“Men say, ‘I can’t endure it when women cry’—just as people say, ‘I can’t endure this wet weather.’ As if it were nothing to do with the men at all, the crying. Just one of those things that happen.”—Elizabeth Wykys in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall
“The trouble with England, he thinks, is that it’s so poor in gesture. We shall have to develop a hand signal for ‘Back off, our prince is fucking this man’s daughter.’ He is surprised that the Italians have not done it. Though perhaps they have, and he just never caught on.”—Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
“Think about how a typical English class works: You read a ‘great work’ by a famous author, discussing what the messages are, and how the author uses language, structure, and imagery to convey them. You memorize particularly pithy quotes to be regurgitated on the exam, and perhaps later on second dates. Students are rarely encouraged to peek at early drafts of those works. All they see is the final product, lovingly polished by both writer and editor to a very high shine. When the teacher asks ‘What is the author saying here?’ no one ever suggests that the answer might be ‘He didn’t quite know’ or ‘That sentence was part of a key scene in an earlier draft, and he forgot to take it out in revision.’”—Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators - Megan McArdle, The Atlantic
I am looking for part-time or full-time work in writing or comedy or blogging or acting or video making or social media marketing, and my email is email@example.com, and I can send you my resume and links to my best work.
And it’s a little embarrassing to just put this here, but hey, I got my last job through this blog, and I loved it and it lasted three years.
We started with $30K, 300 Big Blinds. Plenty of M. “It’s all about M,” Coach had told me during our initial training session, and it was one of the ﬁrst things I came to understand, slowly, the hard way, during my AC runs, the secret narrative as I passed through levels. M is how much life you have in you, how much you can take. To calculate M, you add the Big Blind, the Small Blind, and all the antes you have to pay into the pot each round, and the sum is how much it costs to play one orbit ‘round the table. M, for Paul Magriel, who first articulated it, but also M for the Wave of Mutilation.
Above 20M, twenty rounds, you can play your fancy-move poker. But once you dip below that, your spirit is draining away each round, and you have to start playing more aggressively, play a wider range of cards, swipe some blinds, so that you are not erased from existence. Existence, because this is life we’re talking about here, how much can you take before you break. Dear reader, I hope you’re operating at a big M most of the time, I really do. Things are easier that way. But then sometimes things go wrong—you lose your job, get some sort of health issue named after a foreigner, the kid won’t say why he doesn’t want you at the wedding, and the angry voices in your head are now using Auto-Tune. You take a tumble in a thousand ways, big and small: This the Wave of Mutilation, gobbling up your reality. Replay the hand—is there something you could have done differently to keep things the way they were, something you should have said to keep them from walking away? It doesn’t matter, the dealer’s shufﬂing again. You dwindle to 6M and 3M and 2M and you can’t pay the rent next month, nobody’s retuming your e-mails. Things are desperate. This is death. You don’t know how you’re going to survive. And the truth is, you’re not going to. Next level, the blinds will go up, and up, and up.
“A potentially opinion-worthy topic presents itself. A community of professional take-havers finds itself obliged to opine. The takes they generate may or may not be strongly held; they may or may not add up to some sort of dialogue. Regardless, they will be forgotten by next week, when a new object of obligatory opinion-having looms into view.”—Molly Fischer - Salon.com (via rachelfershleiser)
“Her New Year’s Resolution was, if she woke up in the middle of the night and had to pee, she would get up and pee right away, not lie there half-asleep in the hopes that the pee would somehow reabsorb into her body.”—
“Music consecrates everything and this was a holy moment… Jenny Lewis’s high, honeyed voice swarmed all the space between his ears, and everything she sang was the most important thing he had ever heard before, though he’d long known all these lines by heart.”—
There’s another excerpt I can’t post because of spoilers, but it’s about a guy getting a good rhetorical whack upside the head after spilling his sexual longings in the classic women-are-defined-by-my-desires way that I really identified with. Justin’s good at writing the whack-upside-the-head bildungsroman of the modern straight white man.
“There’s a thing that woman was doing that I have seen happen over and over again and I’ve never known quite what to call it. It’s when there’s a received idea about someone or something, usually a woman or a woman-specific cultural phenomenon, and that received idea is so pervasive and somehow so convincing that most people adopt it as their own opinion without ever stopping to examine either the idea or the person or phenomenon for themselves.”—
I’ve spent years trying to better recognize such received wisdoms so I can deconstruct (not just contradict) them for money and attention. It’s sometimes healthy for analyzing one’s actual opinions, often just a smartass cheat, and you often see an arms race online among cultural commentators trying to out-neutralize each other’s binary oppositions.
“I’ve turned prickly, and tired of trying to be, in the novelist Gillian Flynn’s useful phrase, the Cool Girl: a good sport when something smells like macho nonsense.”—Cool Story, Bro by Emily Nussbaum
I often find the only thing I care about when writing Steve Rogers is how much he bitches about the food. Sure, we don’t boil everything now and have better safety measures, but there’s no way that eating a meal wouldn’t have been a shock for Steve (and by some extension Bucky considering it’s worth questioning if Hydra fed him).
To have produce he grew up eating being different due to the lack of varieties in today’s supermarkets or for Oreos to have replaced Hydrox, when they were just a Hydrox knock off to begin with or just the fact that after the war Twinkies stuck with the vanilla flavoring instead of the original banana one (which wouldn’t taste like our bananas because it was a different, now extinct, variety) would be a little confusing.
After all, only 5% of the 8,000 varieties of apples that existed at the turn of the 20th century still exist and the Gros Michel banana that Steve and Bucky would be familiar with was wiped out in the 1960s in the United States and replaced with a similar looking, but entirely different tasting Cavendish. Only select countries even still grow the Gros Michel, which would make it nearly impossible get again for them unless they took a trip to somewhere like Japan.
It also doesn’t help that the Green Revolution, which really took off in the 1960s though it started in the 1940s, helped create more produce by focusing on certain varieties over others leading to the extinction of some of them. That, along with globalization, led to the ability to get certain produce year round (cherries, for example), as well as importing other fruits from other places, even across the country, due to flash freezing and better planes. We no longer eat locally or in season because there’s no need to, like there was then, but that would be really odd for Steve. Imagine having something that looked like a banana, but didn’t taste like one.
Even meat would be weird because we raise our animals to be so much bigger. Animals today are bred for a specific purpose and while it’s cheaper because of the Green Revolution and more readily available, something that would be a shock since that wasn’t the case during Steve’s time due to matters such as the Dust Bowl, things like chickens have tripled in size since the 1950s. I mean, check this image!
Of course, on the other hand, a lot of basic junk foods came into existence in the 1930s, so Oreos and Twinkies aside, Steve could still enjoy a Snickers or Hershey’s as they not only still exist, but became more easily accessible during the 1920s and 30s, meaning that Steve would be able to find some solace in junk food and basic staples such as sliced bread which wasn’t really introduced nationally until the 30s.
But the fact remains that, the most basic comfort that is food would be something Steve would have to relearn not simply because of the fact that we have more options, but also because the options that Steve had would’ve changed or vanished entirely.
“I realise, in retrospect, that I was in love with Craig in that way that you are when you’re 18 and you meet someone who’s just more brilliant and whose light shines brighter than yours. And all I wanted to do was to be as funny as him, and to make him laugh, and to bring him jokes and songs and see if I could seize his interest.”—