“Old George Orwell got it backward. Big Brother isn’t watching. He’s singing and dancing. He’s pulling rabbits out of a hat. Big Brother’s busy holding your attention every moment you’re awake. He’s making sure you’re always distracted. He’s making sure you’re fully absorbed. He’s making sure your imagination withers. Until it’s as useful as your appendix. He’s making sure your attention is always filled. And this being fed, it’s worse than being watched. With the world always filling you, no one has to worry about what’s in your mind. With everyone’s imagination atrophied, no one will ever be a threat to the world.”—Chuck Palahniuk (via caffeineandnicotine)
“Everybody who writes is engaged in the remarkable enterprise of making consciousness manifest—catching the slipperiest of substance, a thought, and nailing it to a page. It is amazing, when you think about it, that people should even try to do such a thing; that they would occasionally succeed nearly miraculous. And, indeed, there is something spiritual about the act of writing. When it’s done in a slovenly manner or in bad faith, it seems somehow sacrilegious. When it’s done well, we should stand back and regard it with a kind of reverence.”—
Ben Yagoda, The Sound on the Page (via nickmiller)
ah, i forgot ben yagoda existed and that he teaches at my almost school and that he wrote If You Catch an Adjective, Kill It and that i enjoyed all of it
“Make for yourself a world you can believe in.
It sounds simple, I know. But it’s not. Listen, there are a million worlds you could make for yourself. Everyone you know has a completely different one — the woman in 5G, that cab driver over there, you. Sure, there are overlaps, but only in the details. Some people make their worlds around what they think reality is like. They convince themselves that they had nothing to do with t heir worlds’ creations or continuations. Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed souffles and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are. But you want to make for yourself a world that is deliberately and meticulously personalized. A theater for your life, if I could put it like that. Don’t live an accident. Don’t call a knife a knife. Live a life that has never been lived before, in which everything you experience is yours and only yours. Make accidents on purpose. Call a knife a name by which only you will recognize it. Now I’m not a very smart man, but I’m not a dumb one, either. So listen: If you can manage what I’ve told you, as I was never able to, you will give your life meaning.”—“If the Aging Magician Should Begin to Believe” - Jonathan Safran Foer
1. Operations in which large numbers of men may lose their lives ought not to be described by code words which imply a boastful or overconfident sentiment… . They ought not to be names of a frivolous character… Names of living people–Ministers and Commanders–should be avoided… .
2. …the world is wide, and intelligent thought will readily supply an unlimited number of well-sounding names which do not suggest the character of the operation or disparage it in any way and do not enable some widow or mother to say that her son was killed in an operation called “Bunnyhug” or “Ballyhoo.”
3. Proper names are good in this field. The heroes of antiquity, figures from Greek and Roman mythology, the constellations and stars, famous racehorses, names of British and American war heroes, could be used, provided they fall within the rules above.
if churchill had been in charge of university marketing and communications, things would be a lot different around here