Memorable or Favorite Quotes 2015 November 30, 2015 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I started reading an article today about meeting Edward Snowden. However one of the first quotable snippets, stopped me cold. Now I am having trouble even remembering it wholly, and think a thread to quickly place incredible words, might be the stuff of Mefi.

So, from whomever you like, place treasured phrases here.

Arundhati Roy, "The world is a millipede that inches forward on millions of real conversations." Metafilter: Just such a millipede.
posted by Oyéah to MetaFilter-Related at 10:28 AM (83 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

Two from Kurt Vonnegut

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
posted by nubs at 10:40 AM on November 30, 2015 [8 favorites]

Tad Wiliams: "We are none of us promised anything but our last breath."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:43 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better." - Maya Angelou.
posted by billiebee at 10:50 AM on November 30, 2015 [20 favorites]

"I'd like to lean into the wind and tell myself I'm free." --Townes Van Zandt
posted by notsnot at 11:16 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

"A lesson from the monkey: the higher it climbs, the more you can see of its behind." - St. Bonaventure.

"Who wages a stronger battle than he who labors to overcome himself?" - Thomas A Kempis
posted by 4ster at 11:26 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

My favorite quote ever, which I have in my profile, is by an old (so old he's actually dead), hard-drinking British mountaineer named Don Whillans:

"Never write anything; you'll only regret it."
posted by bondcliff at 11:27 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

My profile is an ever-growing forest. To pick two on my mind lately:

“Well, maybe for certain people—maybe for certain people who lived at the beginning of the twentieth century—what was hidden and unconscious was the inner life. Maybe the only thing those people could see was the outward circumstance, where they were, what they did, and they had no idea at all of what was inside them. But something's been hidden from me, too. Something—a part of myself—has been hidden from me, and I think it's the part that's there on the surface, what anyone in the world could see about me if they saw me out the window of a passing train.”
Wallace Shawn, The Fever

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.”
Anaïs Nin, D.H. Lawrence: An Unprofessional Study
posted by Going To Maine at 11:54 AM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone's soul heal.
posted by zarq at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room." – Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely
posted by nicwolff at 11:58 AM on November 30, 2015 [17 favorites]

Strike gently away from the body.
Keep away from children.
Anonymous Matchbox
posted by Grangousier at 12:31 PM on November 30, 2015 [11 favorites]

Oh, good, not even December in North America and we've started the end-of-year reviews.
posted by gingerest at 12:38 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I've always liked Stephen Crane.

A man said to the universe:
"Sir, I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."

posted by sciatrix at 12:40 PM on November 30, 2015 [15 favorites]

"Thankfully, perseverance is a great substitute for talent."
– Steve Martin
posted by fings at 12:42 PM on November 30, 2015 [9 favorites]

posted by clavicle at 1:04 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

Oh, good, not even December in North America and we've started the end-of-year reviews.

To be fair, a lot of these quotes appear to be from anywhen, not just the past year.

And I'm hoping the OP can track down the quote that got them thinking of this, because I would like to read it too.
posted by nubs at 1:35 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

"Be brave enough to break your own heart." - Cheryl Strayed
posted by sockermom at 1:39 PM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

The quote came from an article in The Guardian, by Arundhati Roy, inspired by meeting with Snowden in Moscow. It is in today's paper. The post is just what it purports to be. I read the quote and wanted to keep it somewhere, and share. Often I read a line that is either succinct, or full of excellent metaphor, timelessness, or timeliness, then it is gone. So, just keeping that one.
posted by Oyéah at 2:32 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

I keep a whole text file of these.

"For progress to occur, it is essential to have a forum where changing ones's opinion is seen as making progress toward a better solution, rather than as losing face."
— Bjarne Stroustrup

"Bad is so bad, that we cannot but think good an accident; good is so good, that we feel certain that evil could be explained."
— G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

"A pitcher is here right now. If you call it a pitcher, you are attached to its name; if you call it not-a-pitcher, you negate the fact. Both attaching and negating will never do."
— Zenkei Shibayama

"If a Metafilter thread about a crappy movie isn't the place to culminate millennia of human thought about the divine then I don't know where is."
posted by Rangi at 2:52 PM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

'The wise man learns from the mistakes of others, the fool learns only from his own, and the great mass of men never learn at all' - gene wolfe
posted by Sebmojo at 3:21 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

"Don't pay too much attention to the sounds, for if you do, you may miss the music. You won't get a wild, heroic ride to heaven on pretty little sounds." –George Ives [father of Charles]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:21 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

"It'll never be noticed on a galloping horse." -my Grandma Jesse about her casual housekeeping style.
Also, "Just cripple it and run it past the fire," when asked how she wanted her meat cooked.
posted by agatha_magatha at 4:38 PM on November 30, 2015 [21 favorites]

Shukov went to sleep fully content. He'd had many strokes of luck that day...

or, if you prefer,

Make life take the lemons back!

Both of those occur to me frequently.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:08 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Alice Thomas Ellis wrote "Men love women. Women love children. Children love hamsters. Hamsters don't love anybody."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:37 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

This thought occurs to me whenever I get sick or generally when anything happens that throws my plans so far off that there's no point in worrying about it:

"You can weave your life so long—only so long, and then a thing in the world out of your control will tug at one vital thread and leave you patternless and subdued." —Patricia McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

This thought occurs to me whenever I feel like re-reading an old favorite:

"If too much writing is exhausting (Seneca is thinking of the demands of style), excessive reading has a scattering effect: 'In reading of many books is distraction.' By constantly going from book to book, without ever stopping, without returning to the hive now and then with one's supply of nectar—hence without taking notes or constituting a treasure store of reading—one is liable to retain nothing, to spread oneself across different thoughts, and to forget oneself." —Michel Foucault, "Self Writing"

And this first line of a short poem, written on the wall of this wooden lodge, sometimes occurs to me when I'm looking for a sense of calm:

"Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh"

(Over all mountaintops
Is rest)

posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:39 PM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]

Fortunately my mind has gone blank and I am physically separated from my Best First Lines Of Novels list so I won't be spamming half-a-hundred Favourites For The Ages. In keeping with the 2015 framing I will mention one that's come back to me repeatedly this year, which is something from CS Lewis (again), "Your Majesty must work by a show of more power than you really have, and by the terror of the King's name" (emphasis mine). Believe it or not I do inhabit a marginally more complex moral universe than my apparent fixation with CSL's kids books suggests and I have read more than seven novels in my time, but that particular phrase has both come to mind and come in useful several times this year.
posted by comealongpole at 5:45 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

“The most important thing in art is The Frame. For painting: literally; for other arts: figuratively-- because, without this humble appliance, you can't know where The Art stops and The Real World begins. You have to put a 'box' around it because otherwise, what is that shit on the wall?”

-- Frank Zappa
posted by Rock Steady at 6:07 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

God will forgive me; it is his trade. --Heinrich Heine

I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates who said, "I drank what?" --Chris Knight (Val Kilmer), "Real Genius"

POSITIVE, adj. Mistaken at the top of one's voice. --Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they hold. --Frank Zappa

"Contrariwise," continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be, and if it were so it would be. but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic." --Lewis Carroll

If the designers of X-Windows built cars, there would be no fewer than five steering wheels hidden about the cockpit, none of which followed the same principles -- but you'd be able to shift gears with your car stereo. Useful feature, that. --Marcus J. Ranum, Digital Equipment Corporation

When all else fails, pour a pint of Guinness in the gas tank, advance the spark 20 degrees, cry "God Save the Queen!", and pull the starter knob. --MG "Series MGA" Workshop Manual

It is said that in a venerable British men's club there is a sign that reads: "DURING THE ASPARAGUS SEASON MEMBERS ARE REQUESTED NOT TO RELIEVE THEMSELVES IN THE HATSTAND." --Cecil Adams, "The Straight Dope"
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:22 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

"Meanwhile, let us have a sip of tea. The afternoon glow is brightening the bamboos, the fountains are bubbling with delight, the soughing of the pines is heard in our kettle. Let us dream of evanescence and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things." - Okakura Kakuzō, The Book of Tea.
posted by gudrun at 6:37 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

"She got a light skinned friend looking like Michael Jackson.
Got a dark skinned friend looking like Michael Jackson."

-Kanye West
posted by hal_c_on at 6:46 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"I take care of my flowers and my cats. And enjoy food. And that's living."
-- Ursula Andress

"No man is going to tell me I can’t have an abortion!"
-- my grandmother, at age 87, while flipping off some anti-choice protesters
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:00 PM on November 30, 2015 [13 favorites]

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

- Joseph Gurl
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:16 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"When he painted a small pear tree in flower, the act of the sap rising, of the bud forming, the bud breaking, the flower opening, the styles thrusting out, the stigmas becoming sticky, these acts were all present for him in the act of painting. When he painted a road, the roadmakers were there in his imagination. When he painted the turned earth of a ploughed field, the gesture of the blade turning the earth was included in his own act. Wherever he looked he saw the labor of existence; and this labor, recognized as such, was what constituted reality for him."
—John Berger on Van Gogh, from And our faces, my heart, brief as photos

"I begin by thinking about how I put on a shoe and how I walk in it. In the drawing I made over the shape of the shoe (at right), I emphasize the aperture that the foot uses to get into the shoe, the embracing forms of the instep, the heel and the toe, the point at which the ball of the foot hits the ground and the flexible area on top that gets wrinkled by the constant bending of the material. At this stage I am ignoring all the logos and surface designs so that I can concentrate on the fundamental issues of how the shoe is made to accommodate the foot and its function. In this way, I have enlivened the shape of the shoe in my mind so that different parts have different qualities and it is no longer like the map of a country I have never visited."
—James McMullan on drawing a shoe

"Why write by hand? A body in motion is moved by... what? There is a state of mind which is not accessible by thinking. It seems to require a participation with something / something physical we move, like a pen, like a pencil / Something which is in motion / ordinary motion like writing the alphabet. Or you can tap your fingers 26 times on plastic buttons / this is motion but in the motion there are no variables."
—Lynda Barry, Why write by hand?
posted by oulipian at 7:20 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are made for." - John Augustus Shedd (maybe)
posted by lalochezia at 7:26 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

“The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space.” — Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

"And he thought, I shall go on blindly and secretly jumbling all these things together and making no sense of them as long as I live. Maybe every human creature carries some such inescapable burden. That is being human. A very weird affair." — Iris Murdoch, The Green Knight

"No . . . don't bother improving your character. Just improve your handwriting." — Donald Barthelme, "Margins"
posted by Lorin at 7:49 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

My professional code in two quotes: 1) via John McPhee (inscribed at Kiel German Navel Officer's School and translated by David Love):"Say not, 'This is the truth' but 'So it seems to me to be as I now see the things I think I see.'" And 2) "Their fingers were all wore out, working to save themselves. It was terrible to see," from a conversation about men who died behind the bulkhead in the 1917 Butte mining disaster.

Personal living codes: "It is a grassy, clean, exciting wind, with the smell of distance in it." -Wallace Stegner. "I want an obscene epitaph, one that will disgust the Memorial Day crowds so that they'll indignantly topple my gravestone." -Jim Harrison. And the mostest of the quotest: Stephen Dobyns - "He wants to say:/All day I have been listening, all day I have felt/I stood on the brink of something amazing."

And my code for both work and life, from Strongbad: EVERYBODY TO THE LIMIT
posted by barchan at 7:51 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is have to succeeded."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson
posted by Bringer Tom at 7:51 PM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

"Hold my beer."

posted by double block and bleed at 7:54 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

From Moby Dick, the greatest thing in the history of things. This is right after the other guests at The Spouter Inn laugh at Ishmael's reaction at finding he was sharing his bed with a cannibal:

However, a good laugh is a mighty good thing, and rather too scarce a good thing; the more's the pity. So, if any one man, in his own proper person, afford stuff for a good joke to anybody, let him not be backward, but let him cheerfully allow himself to spend and be spent in that way. And the man that has anything bountifully laughable about him, be sure there is more in that man than you perhaps think for.

And this one too. Everything you need to know is in Moby Dick.

Well, then, however the old sea-captains may order me about--however they may thump and punch me about, I have the satisfaction of knowing that it is all right; that everybody else is one way or other served in much the same way--either in a physical or metaphysical point of view, that is; and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other's shoulder-blades, and be content.
posted by marxchivist at 8:20 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

Time it was, and what a time it was, a time of innocence, a time of confidences. Long ago, it must be I have a photograph. Preserve your memories, they're all that's left you.
Simon and Garfunkel
posted by Oyéah at 8:21 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Story is our only boat for sailing on the river of time, but in the great rapids and winding shallows, no boat is safe" - Ursula Le Guin, A Fisherman of the Inland Sea
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:36 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


IN SUMMARY:- I have 15,000,000.00 (fifteen million) U.S. Dollars and I want you to assist me in distributing the money to charity organizations. I agree to reward you with part of the money for your assistance, kindness and participation in this Godly project. This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore it as unserious could come into your mind but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility.

I am Mr Peter Attah and I am a 55 years old man. I am a South African living in the Garden City of Port Harcourt - Nigeria. I was the President/CEO of TOMOBA OIL LIMITED - an oil servicing comapny in Port Harcourt. I was also married with two children. My wife and two children died in a car accident six years ago. Before this happened my business and concern for making money was all I was living for and I never really cared about other people.

But since the loss of my family, I have found a new desire to assist the helpless. I have been helping orphans in orphanages/motherless homes.I have donated some money to orphans in Sudan, Ethiopia, Cameroon,Spain,Austria,Germany and some Asian countries.

Before I became ill, I kept $15 Million in a long-term deposit account in Allied Bank PLC. Presently, I am in the hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for oesophageal cancer and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations. Because my relatives and friends has plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.

Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me collect the $15 Million and the interest accrued on the deposit from Allied Bank and distributes it amongst charity organizations.

You are at liberty to use your discretion to distribute the money and feel free as well to reimburse yourself when you have the money for any expenses you incur in the course of collecting and distributing the money to charity organizations. I am willing to reward you for your assistance and kindness.

Kindly expedite action and contact me via e-mail: if this proposal is acceptable to you.

May the good Lord bless you and your family.

Best Regards,
Mr Peter Attah

N.B Contact me via e-mail:"

- Mr. Peter Attah
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:40 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

"If brute force don't work, you ain't using enough of it." –Unknown
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:45 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Remember to have an authentic experience every day. I am a talking cake."

-T.K. Mintcake
posted by mintcake! at 9:08 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Pain don't hurt."
posted by hal_c_on at 9:27 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

"It's not the most talented or the hardest working, but the last man standing. You just do what you do until that's what you've been doing and people say that's what you do."
—Maria Bamford
posted by Sys Rq at 9:44 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]

"In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress."
John Adams

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have."
Thomas Jefferson

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."
James Bovard
posted by AugustWest at 10:04 PM on November 30, 2015 [7 favorites]

That middle one was Gerald Ford, actually.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:24 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

god finds you naked and he leaves you dying
Robyn Hitchcock

The unique and supreme voluptuousness of love lies in the certainty of committing evil. And men and women know from birth that in evil is found all sensual delight.
Charles Baudelaire
posted by vrakatar at 10:38 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Garp admired how the girl liked to use the good old semicolon. - John Irving, The World According to Garp.

It's been my inexplicable favorite for a long long while now, but with the relatively recent popularity of the Semicolon Project, it's taken on new layers of meaning for me.
posted by angeline at 10:56 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am the same boy my mother used to kiss. - Mark Strand

From my favourite poem for my wonderful father.
posted by h00py at 1:54 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is something Gene Hackman said to me when we were shooting 'lucky lady':

"You should be committed".
posted by hal_c_on at 2:22 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind.
Kurt Vonnegut
posted by drlith at 4:46 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

The most terrifying fact of the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment.

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
                                                             -Stanley Kubrick1
posted by zamboni at 6:31 AM on December 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

There are two things in ordinary conversation which ordinary people dislike - information and wit.
~Stephen Leacock
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:58 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Do the work, be the prize."

- some Redditor's grandpa
posted by wenestvedt at 7:40 AM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

“We believe that we invent symbols. The truth is that they invent us; we are their creatures, shaped by their hard, defining edges. When soldiers take their oath they are given a coin, an asimi stamped with the profile of the Autarch. Their acceptance of that coin is their acceptance of the special duties and burdens of military life—they are soldiers from that moment, though they may know nothing of the management of arms. I did not know that then, but it is a profound mistake to believe that we must know of such things to be influenced by them, and in fact to believe so is to believe in the most debased and superstitious kind of magic. The would-be sorcerer alone has faith in the efficacy of pure knowledge; rational people know that things act of themselves or not at all.”

- Gene Wolfe, "Shadow of the Torturer"
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:47 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

These are mostly writing based, found via Nano (which I WON!!), so the attributions may be wrong.

"Nothing will stop you from being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake." - John Cleese

"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway." - Earl Nightingale

"Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good." - William Faulkner

"All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We excuse our sloth under the pretext of difficulty." - Marcus Fabius Quintilian

"If you don't want to do something, one excuse is as good as another." - Yiddish Proverb
posted by marienbad at 8:01 AM on December 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” Goethe
posted by mochapickle at 8:08 AM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

"Inevitable catharsis by the threads of chaos. Unswerving punctuality of chance. Apexical summation, from the billion deaths of possibility, of things done. " --Thomas Wolfe in Look Homeward, Angel
posted by chavenet at 8:41 AM on December 1, 2015

“A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” Goethe

“We see the world not as it is, but as we are.”
Anaïs Nin, Seduction of the Minotaur (disputed)
posted by Going To Maine at 8:45 AM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

- Mr. Peter Attah

I once received a spam with the subject “TURN YOUR TROUSER SNAKE INTO A BOA CONSTRICTOR”
posted by Going To Maine at 8:48 AM on December 1, 2015 [6 favorites]

"Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives." - Albert Einstein

"The Simpsons really went downhill after Season 7." - Churchill, but often mis-attributed to Lincoln
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:16 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

“She waited for the train to pass. Then she said, "I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”

- Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
posted by holborne at 9:17 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

"A sad reminder of how religion manages to spoil absolutely everything."
- Brian Sewell, Last of the Medici
posted by Short Attention Sp at 1:12 PM on December 1, 2015

"I believe in everything; nothing is sacred. I believe in nothing; everything is sacred."
Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:30 PM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

I once received a spam with the subject “TURN YOUR TROUSER SNAKE INTO A BOA CONSTRICTOR”

My anaconda don't want none.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:41 PM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]

"Continuing to make choices that favor stability and relative short-term painlessness at the expense of long-term viability will only work for so long."

posted by nickmark at 1:59 PM on December 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone; but they have always worked for me."

Hunter S. Thompson
posted by Oyéah at 3:29 PM on December 1, 2015

Traveling with 3- and 4-year-old boys is like transferring serial killers from a prison. You have to be constantly aware.

-Jim Gaffigan

Here is the entire interview in the NY Times about how to travel with 5 kids.
posted by AugustWest at 8:55 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nothing says married man,
Like a beat up, blue, minivan.
posted by Oyéah at 8:55 AM on December 2, 2015

so since:

"Life was simple before World War II. After that, we had systems." - RDML Grace Hopper

We have now gotten ever more complex systems, and systems-of-systems, that interact in confusing and unexpected ways, what can we do to understand them?

"We will use this scheme of pulling things apart (analysis) and putting them back together (synthesis) in new combinations to find how apparently unrelated ideas and actions can be related to one another." - COL John Boyd

After pulling apart and putting together several of these, what useful shorthand can we apply?

"The purpose of a system is what it does." - Stafford Beer
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:10 AM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I just made my son an advent calendar and stuck pithy little quotations into all the boxes with the chocolates.

The dream is free. The hustle is sold separately.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

Panic is not an effective long-term organizing strategy.

Charm is the ability to make someone else think both of you are pretty wonderful.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:48 PM on December 2, 2015 [5 favorites]

When we idolize people, we dehumanize them.
posted by Twicketface at 1:51 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Within an hour all sides were broadcasting atrocity-footage as fast as it could be manufactured. Psychodrama raged. Everyone claimed the the minority position. Everyone described their grievance as longer-standing and more asymmetric than the enemy's. Iconic buildings fell in towers of smoke. Sleeping genes, inserted into entire populations three or four generations in advance, expressed themselves as plagues of ideological change. Up and down the Beach, innocent CEOs, brand managers and celebrities found themselves kidnapped, then subjected to sexual assault, at the hands of provocateurs who had no idea why they had begun to act so illiberally. By noon exhausted attack ads fluttered up and down the street of every Halo capital. Gaines studied these indicators with a kind of appalled impatience. Away from the media war not a shot had been fired.

it's the future. and clearly mefi played a role. (empty space - m john harrison).
posted by andrewcooke at 8:46 AM on December 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Why do only things that are wrong get repeated?

Because nothing short enough and assertive enough to make for a punchy soundbite has room for the kind of qualifying and on-the-other-handing that a balanced explanation of a complex topic requires, and the sociophsychological bias toward conciseness (an indirect result of the constraints of e.g. human short term memory and information processing facilities) excuses and even encourages imperfect but potent conceptual framings. The underlying tension between brief vs. exact explanations is inescapable but, when pressed for time, will tend to break toward the short version rather than the detailed one.

Wait, let me try that again:

Brevity is the soul of wit.
-- Josh Millard
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:39 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

"I do not smell."
posted by Oyéah at 10:04 AM on December 8, 2015

"It’s of some interest that the lively arts of the millennial U.S.A. treat anhedonia and internal emptiness as hip and cool. It’s maybe the vestiges of the Romantic glorification of Weltschmerz, which means world-weariness or hip ennui. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the arts here are produced by world-weary and sophisticated older people and then consumed by younger people who not only consume art but study it for clues on how to be cool, hip–and keep in mind that, for kids and younger people, to be hip and cool is the same as to be admired and accepted and included and so Unalone. Forget so-called peer-pressure. It’s more like peer-hunger. No? We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naiveté."

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
posted by dnash at 10:20 AM on December 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Jenny Pargiter was the information officer and the only woman present. She read querulously as if she were contradicting a popular view; and she read without hope, secretly knowing it was the lot of any woman, when imparting news, not to be believed."

John Le Carré, A Small Town in Germany
posted by Oyéah at 8:24 PM on December 12, 2015

File this under what they did with their bonus:

Karlee donated $1027 to Planned Parenthood, and spent $3410 on lubricant, cleaning spray and a 24-karat gold vibrator..

The Guardian, on employee benefits at Cards Against Humanity
posted by Oyéah at 8:28 AM on December 18, 2015

posted by Sys Rq at 8:42 AM on December 18, 2015

I was a man, but I was not nearly the magnitude of man I had hoped I might be.

nicholas baker - the mezzanine (and thanks to whoever recommended this on askme).
posted by andrewcooke at 10:34 AM on December 18, 2015

"It’s accepted wisdom that American politics was forever changed by the televised 1960 presidential debate between charming rogue John F Kennedy and simpering troglodyte vampire chode Richard Nixon. You see, this was the first debate to air on TV and while Kennedy appeared calm, collected and smooth, Nixon was more like a damp old washcloth recently used to scrub a bull’s testicles. Nixon’s flop sweat was so distasteful to the audience at home that the entire election swung to Kennedy, changing the course of our nation’s history."

Dave Schilling for The Guardian
posted by Oyéah at 8:42 AM on December 31, 2015

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