13

Hulk Emoji

Fear of His Own Anger

And as such, we learn that banner can call out his hulk at a moment’s notice. Which, in my opinion, is a wonderful evolution of the character. It speaks to the idea that our emotions are something that are always present. Anger can’t be abstained from. It cannot be feared. Anger is simply an ever-present part of us, just as much as joy, sadness, or even something instinctual like hunger. It is something that is just felt. And I believe this is precisely where “the cruel joke” comes into play (referred earlier in the article as “It’s as if he is the only one who is keenly aware of a cruel joke being played on the world.”)
For years, banner battled his own mind and merely turned out that fear of his own anger was a trap. Really, he had to understand it. To recognize it and accept it. And that’s precisely what brought genuine control. The whole thing seems like a contradiction, but no more a contradiction than the idea that unleashing “the other guy” can be the very thing that makes his [Hulk] heroic.

Film Crit Hulk. (2012, May 7). THE HULK ON MARK RUFFALO’S HULK. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/05/the-hulk-on-mark-ruffalos-hulk.html

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Mail-It-In Autopilot

This guy has been on “mail-it in” autopilot for decades, sleepwalking his way through movie after movie, and somehow convincing people it’s all brilliant and genius. It’s the same awkward sarcasm of a guy living on a reputation established more than 30 years ago and gets away with it because anyone who criticizes him gets browbeaten into submission by fanatics who have convinced themselves [Bill] Murray is a cultural icon, when he is no such thing.

20 Over-rated Actors. (2014, March 29). Retrieved from http://www.rantlifestyle.com/2014/03/29/20-overrated-actors/#slide39 (URL no longer active)

👑

Ready-made Violence

On a basic story level, you could argue that rape-revenge is technically doing the character the courtesy of dealing with the significance and fallout of trauma, but really it’s just turning that trauma into another short-cut for ready-made violence and rote catharsis. The whole problem here is that, also like the texture of horror, it can just as easily spill over into gross over-simplification and exploitation.

Film Crit Hulk. (2014, April 29). CAN HULK COMPLAIN ABOUT GAME OF THRONES’ RAPE SCENE YET? Retrieved from http://badassdigest.com/2014/04/29/can-hulk-complain-about-game-of-thrones-rape-scene-yet/

Lego Brick

Currency of Life

This is probably really clear in the film’s “not letting his kid play with Legos” analogy, but think about it in grander terms. Think about the way society operates. The real problem is that adults build a world without understanding why they’re playing the game in the first place. Business. Politics. These are desperately important things that need to function and be taken seriously in order for society to function, but every damn day we forget that the reason we do them is because we actually crave the simplest things in life: fun. Peace of mind. Love. Togetherness. Despite how those words sound, I swear to you that these are not flowery ideas. These things are the real currency of life. And they are part of all the things adults claim they are fighting for.

The problem is that we build adult systems and values that so readily exclude it. That feed into our desire to overwork. That get us to miss all that other good stuff in our lives. That mine it for maximum business and feed into the same system that doesn’t actually want you to have happiness, but merely continued consumption. It is essentially “objectifying” all our simple things. Again, this isn’t to get all political on your ass, but the business for business’ sake moral argument might be the most forehead-slapping bit of inanity ever. Not because it doesn’t work, but because it doesn’t understand the root of happiness lies in emotional sanctification, not chasing an endless high and constantly expecting a different result. Sorry, but it’s all right there plain as day.

Meaning day after day, adulthood fails us.

And really, they are failing themselves.  And all this parent / kid metaphor mumbo-jumbo is the reason the climax to THE LEGO MOVIE works. It is the simple act of telling adulthood that they are wasting it. That they need to embrace the real purpose under everything.

Film Crit Hulk. (2014, February 11). THE REAL AWESOMENESS OF THE LEGO MOVIE. Retrieved from http://badassdigest.com/2014/02/11/film-crit-hulk-smash-the-real-awesomeness-of-the-lego-movie

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Advice

Stories can take that didactic thing we call “advice” and render it into experience; meaning it can make us experience things before we actually have to deal with them and guide us in that purpose. It can show us where we have been. It can clarify life’s reality.

Film Crit Hulk. (2014, January 22). Film Crit Hulk Smash: THE ACT OF KILLING AND THE REAL MEANING OF IMPACT. Retrieved from http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2014/01/22/film-crit-hulk-smash-the-act-of-killing-and-the-real-meaning-of-impact

Medium_Health_pickup_TF2

People might be more prone to mix it up if they knew they could survive several shotgun blasts at close proximity by walking over a bag with a Red Cross on the side.

Lileks, J. (2014, May 9). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/14/0514/050914.html

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Product

The problem isn’t that the movies are product—most movies are product, and always have been—but that they can’t be bothered to pretend they’re not product. That’s the difference between popular art and forgettable mass-produced entertainment: the mass-produced entertainment flaunts its product-ness, then expects us to praise even minor evidence of idiosyncrasy as proof that we are not, in fact, collectively spending billions on product.

Seitz, M. Z. (2014, May 6). Things Crashing Into Other Things: Or, My Superhero Movie Problem. Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/mzs/things-crashing-into-other-things-or-my-superhero-movie-problem

🥤

Odd Question

Odd question, but it’s on my mind. If I pee into a bowl and use the filter on that, will it taste like water or pee?

Why ruin the taste of urine w/ a LifeStraw???
Chris H. answered on November 11, 2014

If you are at the point where you have to drink your pee, does taste really matter?
mrvman answered on October 23, 2014

Severson, T. (2013, October 29). Amazon.com: Questions & Answers. Retrieved from https://www.amazon.com/forum/-/Tx2J7FU0SL633HP/ref=ask_dp_dpmw_al_hza?asin=B006QF3TW4

Equilibrium

Frustratingly, Harlow limited his discussion of Gage’s mental status to a few hundred words, but he does make it clear that Gage changed—somehow. Although resolute before the accident, Harlow says Gage was now capricious, and no sooner made a plan than dropped it for another scheme. Although deferential to people’s wishes before, Gage now chafed at any restraint on his desires. Although a “smart, shrewd businessman” before, Gage now lacked money sense. And although courteous and reverent before, Gage was now “fitful [and] irreverent, indulging at times in the grossest profanity.” Harlow summed up Gage’s personality changes by saying, “the equilibrium … between his intellectual faculties and his animal propensities seems to have been destroyed.” More pithily, friends said that Gage “was no longer Gage.”

Kean, S. (2014, May 6). Phineas Gage, Neuroscience’s Most Famous Patient. Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/05/phineas_gage_neuroscience_case_true_story_of_famous_frontal_lobe_patient.html

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🍾

Vacuous Lives

That the uber rich are often profoundly decadent sybarites is hardly a news flash or even noteworthy. The Egyptian Pharaohs, the Emperors during myriad dynasties in ancient China as well as the Monarchical leaders of France and England have all seen numerous corrupt and depraved members. Modern America with the infamous one hundredth of the top one percent with their philistine manners are merely following the pattern of the ultra-wealthy. Moral depravity and vacuous lives are often inherent in the lives of the worldly super rich.

Vindication (2015, August 22). Re: Dinner and Deception: Serving elaborate meals to the super-rich left me feeling empty [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/dinner-and-deception.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

🌁

Murky Dark

[Michael] McDonald’s numb, phantom longing is matched to music (featuring “Rosanna”-era Toto players) that comes in stormy but slowly clears up, only to drop back into the murky dark again exactly as he comes to the realization that he’s clinging to the apparition of a closeness long since departed.

Pitchfork. (2015, August 24). The 200 Best Songs of the 80’s: #147 Michael McDonald “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near).” Retrieved from http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9700-the-200-best-songs-of-the-1980s/?page=3

💸

[Edward Gibbon’s] father had neither the business sense nor the resilience of his grandfather, and through social ambitions, pretensions, and mismanagement, squandered much of what had been a considerable fortune.

“His gay character and mode of life,” Gibbon, in mild understatement, wrote, “were less adapted to the acquisition than to the expenditure of wealth.”

Epstein, J. (2015, September 1). The Best of Scribblers Edward Gibbon and the importance of great writing to great history. Retrieved from https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/best-scribblers/

⚙️⚙️⚙️

Engineer-wash

Just as the heavy industry can greenwash to produce the appearance of environmental responsibility and the consumer industry can pinkwash to connect themselves to cause marketing, so the technology industry can “engineerwash”—leveraging the legacy of engineering in order to make their products and services appear to engender trust, competence, and service in the public interest.

Bogost, I. (2015, November 5). Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/programmers-should-not-call-themselves-engineers/414271/

Handcuff Emoji

“To be accused is to lose.  Every time.” Dean Strang, speaking of the loss of reputation and character damage when charged with a crime, guilty or not.

Making a Murderer. By Laura Ricciardi. Dir. Moira Demos. Perf. Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey. Netflix, 18 Dec. 2015. Web.

💁

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

Mark Twain (or not)

🎩

Paleo-Rich

“The second generation paleo-rich are the worst because they actually think they deserve their position, and they haven’t even done anything to earn it. Trump is a classic second generation paleo-rich, as are the Waltons and the Kochs.”

Classic examples of being born on third base and then insisting you hit a triple.

Jim in Austin (2017, June 30). Re: How the superrich have funded a new class of intellectual [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/167934/How-the-superrich-have-funded-a-new-class-of-intellectual#7081938

🌄

Mirage of Happiness

Like so many Kaufman characters, the ones in this movie are struggling, stumbling even, towards what might be a mirage of happiness, while battling both their own social conditioning and pathologies and the bland indifference of the world around them—a world that includes billions of other people who all think they are the stars of their own life-movies, and at times seem deeply frustrated by the fact that they haven’t experienced one of those transformative moments that tell moviegoers, “Everything is going to be fine for this character now, don’t worry.”

Seitz, M. Z. (2015, December 29). Review: Anomalisa (2015). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/anomalisa-2015

🔮

Thought Leader

The purpose of the thought leader is to mirror, systematize, and popularize the delusions of the superrich: that they have earned their fortunes on merit, that social protections need to be further eviscerated to make everyone more flexible for “the future,” and that local attachments and alternative ways of living should be replaced by an aspirational consumerism. The thought leader aggregates these fundamental convictions into a great humanitarian mission. Every problem, he prophesies, can be solved with technology and rich people’s money, if we will only get our traditions, communities, and democratic norms out of the way.

Sessions, D. (2017, June 28). The Rise of the Thought Leader. Retrieved from https://newrepublic.com/article/143004/rise-thought-leader-how-superrich-funded-new-class-intellectual

Startups

The upstarts who work at startups don’t often stay at any one place for very long. (Three out of four startups fail. More than nine out of ten never earn a return.) They work a year here, a few months there—zany hours everywhere. They wear jeans and sneakers and ride scooters and share offices and sprawl on couches like Great Danes. Their coffee machines look like dollhouse-size factories.

Lepore, J. (2014, June 23). The Disruption Machine: What the gospel of innovation gets wrong. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/06/23/the-disruption-machine

School Desk

Unqualified Snobbery

The most “worldly” society I have ever lived in is that of schoolboys: most worldly in the cruelty and arrogance of the strong, the toadyism and mutual treachery of the weak, and the unqualified snobbery of both. Nothing was so base that the school proletariat would not do it, or suffer it, to win the favour of the school aristocracy: hardly any injustice too bad for the aristocracy to practice.

Lewis, C.S. “A Reply to Professor Haldane.” Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, Edited by Walter Hooper, Harvest Books, 2002, pp. 79.

11

Implacably

Sir Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport), a senior presence at the Foreign Office, whose demeanor is modeled on a Rolls-Royce crunching lightly but implacably up a gravel drive…

Lane, A. (2017, February 13). “A United Kingdom” and “Land of Mine.” Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/13/a-united-kingdom-and-land-of-mine

Miseries

Life knows two miseries; getting what you don’t want and not getting what you want.

Max Payne. Written by Sam Lake. Remedy Entertainment, 2001. Video Game.

🔫

Dick Justice

The rain was comin’ down like all the angels in heaven decided to take a piss at the same time.

Max Payne. Written by Sam Lake. Remedy Entertainment, 2001. Video Game.

🌷

Safe Space

The Trump phenomenon didn’t make sense to me until some writer pointed out that his campaign–its rhetoric, his rallies–offered the equivalent of a safe space to a certain kind of angry white person. I think it’s fair to say Trump is president only because of his success in nursing his supporters’ hurt feelings.

There’s no other way to parse it. His supporters admit they don’t take him literally. They show no more interest in policy-making than he does. Many of them effectively voted to give up their healthcare in his honor. They don’t care that he contradicts himself and doesn’t keep promises. They don’t care about his absurd cabinet, the lobbyists, the Russia stuff, the obstruction stuff, the apparent violations of the emoluments clause, the absence of his tax returns, his classless treatment of allies, his bluster, or the fact that his erratic behavior has rendered his government ineffective. When he says he’s been a tireless signer of new legislation, they believe him, despite the evidence [in front of] their eyes.

This only makes sense if we assume his supporters value their feelings above everything else. They like the way he makes them feel, even if he does things that go against their interests–taking their healthcare, wasting tax dollars on golf, lowering taxes for the rich–and dishonors our country before our allies. They like his stories, his romanticism (the only explanation for his economic platform), and his attitude. They’re like the lotus eaters from Odyssey.

Jeremy (2017, June 14). Re: How ‘Snowflake’ Became America’s Inescapable Tough-Guy Taunt [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/magazine/how-snowflake-became-americas-inescapable-tough-guy-taunt.html?action=click&contentCollection=magazine&module=NextInCollection&region=Footer&pgtype=article&version=column&rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words

propane-tank-300px

Immense Managerial Apparatuses

If you set aside his long-running TV show “King of the Hill,” which is much too loving to be considered satire, Judge’s corpus of work cleaves neatly into two pieces. In one, people are driven nearly to ruin in their efforts to escape the crush of immense managerial apparatuses (“Office Space,” “Extract”). In the other, we see the opposite — imbeciles left completely and terrifyingly to their own devices (“Beavis and Butt-Head”, “Idiocracy”).

Staley, W. (2017, April 13). Mike Judge, the Bard of Suck. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/13/magazine/mike-judge-the-bard-of-suck.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=image&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

🗑️

Indigestible Garbage

6. Most Music Sucks

Honestly, most of everything sucks. Most architecture sucks. Most visual art sucks. Most writing sucks. Falling in line with this noble, sacred truth, your music also probably sucks. Do you really think you deserve to get paid for sucking, just because you took the time to suck?

Here’s a parallel for you: Your friend decides to go to culinary school in Paris. He trains for a year with some of the most prestigious and proficient chefs in the entire world. When he comes home, he offers to cook you a meal for the modest price of just the ingredients required for the meal. Then he makes you a dish made of chocolate-covered sardines that have been marinating in duck blood for a week, garnished with Pizza Rolls that are frozen in the middle.

Should you pay him for this rancid mess? Because that’s what 99 percent of all bands are — indigestible garbage, meticulously crafted with clueless pride.

[…]

3. Feeling Pain Makes You Better

You can’t trust an artist of any medium who creates with the absence of genuine pain. That’s what this stuff is all about — communicating profound emotions through the cathartic process of creation. Contrived as it may seem, genuinely beautiful and memorable art (unless constructed by a brilliant and hollow master manipulator or impersonator) stems from an indescribable rawness that lacks a vehicle yet begs to be released. By keeping you miserable on some level, you’re being granted a favor. You don’t deserve to get compensated; it’s going to make you into a boring chump. If you don’t descend into illness and unrecoverable poverty, maybe later you’ll thank the world for screwing you over.

[…]

1. You Care Too Much

There are few things more rewarding than denying someone who cares entirely too much about something trivial. Rather than being content in doing the thing you supposedly are in love with, you choose to focus on things like financial compensation to indicate your success. If being validated by an outside force is what creates love and worth in your art, then you’re doing it for the wrong reason, and so you get nothing. You lose. Good day sir.

Ailes, D. (2015, February 3). Six Reasons Musicians Don’t Deserve To Get Paid. Retrieved from http://www.citypages.com/music/six-reasons-musicians-dont-deserve-to-get-paid-6617842

💀

Graveyard of Failures

Don’t start a podcast. You’re going to get discouraged within a year when nobody gives a shit about it and then you’re going to give up. After you give up, it will sit in your personal graveyard of failures and inadequacies. Its creative corpse will forever gaze at your future corpse.

Ailes, D. (2015, February 11). Kindly Think Again Before Making a Podcast. Retrieved from http://www.citypages.com/music/kindly-think-again-before-making-a-podcast-6629436

📠

Inexpressible Tedium

During the day, “educational sessions” on topics of inexpressible tedium—“Wave Goodbye to Low Volunteer Retention”—droned on, testament (as are the educational sessions of a hundred other conferences) to the fact that the growth field in higher education is not Elizabethan literature or organic chemistry but mid-level administration.

[…]

O, Utopia. Why must your sweet governance always turn so quickly from the Edenic to the Stalinist? The college revolutions of the 1960s—the ones that gave rise to the social-justice warriors of today’s campuses—were fueled by free speech. But once you’ve won a culture war, free speech is a nuisance, and “eliminating” language becomes a necessity.

Flanagan, C. (2015, September). That’s Not Funny! Today’s college students can’t seem to take a joke. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/thats-not-funny/399335/

💎

Create a Yearning

But it is the first move in the game: create a yearning for that which others cannot have and you can sell it at any price.

Gold, T. (2015, September). [Criticism] A Goose in a Dress. Retrieved from https://harpers.org/archive/2015/09/a-goose-in-a-dress/4/

 

 

 

 

10

🏦

Impression of Activity

The “Bankspeak” study noted the penchant of World Bank authors to link long chains of nouns with the word “and” can produce mind-numbing lists that create the impression of activity.

Mayeda, A. (2017, May 25). World Bank’s Star Economist Is Sidelined in War Over Words. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-25/war-over-words-erupts-as-world-bank-star-economist-is-sidelined

👎

Over-predict Failure

While most people tend to be optimistic, those suffering from depression and anxiety have a bleak view of the future — and that in fact seems to be the chief cause of their problems, not their past traumas nor their view of the present. While traumas do have a lasting impact, most people actually emerge stronger afterward. Others continue struggling because they over-predict failure and rejection. Studies have shown depressed people are distinguished from the norm by their tendency to imagine fewer positive scenarios while overestimating future risks. They withdraw socially and become paralyzed by exaggerated self-doubt.

Seligman, M. E., & Tierney, J. (2017, May 19). We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/19/opinion/sunday/why-the-future-is-always-on-your-mind.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&_r=0

Trump Emoji

Anti-Anti-Trumpism

Here is how it works: Rather than defend President Trump’s specific actions, his conservative champions change the subject to (1) the biased “fake news” media, (2) over-the-top liberals, (3) hypocrites on the left, (4) anyone else victimizing Mr. Trump or his supporters and (5) whataboutism, as in “What about Obama?” “What about Clinton?”

[…]

But, as Damon Linker noted, anti-anti-Trumpism “allows the right to indulge its hatred of liberals and liberalism while sidestepping the need for a reckoning with the disaster of the Trump administration itself.”

[…]

In many ways anti-anti-Trumpism mirrors Donald Trump himself, because at its core there are no fixed values, no respect for constitutional government or ideas of personal character, only a free-floating nihilism cloaked in insult, mockery and bombast.

Sykes, C. J. (2017, May 12). If Liberals Hate Him, Then Trump Must Be Doing Something Right. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/opinion/sunday/if-liberals-hate-him-then-trump-must-be-doing-something-right.html

Periodically Ruined

Subsequent fiascos — the rise of Al Qaeda and then the Islamic State, the crisis of unregulated financial capitalism followed by the bailout of culpable bankers — confirmed that this elite was too entrenched to be displaced by its failures and too arrogant to learn from them.

[…]

It could be argued that this frequently asserted and widely believed American creed of continuous and irreversible progress is what saved a diverse society not only from tragic social conflicts, but also from the mass manipulators who have periodically ruined other countries with their quack solutions.

Mishra, P. (2017, April 28). America, From Exceptionalism to Nihilism. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/28/opinion/america-from-exceptionalism-to-nihilism.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

⚔️

Always Cranked Up to 10

Guy Ritchie is that fun friend whose texts you don’t always return because his energy level is always cranked up to 10, and even when you’re in the mood for him, he still wears you out.

No, the real problem is that the movie is unmodulated from start to finish. It never lets up in the exact way that a cocaine addict who wants to tell you his life story before closing time never lets up.

[…]

…the film does it constantly for two hours, dicing dialogue, performances and story points into microscopic narrative particles that disintegrate in the mind.

Seitz, M. Z. (2017, May 12). Review: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/king-arthur-legend-of-the-sword-2017

📈

TED Talk

Shortly before the end, Bess spoke with genuine enthusiasm about a TED Talk—a pat distillation of a zeitgeisty subject spewed by some billionaire narcissist in a headset, accompanied by inaccurate line graphs. Weeks prior, she had used the word “impactful” in a sentence. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to the Bess Kalb Fund for Adult Illiteracy.

Kalb, B. (2016, April 30). Obituaries My Mother Wrote for Me While I Was Living in San Francisco in My Twenties. Retrieved from http://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/obituaries-my-mother-wrote-for-me-while-i-was-living-in-san-francisco-in-my-twenties

📣

Self-Lionizing Prophets

Alienation breeds a hysterical public conversation. Its public intellectuals are addicted to overstatement, sloppiness, pessimism, and despair. They are self-indulgent and self-lionizing prophets of doom who use formulations like “the Flight 93 election” — who speak of every problem as if it were the apocalypse.

Brooks, D. (2017, May 23). The Alienated Mind. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/opinion/alienated-mind-trump-supporters.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&src=trending&module=Ribbon&version=origin&region=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Trending&pgtype=article

🚏

And It Never Will

Urban living is a pain even when there’s enough room. For most of the morning there was a screaming lady at the corner by the bus stop – whatever line she was waiting for never came, and never will. Periodic orations of obscenities and injustices, punctuated by ambulance sirens that will never give her a lift unless she steps in front of one, and police cars that will never take her to the mentally ill shelter until she pushes someone else in front of a cab, and cabs that will never stop because they’re in a horrible mood all the time.

Lileks, J. (2017, June 28). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/17/0617/062817.html

black-death-star-48

Exhaust Port

Sure, you could crush their movements with an iron fist, using violence to kill, intimidate or arrest their most vocal members. But that can backfire, often turning them into martyrs and proving them right in the process — you’ve seen Star Wars; somebody always finds the exhaust port.

Wong, D. (2015, June 9). 5 Ways Powerful People Trick You Into Hating Protesters. Retrieved from http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-ways-powerful-people-trick-you-into-hating-underdogs/

🛐

Fury of a Thousand Suns

As is often the case, the “Christian morals and values” in question were less about feeding the poor and loving thy neighbor, and more about being weirdly preoccupied with who is fucking who.

[Massachusite pastor Scott] Lively got his no-homo ass to Uganda and gave lengthy lectures to the government about the dangers of homosexuality and how if two dudes even get boners in the same ZIP code, God will destroy the Earth with the fury of a thousand suns.

Radomile, C. (2017, January 30). 6 Random Nobodies (Who Secretly Run The World). Retrieved from http://www.cracked.com/article_24587_6-random-nobodies-who-secretly-run-world.html

9

🎬

Moments of Recognition

If one of the pleasures of movie-going is seeing strange new things on the screen, another pleasure, and probably a deeper one, is experiencing moments of recognition – times when we can say, yes, that’s exactly right, that’s exactly the way it would have happened.

Ebert, R. (1986, July 1). Review: About Last Night…(1986). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/about-last-night—-1986

🌅

Easy to Dismiss

As always, climate change works like an opportunistic pathogen, worsening existing woes, not acting alone. This can make it hard to pin down, easy to dismiss.

Kimmelman, M. (2017, April 7). Rising Waters Threaten China’s Rising Cities. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/04/07/world/asia/climate-change-china.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

❄️

Tough-Guy Posturing

These days, the preferred insult is a new addition to the canon: “snowflake.” It is simultaneously emasculating and infantilizing, suggesting fragility but also an inflated sense of a person’s own specialness and a naïve embrace of difference. It evokes the grade-school art classes in which children scissor up folded pieces of construction paper and learn that every snowflake is unique, and every person is, too. But in the Trump era, it feels as if the classroom bully has tipped over the craft table and is wielding the scissors triumphantly in the air.

[…]

The truth is that people who use “snowflake” as an insult tend to seem pretty aggrieved themselves — hypersensitive to dissent or complication and nursing a healthy appetite for feeling oppressed.

[…]

Today’s tough-guy posturing seems rooted, paradoxically, in threat and fear: fear of defeat, fear of lost status and fear that society is growing increasingly ill-suited to tough-guy posturing in the first place.

Hess, A. (2017, June 13). How “Snowflake” Became America’s Inescapable Tough-Guy Taunt. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/13/magazine/how-snowflake-became-americas-inescapable-tough-guy-taunt.html?action=click&contentCollection=magazine&module=NextInCollection&region=Footer&pgtype=article&version=column&rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words

🏆

Winning

“Silencing critics” is the beating heart of today’s “winning.” This is largely because your critics are not, in fact, competing with you; they have no formal power over you, are rarely seeking any and tend to do little more than express the opinion that you’ve done something wrong. They offer you a game you cannot lose. You don’t even need to be a public figure to benefit from this line of thinking: As soon as you decide your chief adversaries are the people who disapprove of your behavior (neighbors, doctors, elites, “the media,” climate scientists, other people on Facebook and Twitter), then simply continuing to do whatever you were already doing, no matter how ill advised or self-defeating, takes on the dimensions of a triumph.

But this is a very strange measure of victory. This kind of winning doesn’t set goals and then judge success by how much progress is made toward achieving them. Its focus is entirely on reputation and status and the superficial image of power. Sometimes it picks goals based on ease. Sometimes it achieves things at random and then claims they were goals. If all else fails, it just declares victory and sits back looking satisfied — as when Trump recently announced that “with few exceptions” there has never in history been a president who has “done more things.” After all, if you really do hold the almost feudal belief that there are two kinds of people — those ordained by nature to dominate and the losers upon whom they exercise their prerogatives — what do the details matter, as long as you’ve claimed a seat among the winners?

Abebe, N. (2017, June 20). Tired of “Winning”? You Should Be. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/magazine/tired-of-winning-you-should-be.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

🌽🌽🌽

Enemies are useful: We all know the sweet, full-bodied relief of having someone else to blame for our problems. Why did the crops fail? It could be that you are an inept farmer. It could be that everything is up to chance. Or it could be that your neighbor, who has always been jealous of you, is doing something sinister to your crops.

Quinn, A. (2017, June 6). How Did “Witch Hunt” Become the Complaint of the Powerful? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/magazine/how-did-witch-hunt-become-the-complaint-of-the-powerful.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2FFirst%20Words&action=click&contentCollection=Magazine&module=Collection&region=Marginalia&src=me&version=column&pgtype=article

🔃

The Outrage Cycle

“Someone does something on the internet,” he said. “It causes everyone to notice them. And the internet is this huge crowd that loves things way too intensely and disproportionately.”

“At some point, inevitably, it’s found out that they’ve said something regrettable at some point in their lives, because they’re human. They never realized they were going to have to stand up to the scrutiny of everyone. And then you hate them as much as you once loved them.”

“Before we were online, it took longer for people to disappoint you,” he added. “And sometimes, maybe, they never did.”

[…]

But Mr. Ward’s original tweet can also be seen as mocking the entirety of the now-familiar outrage cycle. It pokes fun at people’s repeated willingness to be seduced by seemingly lovable new public figures, as well as their predictable rejection of those figures when they become, as internet parlance would have it, problematic.

Bromwich, J. E. (2017, June 27). How a Joke Becomes a Meme: The Birth of “Milkshake Duck.” Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/arts/milkshake-duck-meme.html?module=WatchingPortal&region=c-column-middle-span-region&pgType=Homepage&action=click&mediaId=thumb_square&state=standard&contentPlacement=3&version=internal&contentCollection=www.nytimes.com&contentId=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2017%2F06%2F27%2Farts%2Fmilkshake-duck-meme.html&eventName=Watching-article-click&_r=0

👻

Imagined Enemy

The need to “win” is undoubtedly most present in those who see themselves as “losers.” Whether by circumstance or by self-destructive tendencies, those who feel marginalized by society, or ridiculed by better-educated people, or simply unloved and unwanted look for redemption by trying to defeat some imagined enemy. But lost in this quixotic crusade is the concept of collaboration, since one can hardly respect another if they do not respect themselves. The sad result is a fruitless cycle of trying to find self-worth through the vanquishing of others.

As with Trump himself, Republican voters seem wholly unsatisfied despite having won control of the government. They still feel inadequate and aggrieved, and can’t seem to figure out what to do now. While Trump tries to recreate the excitement of his campaign with bizarre “rallies” to boost his ego, the Trump voter looks at the unchanged conditions of his life and wonders when the spoils of victory will finally make him feel better about himself.

pconrad (2017, June 20). Re: Tired of Winning? You Should Be [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/magazine/tired-of-winning-you-should-be.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ffirst-words&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

8

‍🗨️

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

👀

Paranoid

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

🕳️

Genius

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.

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.

6

🚧

Law of Life

There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.

Mailer, N. (1955). The Deer Park. G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Ch. 26.

📚

Pointless Parade

History seems to be a pointless parade of insignificant events until we shape it into something that has significance for us, until we build myths out of it, until we begin using it to make up stories.

And after Sept. 11, 2001, as Latour quickly began to notice, people of all political stripes were rushing to attribute responsibility for the attacks to whatever party or supernatural force best indulged their fantasies about how the world works.

Smith, J. E. (2016, June 4). No, He’s Not Hitler. And Yet … Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/05/opinion/sunday/no-hes-not-hitler-and-yet.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region®ion=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

🌏

Inevitable Way of the World

Our principles, as lofty as we believe them to be, are imperfect. Many of us have an implicit belief that wealth and merit are connected, and that this connection is preordained and immutable. One would think that the examples of Donald Trump, Brock Turner, and all the other wealthy miscreants would stifle this belief, but predestination and the other residues of Calvinism are deeply entrenched in us. As a result, too many Americans see nothing wrong or undesirable with inequality, considering it God’s will and the inevitable way of the world. This is changing, and change will continue, but too slowly.

Edsall, T. B. (2016, June 9). Separated at Birth. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/opinion/campaign-stops/separated-at-birth.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

🔨

Evil is Incremental

“We all want to believe in our inner power, our sense of personal agency, to resist external situational forces of the kinds operating in this Stanford Prison Experiment,” Zimbardo reflected. “For many, that belief of personal power to resist powerful situational and systemic forces is little more than a reassuring illusion of invulnerability.”

We take comfort in the notion of an unbridgeable gulf between good and evil, but maybe we should understand, as Zimbardo’s work suggested, that evil is incremental—something we are all capable of, given the right circumstances.

Bauer, S. (2016, July-August). My four months as a private prison guard. Retrieved from http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/06/cca-private-prisons-corrections-corporation-inmates-investigation-bauer/

👳

Culture of Grievance

One of the Arab world’s most prominent and debilitating features, I had long felt, was a culture of grievance that was defined less by what people aspired to than by what they opposed.

Anderson, S. (2016, August 11). Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/11/magazine/isis-middle-east-arab-spring-fractured-lands.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=nytmm_FadingSlideShow_item&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

🌵

Committed Insincerity

For some reason I think of Yosemite Sam in that election-themed cartoon, sidling up to Bugs, saying “I lahk you, rabbit. You’re a good joe.” with broad, committed insincerity.

Lileks, J. (2016, August 16). The Bleat. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/bleats/archive/16/0816/081616.html

🗿

Permanence a Fiction

We are conditioned to believe that art is safe, beyond the reach of the grimy world. We don’t hang the Mona Lisa next to an archery range. We put her in a fortress: walls, checkpoints, lasers, guards, bulletproof glass. There are scholars, textbooks, posters — a whole collective mythology suggesting that the work will live forever. But safety is largely an illusion, and permanence a fiction. Empires hemorrhage wealth, bombs fall on cities, religious radicals decimate ancient temples. Destruction happens in any number of ways, for any number of reasons, at any number of speeds — and it will happen, and no amount of reverence will stop it.

Anderson, S. (2016, August 17). David’s Ankles: How Imperfections Could Bring Down the World’s Most Perfect Statue. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/magazine/davids-ankles-how-imperfections-could-bring-down-the-worlds-most-perfect-statue.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

💁

Cohesion

Is that actually why you’re here? I thought it was to create staff cohesion through our shared contempt for you.

Source Unknown

💊

Give In to Practicality

His Adderall patients are overwhelmingly creative people who wanted to work in the arts — yet, he says, many have chosen other paths, safer paths, resigning themselves before they’ve even really tried to achieve what they hoped for. “They often give in to practicality,” he says. “Then they feel they missed out. And when they take Adderall, it makes them feel good, so they don’t focus on the fact that they feel like they sold out.” Many people are using Adderall to mask a sense of disappointment in themselves, Stratyner says, because it narrows their focus down to simply getting through each day, instead of the larger context of what they’re trying to build with their lives. “It becomes extremely psychologically and physiologically addictive,” he says. “It’s really a tough drug to get off of.”

Schwartz, C. (2016, October 12). Generation Adderall. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/16/magazine/generation-adderall-addiction.html?action=click&contentCollection=Europe&module=Trending&version=Full&region=Marginalia&pgtype=article

🗽

Insulated from Outside Pressures

But what directly drives the attack on democracy, I’d argue, is simple careerism on the part of people who are apparatchiks within a system insulated from outside pressures by gerrymandered districts, unshakable partisan loyalty, and lots and lots of plutocratic financial support.

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

🍟

Junk Food News

In the last few years, many news organizations have steered themselves away from public-interest journalism and toward junk-food news, chasing page views in the vain hope of attracting clicks and advertising (or investment) – but like junk food, you hate yourself when you’ve gorged on it. The most extreme manifestation of this phenomenon has been the creation of fake news farms, which attract traffic with false reports that are designed to look like real news and are therefore widely shared on social networks. But the same principle applies to news that is misleading or sensationally dishonest, even if it wasn’t created to deceive: the new measure of value for too many news organizations is virality rather than truth or quality.

The increasing prevalence of this approach suggests that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the values of journalism – a consumerist shift. Instead of strengthening social bonds, or creating an informed public, or the idea of news as a civic good, a democratic necessity, it creates gangs, which spread instant falsehoods that fit their views, reinforcing each other’s beliefs, driving each other deeper into shared opinions, rather than established facts.

[…]

The story, as Chippindale and Horrie write, is a “classic smear”, free of any attributable evidence and “precisely fitting MacKenzie’s formula by publicizing the half-baked ignorant prejudice being voiced all over the country”.

But the age of relentless and instant information – and uncertain truths – can be overwhelming. We careen from outrage to outrage, but forget each one very quickly: it’s doomsday every afternoon.

Viner, K. (2016, July 12). How technology disrupted the truth. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/12/how-technology-disrupted-the-truth

 

Free Course

Whatever the story, [William S. Burroughs] later remarked that the “teaching gig was a lesson in never again.”

Jones, J. (2014, March 17). William S. Burroughs Teaches a Free Course on Creative Reading and Writing (1979). Retrieved from http://www.openculture.com/2014/03/william-s-burroughs-lectures-on-creative-reading-and-writing.html

5

🔖

“Excuse me, but…’Proactive?’…’Paradigm?’ Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?”

No, they are important concepts in helping potential investors understand that their money will be going towards immanentizing innovation as this group drills down to mindshare on organically dealing with the low-hanging fruit of their inter-connected passions.

nubs (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488428

👊

Sudden Aggressive Behavior

I am not by nature a violent person but that Elkus kid has a face designed to encourage sudden aggressive behavior.

1adam12 (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488395

🐷

Like Pigpen, But with Buzzwords

He’s supposedly a Creative Director, but he doesn’t do Creative or, seemingly, any Directing. He does, however, do a really good job of creating a cloud of buzzwords around himself. Like Pigpen, but with buzzwords.

functionequalsform (2016, April 19 7:33 AM CST). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488459

💵

…modern capitalism has nothing to do with providing goods or services.

Also, we were just talking about how the super rich in the US* still feel the need to “work” so you get these pointless groups and usually charitable organizations that only exist to hide assets and give awards to each other.

(The context was a mountaintop retreat for “influencers” where the non-US people rightly regarded it as a fun ski holiday while the US billionaires had to pretend it was about …helping the developing world by going to a lot of speeches and having their assistants make graphs)

The Whelk (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488704

👰

Hope over Experience

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

Oscar Wilde

🎥

“Professional, in the sense that the people who made it were compensated.”

As in the original, the design is at once hideous and bland—like a rough draft of a CGI-driven blockbuster that filmmakers would show to studio bosses only to ask for more time and money to create something releasable.

Seitz, M. Z. (2016, May 24). Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/alice-through-the-looking-glass-2016

▌🐒

Background of Life

He is now as near to contentment as he is ever likely to be; for though he is still hungry, he is not actually weak with hunger. That was the most that any hominid could hope for.

It would be very cold tonight – but cold, like hunger, was not a matter for any real concern; it was merely part of the background of life.

And in the caves, in tortured spells of fitful dozing and fearful waiting, were gathered the nightmares of generations yet to come.

Novel sensations fill his dim mind — the first faint precursors of bravery and leadership.

They have no conscious memory of what they had seen; but that night, as he sits brooding at the entrance of his lair, his ears attuned to the noises of the world around him, Moonwatcher feels the first faint twinges of a new and potent emotion – the urge to kill. He had taken his first step towards humanity.

He has combined the errors of overconfidence and bad luck.

But no Utopia is perfect, and this one had two blemishes.

If it had been alive, it would have felt excitement, but such an emotion was irrelevant to its great powers. Even if the ship had passed it by, it would not have known the slightest trace of disappointment. It had waited four million years; it was prepared to wait for eternity.

Kubrik, S., & Clark, A. C. (1968). 2001: A Space Odyssey. Retrieved from http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/2001.html

Bureaucratic Indifference

“Do you know if she can be moved to St. John’s?” she asked in an email, seeking a way to undo the past.
Again and again, bulging guardianship files show that the consequences of bad luck and bureaucratic indifference fall with disproportionate cruelty on people who lack the buffer of money.

Bernstein, N. (2016, May 15). Unearthing The Secrets of New York’s Mass Graves. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/15/nyregion/new-york-mass-graves-hart-island.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

👴

What Hotel Did You Stay At?

A third kind of statement casts a different spell. Barbara Hillary, an adventurer who, after reaching the South Pole in 2011 at age 79, became the first African-American woman on record to stand on both poles, said: “Often these comments have power because we are completely overwhelmed by their stupidity. They reinforce the idea that we are not born equally. And you’re made to feel guilty if you look at people and think, ‘I never seriously thought about sterilization until now.’” She added: “One person I met put this wise, erudite expression on his face and asked, ‘What hotel did you stay at on the North Pole?’ That’ll stop you in your tracks.”

Alford, H. (2016, May 20). The Remarkable Shelf Life of the Offhand Comment. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/fashion/comments-manners-insults.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

I’ll Be Over Here

It’s one thing to say you don’t care what people say and refuse to be tarred by association – I get that. It’s another to provide a vessel through which anti-Semitism courses, and I’ve read [Vox Day’s] site and its comments. The latter range from sarcastic sorta-mocking anti-Jew sneers to that wry, realistic tone of someone who knows what’s really up in this world, and how you can’t say it because of PC, which is fine, which is fine. All you sheeple enjoy your mud person world. I’ll be over here at this other site with the realists.

Lileks, J. (2016, June 3). Screed. Retrieved from http://lileks.com/screed/060116.html

👳

Meme-Phase

If a genie gave me three wishes, I would probably waste one of them on eliminating this idiot meme-phrase from the internet’s lazy response lexicon.

prize bull octorok (2016, Dec 21). Re: All the NOPE [Blog Comment].
Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/164143/All-the-NOPE#6850805

👚

Bespoke This

Also, [bespoke] “sounds old-fashioned and traditional,” Ms. Tannen said, naming two qualities common to the hipsterish faith that earlier generations did things in a more natural, and so, more righteous, way.

“It’s part of the authenticity hoax,” Mr. Riccio said.

[…]

“One thing’s for sure,” he said. “Calling something bespoke automatically allows you to add $50 to the price.”

Farber, J. (2016, August 8). Bespoke This, Bespoke That. Enough Already. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/12/fashion/mens-style/bespoke-word-meaning-usage-language.html?&moduleDetail=section-news-3&action=click&contentCollection=Media®ion=Footer&module=MoreInSection&version=WhatsNext&contentID=WhatsNext&pgtype=article

4

👧

Lame, Failed Attempt

He also knew that if he ever embarrassed himself by pursuing a girl in the tribe and being rejected, she’d tell the other girls about it—not only would he have blown his chance with that girl, but he might never have a mate at all now because every girl that would ever be in his life knew about his lame, failed attempt. Being socially accepted was everything.

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

🌌

Slight Denial

Thinking about how overwhelmingly important it is to pick the right life partner is like thinking about how huge the universe really is or how terrifying death really is—it’s too intense to internalize the reality of it, so we just don’t think about it that hard and remain in slight denial about the magnitude of the situation.

Urban, T. (2014, February 12). How to Pick Your Life Partner – Part 1. Retrieved from http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/02/pick-life-partner.html

👸

Love Congratulating Myself

The people who don’t know that these ideas are silly fictions don’t care and aren’t listening. Meanwhile the I Fucking Love Congratulating Myself for Loving Fucking Science circle jerk continues to smugly spunk off all over my social media feeds.

howfar (2016, April 22 3:28 PM CST). Re: There are no things, there are only truths [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158852/There-are-no-things-there-are-only-truths#6494855

👶

Freed from Any Fixed Code of Conduct

We’re in a time like nothing before where a large percentage of the first-world population has both the time and resources to direct their path, freed from any fixed code of conduct. Sacrificed by the tunnel vision that’s created from self-indulgence and hedonism are concepts on the periphery, such as consequence, personal responsibility and that archaic notion of nobility.

Source Unknown

👳

Detainees’ Motivations

“Interrogation techniques can also succeed or fail depending on the detainees’ motivations,” says Arie W. Kruglanski, founding member of the National Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism.

Interrogators should not assume “humans are driven by the pursuit of pleasure and eschewal of pain,” he wrote in National Interest, “because recent research suggests alternative motives – the quest for truth, for personal significance, for control, autonomy and relatedness – can often trump hedonic pleasure and pain concerns.”

Mansoor, S. (2015, July 11). Psychologists authorize CIA, DOD torture, says report. Does torture work? Retrieved from http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/USA-Update/2015/0711/Psychologists-authorize-CIA-DOD-torture-says-report.-Does-torture-work-video

🎬

Widespread Pushback

“The Birth of a Nation” is a revenge movie for an aggrieved time in U.S. history, when those who would “take back America” encounter widespread pushback from people who never got their turn at the wheel.

Seitz, M. Z. (2016, October 7). Review: The Birth of a Nation (2016). Retrieved from http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-birth-of-a-nation-2016

🐾

Hungry Creature

Outrage is too much of a hungry creature willing to feed on anything that looks a bit like food…

Khin Myint (2016, September 23). Re: Will the Left Survive the Millennials? [Reader Comment]. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/23/opinion/will-the-left-survive-the-millennials.html?action=click&contentCollection=Science&module=Trending&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=article

👿

Undisturbed by Truth

Nicholas von Hoffman of The Washington Post blasted the series, arguing that “if the networks are going to propagandize this way, there ought to be equal time for reality… Anybody who accepts that view of the White House will coast through life undisturbed by truth in any form”

Nicholas von Hoffman of the Washington Post (as cited in Television Obscurities: Nancy (2009, August 13). Retrieved from http://www.tvobscurities.com/articles/nancy/

🌉

Happy Ending

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.

Orson Welles

🍇

Sustainable, if Superficial

They seemed content to forge a relationship of sustainable, if superficial, conversation that allowed them to exist in the same room as father and son as long as they both had something to divert the bulk of their attention.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

🗻

Surrogate Journeys

Each passing week allowed him to use his disposable income to pursue new and different hobbies, which became surrogate journeys for the exploration of life that he was deferring.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

💼

Security and Predictability

In 1992, these circumstances were very much anchored in the post-World War II social order that promised security and predictability in exchange for routine and consistency. The rhythms and expectations of the life into which Randy was born were such unquestioned realities of American society that people couldn’t perceive or interpret their decline.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

🎇

Nostalgia

His earliest memories were happy, at least from a distance of three decades—a distance that begins to substitute the intricacies of actual experience with a broad, comforting nostalgia.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

🎰 

Opportunity and Regret

Circumstances saved him from poverty, but anchored him in stagnation, allowing him to be insulated from the extreme economic brutalities of the era while ensnaring him in a mild but consistent state of personal desperation. He had no full-time job, no girlfriend, no lasting social connections, and found himself at an intersection of life where the question of one’s future is influenced by opportunity and regret in equal measure.

Wcladley. (2016, September 6). The Game Room – Chapter 2. Retrieved from http://www.critiquecircle.com/queue.asp?action=lookup&id=130760

👔

Buzzword Vortex

Helena appears to be less a philanthropic startup than a buzzword vortex. Which is to say they’ll probably do very well. They have mystery seed funding and a deck. They have a staff of publicists. They have a handsome founder who can blow smoke up Inc. Only the few, the special, and Selena Gomez know what they do—but when has that ever mattered? We’ve been promised “impact.” Everyone loves impact.

Biddle, S. (2016, April 18). I Have No Idea What This Startup Does and Nobody Will Tell Me. Retrieved from http://gawker.com/i-have-no-idea-what-this-startup-does-and-nobody-will-t-1771036238

📤

Proactive

“Excuse me, but… ‘Proactive?’ ‘Paradigm?’ Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?”

Sounds like someone is not being proactive about disrupting their paradigm.

leotrotsky (2016, April 19). Re: I do not have the answer to that one [Blog comment]. Retrieved from http://www.metafilter.com/158751/I-do-not-have-the-answer-to-that-one#6488422