“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)