“But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.”—Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed
Closure will tell you to meet it at the bus stop at 6:30, and you’ll think Closure means 6:30 that day, but it really meant 6/30 as in June 30th, and didn’t specify the year.
Perhaps you’ll ask your ex to meet you at The Olive Garden and bring Closure with him, but he’ll stupidly bring Closure’s evil twin Openature and you’ll be left wondering why Closure was being such a dick.
Maybe your best friend claims she found Closure in a dream once, and that’s cool, but you’ve had dreams about your father where he’s played by Eddie Murphy and at the time this makes perfect sense but when you wake up you’re like “How’d I know that was my dad? My dad’s a Jewish Dentist” and if Closure came to you in a dream would you even know what to look for?
By the process of elimination, I can’t tell you where Closure is, but I know a few places where Closure is not:
1. On your ex-girlfriend’s mother’s answering machine. 2. Halfway through a bottle of Bacardi Grand Melon. 3. The bottom of the 59th Street Bridge. 4. In a box of Atomic Blue Hair Dye. 5. The chorus of Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U.” 6. Inside a stranger’s body at midnight. 7. Inside that stranger’s apartment at dawn. 8. In anything you can only buy from someone who still uses a beeper.
Closure could take seventy-six years to reach you, like Halley’s comet. It might greet you by the airport check in, where your carry-on (filled with all the perfect comebacks to say after the fact, the roommate you lost over who would claim the bigger bedroom, the failed novels, the questions you never asked your father, every person you didn’t say goodbye to) exceeds the weight limit. Suddenly Closure shows up, all polite-like, and offers to help check your bags. Just when you think you’re going to accept you find yourself saying, “No. Keep them. Don’t need any of that where I’m going. I’m leaving it behind.”
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.”—The new pope, everybody
“FEELING: The kick-drum thud when someone you’ve been bumping shoulders and knees with for weeks, close enough to an accident that it could have been an accident after all, finally touches you on purpose for the first time.
It became popular during elementary school for 3rd graders to have weddings. This consisted of lunch time black top ceremonies wherein a man and wife and priest were chosen along with a scabby kneed wedding party. These were 30 minute unions. Two years later there were swarms of bitter girls in Gap Kids sun dresses swilling their chocolate milk and saying, “Chad and I were married once… but not anymore.”
“Yesterday when a friend was all, “Oh my God, have you seen the Kanye video?” I was like, no, I don’t care about the Kanye video and I feel as if it is one of the few signal achievements in my career, if we want to call it that, that I have somehow gotten myself into a position where I don’t need to have an opinion about the Kanye video, and, more importantly, no one really needs to have an opinion about the Kanye video, the fact that you are going to watch something that is widely acknowledged to be terrible—the fact that you are going to watch something and hope while you watch that it is exactly as terrible as widely acknowledged—so that you can be a part of the “conversation,” which is just an empty and ridiculous exchange of self-important jack-offs trying to speak as loudly as possible so that they can drown out the inner voice that tells them just how shockingly bereft of value their own lives are as they careen towards oblivion, is a remarkable indictment of the vacuous, hollow pit we confuse with culture these days. You don’t have to watch ANYTHING, and the less you say about something the smarter you are. Good Lord, people, listen to yourselves, if you can even stand it, it’s horrifying. (I had switched to the second person plural at this point because my friend, having heard so many variations of this monologue already, had long since wandered off.) Anyway, that was before I saw this Bob Dylan video, which is really something. And I say this as someone who doesn’t go in for the concept of “interactive” at all. It’s pretty neat!”—Alex Balk wrote something perfect (via christinefriar)
“It now lately sometimes seemed like a kind of black miracle to me that people could actually care deeply about a subject or pursuit, and could go on caring this way for years on end. Could dedicate their entire lives to it. It seemed admirable and at the same time pathetic. We are all dying to give our lives away to something, maybe.”—David Foster Wallace
You seem interesting. I woke up hungover after throwing a party last night and something about the mess in my house makes me want to go biking with a stranger. Interested? Has to be today though. Preferably around 3. I can send you a photo of me if you need that. But it’s sorta more interesting if I don’t.
“You’re not used to real ketchup,” she said. We were standing in the supermarket and she was trying to get me to taste her small-brand ketchup on a cracker. Who would eat ketchup on a cracker? “You’re used to ketchup that’s all sugar and salt.”
“That’s right,” I said. “I like ketchup that’s all sugar and salt. Sugar and salt taste good.”
“You think they do, because you’ve ruined your palate,” she said.
“So does my two-year-old,” I said. “Has she ruined her palate? As a one-year-old would she have preferred this watery sauce to proper thick Heinz ketchup?”
“No, you have,” she said. “She doesn’t decide what ketchup to use, does she?”
“Yes, she does,” I said. “We have a little blind taste test every week, with fish sticks and little dipping cups and four different brands of ketchup—two mass-market, two artisanal—because that’s how much of a shit we give about ketchup in my household. She always goes for the Heinz. Who doesn’t?”
“You’re being sarcastic,” she said.
“And you’re being sincere,” I said. “That’s the difference between our approaches to this conversation.”