12

🍾

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.

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