 22). Bill Maher, Faulted for Booking Milo Yiannopoulos, Takes Credit for His Fall. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/22/arts/television/bill-maher-milo-yiannopoulos-interview.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&rref=homepage&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Home%20Page&pgtype=article


Comic Sans

I’m pretty sure that the Comic Sans mocking is only because it has been so overused for things like shitty break room printout announcements and stuff like that. It’s an unimaginative choice of font for communicating that people use to say “hey, this should be read but shouldn’t be taken too personally even if it is an edict issued from Above”.

hippybear (2017, Feb 25). Re: The truly villainous font is the ubiquitous Times New Roman [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/165320/The-truly-villainous-font-is-the-ubiquitous-Times-New-Roman#6936286


We’re Trying to Get Through Our Day

Look, you’re a human, I’m a human. We’re breathing the same air. We have the same problems. We’re trying to get through our day. Who the fuck are you to throw a log in the road of somebody who has a different set of difficulties in life?

Marchese, D. (2017, March 5). In Conversation: David Letterman. Retrieved from http://www.vulture.com/2017/03/david-letterman-in-conversation.html


Pulled into Other People’s Fights

Maybe Kong, the last of his kind, is supposed to be the lone superpower, a kindhearted tough guy that only wants to be left alone but keeps getting pulled into other people’s fights.

Seitz, M. Z. (2017, March 5). Kong: Skull Island (2017). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/kong-skull-island-2017


Electronic Augmentation

I once saw Yann Martel put forth the following analogy in a talk:

A deer in the forest has senses that let it monitor its environment out to a certain diameter. For the sake of the analogy let’s say it’s 250 meters, give or take depending on various factors (e.g. weather). That is all the deer needs. If a predator is further away then it doesn’t really concern the deer. Now let’s say we electronically augmented the deer’s senses so that it could monitor the forest up to a kilometer around it. It would be aware of a lot more predators but that wouldn’t actually be of any use to it because a predator further away than its unaugmented senses could detect shouldn’t be of any concern. The only result of augmenting the deer’s senses would be to stress the animal out, negatively impacting it. Almost every human being on the planet has senses that have been electronically augmented, through mass media and the internet and so on, resulting in the stresses of modern existence.

Kattullus (2010, April 25). Re: Mean World Syndrome [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/91365/Mean-World-Syndrome#3059109



And of course it is true that to one degree or another we are, in fact, hostile to each other, and when we are accused of holding that hostility, we do indeed hate the accusation and the accuser. So that the paranoid creates the reality which proves him right.

Miller, A. (2016). It Could Happen Here–And Did (1967). In Collected Essays: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition).


Last Trace of Sentiment

…but what it comes down to is that a lot of people are pretty sure they’re getting cheated. If you think the world has screwed you, you get mad.

They notice that the attempt to squeeze the last cent of profit out of any operation has also squeezed the last trace of sentiment out of what passes for human interaction. They see that technology serves relentless efficiency, and somewhere in that efficiency life gets joyless and existence precarious.


They observe how put-together types with attitude and little qualification can make a bundle buying and eviscerating solid companies that actually produce things or setting up consultancies that trade on connections at the money-influence margins of politics. They know that if something goes wrong with the rigged system the losses will get “socialized.” Regular schmucks who work a shift will pay while insiders walk away. That’s how things have been since the 21st century began. The fix is always in.

Cohen, R. (2017, February 28). The Madness of Crowds. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/28/opinion/the-madness-of-crowds.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



The genius of the hole: no matter how long you spend climbing out, you can still fall back down in an instant.

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