“Guns don’t attack children; psychopaths and sadists do. But guns uniquely allow a psychopath to wreak death and devastation on such a large scale so quickly and easily. America is the only country in which this happens again — and again and again.”—James Fallows, on why the shootings won’t stop. (via theatlantic)
“That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it.”—Joan Didion, “Goodbye to All That” (via fevereddream)
Are you up for a thought experiment? What if we chose to regard the 2,973 innocents killed in the atrocities of 9/11 not as victims but as democratic martyrs, ‘sacrifices on the altar of freedom’? In other words, what if we decided that a certain baseline vulnerability to terrorism is part of the price of the American idea? And, thus, that ours is a generation of Americans called to make great sacrifices in order to preserve our democratic way of life—sacrifices not just of our soldiers and money but of our personal safety and comfort?
In still other words, what if we chose to accept the fact that every few years, despite all reasonable precautions, some hundreds or thousands of us may die in the sort of ghastly terrorist attack that a democratic republic cannot 100-percent protect itself from without subverting the very principles that make it worth protecting?
“How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn’t they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for a little while? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise?”—Don DeLillo, White Noise (via fevereddream)
In which: people who solicit my spa talk to me on the phone
Me:I'll just need a credit card number to secure the appointment. We don't charge it or anything--
Her:Why are you charging my card? I don't want you to charge my card.
Me:No ma'am, I'm sorry, we don't charge the card, we just need it to secure the appointment--
Her:I don't want my identity being stolen.
Me:I understand that ma'am.
Her:No you obviously don't understand or else you wouldn't be asking for my card.
Me:I understand your concerns ma'am but I can't book the appointment without a credit card number.
Me:Because we have a twenty-four hour cancellation policy and if you cancel within twenty-four hours the system will automatically charge $15 to your card.
Her:Why would I cancel?
Me:Perhaps if something unexpected came up.
Her:I don't want you charging my card. I don't even have a card.
Me:(at a loss for words)
Her:Where'd you go?
Me:Ma'am can you hear me?
Her:Why are you making this so difficult?
Me:I'm sorry ma'am but we just need a credit card number to secure the appointment.
Her:I'm in public right now.
Me:(... wat) Okay would you like to call back later--
Her:Why would I want to call back later? The last time I scheduled an appointment it wasn't this difficult. [ed.: she had never actually scheduled an appointment before, why do people say this]
Me:Sorry about that ma'am but I will need a credit card to secure the appointment.
Her:Why are you being so difficult? Do you know what customer service means?
And then I forget what she said because I just had no idea what was going on anymore. Conversation culminated in her reading me several fake numbers in addition to her real credit card number because she didn't want anyone who was listening to steal her identity.
“A word that I remember coming out of my parents’ mouths a lot was imagine—as in ‘I imagine we’re going to have rain.’ I soon succumbed to the notion that to imagine was to claim to know in advance an entirely forgettable outcome. A calendar was hung in the kitchen as if to say: Expect more of the same.”—Gary Lutz, in a A LECTURE DELIVERED TO THE STUDENTS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY’S WRITING PROGRAM IN NEW YORK ON SEPTEMBER 25, 2008 (source: http://www.believermag.com/issues/200901/?read=article_lutz)
“Princeton University psychologist Susan Fiske took brain scans of heterosexual men while they looked at sexualised images of women wearing bikinis. She found that the part of their brains that became activated was pre-motor - areas that usually light up when people anticipate using tools. The men were reacting to the images as if the women were objects they were going to act on. Particularly shocking was the discovery that the participants who scored highest on tests of hostile sexism were those most likely to deactivate the part of the brain that considers other people’s intentions (the medial prefrontal cortex) while looking at the pictures. These men were responding to images of the women as if they were non-human.”—
Seems that any job choice in this market is a little like a death sentence. I work in shitty little storefronts when I’m fifteen, and now those are the only kinds of jobs that will consider me. Two years experience needed for this, for that. I don’t want to be a front desk receptionist for the rest of my life. God please no.
One day, I want to just drive to a park in the middle of a city without a cell phone or computer and live out of my car for a week. I just want to bring a bunch of art supplies and money, get up every morning and get something to eat then go draw or paint or take pictures or write or play music in…
“I don’t want to be one of those people lying on my deathbed thinking I should have eaten more donuts. I think it’s helpful to know what are the things that really make you happy, and you have to do them while you still can do them.”—
Nora Ephron talking with Leonard Lopate in 2010. The author died last night at the age of 71.