“Patrick O’Connor believed that Ayn Rand sold because she knew who she was, she knew what she wanted, and because she spoke to people’s common dreams– the dreams of well meaning, idealistic people who want something more. I wasn’t dreaming of anything that day at Antioch, except maybe Rilke’s earnest childlike plea: Change your life. I knew that I needed to change my life, but didn’t know how. I couldn’t guide anyone reliably, anywhere, except in circles. Saul Alinsky used to say, when you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.”—A Critic’s Notebook: On Meeting Ayn Rand’s Editor at Antioch College
“This revelation seemed in line with how July uses sex in her films: as both a sudden surprise and a way to illuminate the inner lives of her characters. “I was always interested in sex, even as a kid. Sex includes shame and humiliation and fantasies and longing. It’s so dense with the kinds of things I’m interested in.”—Miranda July Is Totally Not Kidding and What’s So Infuriating About Miranda July?
“I watched in real time as these people reconstructed themselves in the wake of events — altering their avatars, committing to new causes, liking and linking, boiling over in anger at dumb comments, eventually posting jokes again, or uploading new photos. Learning to take the measure of the world with new eyes. No other medium has shown me this in the same way. Even the most personal literary memoir has more distance, more compression, than these status updates.”—Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?
“It’s not surprising that Hollywood generally depicts romantic rather than platonic relationships—the former are more exciting and lend themselves to narrative arcs. But, as I’ve said before, the situation is more extreme than that: When movies do portray a cross-sex friendship, they almost always dismiss it, contending, implicitly, that platonic love is impossible. There is virtually no such thing as true male-female friendship in the movies, only friends with benefits, or friends who wish they had benefits, or friends who are about to have benefits.”—In Hollywood, Friends Always Have Benefits
“This, by the way, is considered the ultimate sign of quality CCM, even amongst Christians: the ability to pass as secular. Every band’s goal was to have teenagers stop their grooving mid-song and exclaim, like a soda commercial actress who’s just realized she’s been drinking diet, “Wait, this is Christian?” The logic was that the more these bands fit in with what was playing on the radio, the more someone like me would feel comfortable passing their album on to my non-Christian friends (supposing I’d had any), giving them a chance to hear the gospel.”—Sniffing Glue: A childhood in Christian pop
“The state recruiting strategy is rife with problems. Officials choose children from across the country based solely on how tall they are. “If height were the determining factor, we would be the best team in the world,” said Li Nan, 32, who works for a Beijing advertising agency and plays basketball in his free time, noting that every member of the national team is 6-9 or taller. But youth and height, as any N.B.A. fan knows, do not alone predict victory on the court.”—Yao: As Towering Star Retires, China Is Unprepared to Replace Him
“Within the confusing plethora of mass media signals and peer group values, Playboy fills a special need. For the insecure young man with newly acquired time and money on his hands who still feels uncertain about his consumer skills, Playboy supplies a comprehensive and authoritative guidebook to this foreboding new world to which he now has access. It tells him not only who to be; it tells him how to be it, and even provides consolation outlets for those who secretly feel that they have not quite made it.”—Playboy’s Doctrine of Male (1961)
“I have a theory that men get more bearlike as they age, increasingly taciturn, hairy, prone to long spells of slumber, prone to growly solitary rummaging. The man can get unsocialized as he ages. And the married man can come to believe there’s a division of labor: The woman forms the social connections, and the man is treated in social situations as if he were just learning to feed himself solid food again after a terrible accident. That’s why the older the man gets, the more isolated he becomes, the more rareﬁed his world is, the more other humans seem to be accelerating away from him, the more his friendships become dominated by ﬁgures so long known that they’re more like comfortable marriages than friendships.”—Will You Be My Black Friend? (2008)
“I hold no brief for Hollywood. I have worked there a little over two years, which is far from enough to make me an authority, but more than enough to make me feel pretty thoroughly bored. That should not be so. An industry with such vast resources and such magic techniques should not become dull so soon. An art which is capable of making all but the very best plays look trivial and contrived, all but the very best novels verbose and imitative, should not so quickly become wearisome to those who attempt to practice it with something else in mind than the cash drawer. The making of a picture ought surely to be a rather fascinating adventure. It is not; it is an endless contention of tawdry egos, some of them powerful, almost all of them vociferous, and almost none of them capable of anything much more creative than credit-stealing and self-promotion.”—Raymond Chandler, “Writers in Hollywood” (1945)
“A Hollywood wit once remarked, “Everybody who matters has two agents—his own and Irving Lazar.” But Lazar does not consider himself an agent at all; he describes himself as a “dealmaker,” and thus does not feel bound by the normal rules of agenting, which limit agents to making deals only for their own clients. Lazar will make a deal for anyone and, later on, work out a more or less amicable arrangement with whoever the agent may be….He has frequently offered me authors who, to the best of my knowledge, were happily placed with rival publishers and were represented by more conventional agents.”—The King of the Deal (1993)
“Polyamory, or non-monogamy, is a controversial friend of monogamy. Polyamory, the idea that you can have more than one lover or romantic partner at a time, is a term that was formally coined in 1992 on the Internet and attributed to a woman named Jennifer Wesp. In the past, other terms like complex marriage and polyfidelity have been used to describe different multi-partner relationships. Polyamory has been gaining popularity in the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco, for over a decade. There has been an increased awareness surrounding it in multiple communities, from the queer community to the academic community.”—A Love Supreme
“There were aspects, even whole eras, of my life that they knew nothing about, but those subjects never came up. That’s the way it is with old friends: they rarely delve into each other’s lives except where their lives intersect. They talk about old times, and wrack their brains for mutual acquaintances to discuss. Otherwise, they don’t ask much. That was frustrating with Green Day, but it didn’t become a serious problem because facing new experiences together kept us from being hopelessly mired in the past.”—Cometbus #54: In China With Green Day
“People tend to hate the middlebrow because of its embarrassingly earnest desire to be liked, its scientific and successful approach to hitting people’s pleasure buttons. It points out the obvious fact that you’re not as much an individual as you’d like to think, that human beings are designed to like chocolate and potato chips and Jack Purcells. That’s where the high middle differs.”—Middlebrow Culture