Duly Quoted

"A library is a hospital for the mind."

“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you. It’s understanding the unreasonable.”

Book: Killing Yourself to Live, Chuck Klosterman

I would first like to quote the charming individual who owned this book before me (I got it used). I don’t know who they are, but their additions to the margins were a joy to discover. My favorite:
“Football and church run the south and for good reason. We play hard and pray hard.”

YOU SAID IT BROTHER. Anyway, yet another pop-culture nonfiction book that I can’t help but enjoy. It’s fluffy; I guess some might say it’s not that literary; I enjoyed it immensely; I have no shame. So that’s that.

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There is something sickeningly attractive about being in a bad relationship; you start feeding off the unhappiness. It becomes darkly interesting.

Let me begin by saying this: Death is part of life. Generally, it’s the shortest part of life, usually occurring near the end. However, this is not necessarily true for rock stars; sometimes rock stars don’t start living until they die.

The reason you should never cheat on someone is because you won’t enjoy it. No matter which person you’re with, you’ll always be thinking of the other one. You will never be in the romantic present tense; your mind will solely exist in the past and future.

“Because people who sincerely want to kill themselves don’t worry about which Beatles song they’d play while their bathtub fills with blood. Those kind of people don’t even like the Beatles.”

My problem is that every stupid person in Los Angeles is also a) unyieldingly narcissistic and b) unyieldingly nice. They have somehow managed to combine raging megalomania with genuine friendliness. It’s a personality combination that infects your blood like leukemia.

Seeing no resolution to my existential recognition of loss, I decided to eat lunch.

Meanwhile, me and Drinking Guy are trying to ascertain the relative danger of the situation, but we’re too stoned; we can’t tell if this behavior is incredibly grave or incredibly normal. This is the single-biggest problem with taking drugs: What’s normal seems crazy, and what’s crazy seems normal.

I hug her for the next seven hours on a very small bed, each of us facing the same wall. I kiss her neck for maybe 15 minutes, and she falls asleep halfway through. Clothing is never removed. Nobody gets crazy. Tomorrow, I will take a shower and leave before her digital clock reads 9:05 am. We will exchange cordial goodbyes. Later that day, Lenore will send me the nicest e-mail I’ve ever received from anyone, and reading it will make me want to hide in a cave for 10,000 years. It will make me feel like i am reading Lenore’s obituary in the newspaper. I will send her an e-mail in return, and hope that she finds endless happiness in life, and I will always secretly hope that she never likes another man as much as she likes me, even if she ultimately loves that man more. And we will never see each other again.

Women need to feel loved in order to feel free, so withholding love from your wife is like sentencing her to prison.

“People never show you what they’re truly like until you see them go ape-shit,” he says. “That’s the only time people say the things they really feel. Anger makes people honest. No matter how reasonable someone might seem, you never know for sure until they get mad.”

Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you. It’s understanding the unreasonable.

We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It’s easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven’t even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person who you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it always happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of those lovable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. You will remember having conversations with this person that never actually happened. You will recall sexual trysts with this person that never technically occurred. This is because the individual who embodies your personal definition of love does not really exist. The person is real, and the feelings are real–but you create the context. And context is everything. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.

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Filed under: Chuck Klosterman,

“Either you’re with us or against us, and both of those options is better than living without a soul.”

Book: Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, by Chuck Klosterman

I read this like two years ago and liked it a lot. I read it today and liked it/understood it even more! MMM DELICIOUS pop culture lit goes down so smooooooth. When will I accept it as hard fact: nonfiction is my favorite.

————
In and of itself, nothing really matters. What matters is that nothing is ever “in and of itself.”

We all convince ourselves of things like this—not necessarily about Say Anything, about fictionalized portrayals of romance that happen to us in the right place, at the right time. This is why I will never be completely satisfied by a woman, and this is why the kind of woman I tend to find attractive will never be satisfied by me. We will both measure our relationship against the prospect of fake love.

The main problem with mass media is that it makes it impossible to fall in love with any acumen of normalcy. There is no “normal,” because everybody is being twisted by the same sources simultaneously.

But this is how media devolution works: It creates an archetype that eventually dwarfs its origin. By now, the “Woody Allen Personality Type” has far greater cultural importance than the man himself.

This is the difference between art and life: In art, not talking is never an extension of having nothing to say; not talking always means something. And now that art and life have become completely interchangeable, we’re forced to live inside the acoustic power chords of Nuno Bettencourt, even if most of us don’t necessarily know who the fuck Nuno Bettencourt is.

Every relationship is fundamentally a power struggle, and the individual in power is whoever likes the other person less.

The Sims is an escapist vehicle for people who want to escape to where they already are.

People just have no clue about their genuine nature. I have countless friends who describe themselves as ‘cynical,’ and they’re all wrong. True cynics would never classify themselves as such, because it would mean that they know their view of the world is unjustly negative; despite their best efforts at being grumpy, a self-described cynic is secretly optimistic about normal human nature. Individuals who are truly cynical will always insist they’re pragmatic. The same goes for anyone who claims to be ‘creative.’ If you define your personality as creative, it only means you understand what is perceived to be creative by the world at large, so you’re really just following a rote creative template. That’s the opposite of creativity. Everybody is wrong about everything, just about all the time.

This is perhaps the most disturbing element of The Sims: The happiness of the characters is directly proportional to the shit you elect to buy them.

Being interesting has been replaced by being identifiable.

“You know how historians call people who came of age during World War II ‘the greatest generation’? No one will ever say that about us,” he wrote. “We’ll be the ‘cool generation.’ That’s all we’re good at, and that’s all you and your friends seem to aspire to.”

Being consciously derivative is not easy.

As for Marilyn [Monroe]…well, she personifies every beautiful/crazy/sexy/suicidal woman I’ve ever met (and you know the type of person I’m referring to—this is the kind of girl who’s depressed by the irrational notion that men only want her for her physical appearance but who still cannot shake the equally irrational fear that she is somehow overweight and repulsive).

Pam[ela Anderson] doesn’t just have sex with guys; Pam fucks reality.

The outcomes of games aren’t predetermined or scripted, but there are definitely dark forces who play with our reality. There are faceless puppet masters who pull strings and manipulate the purity of justice. It’s not necessarily a full-on conspiracy, but it’s certainly not fair. And that’s why NBA remains the only game that matters: Pro basketball is exactly like life.

This is why men need to become obsessed with things: It’s an extroverted way to pursue solipsism.

You don’t need to side with the Boston Celtics to be a good person. But you should definitely side with somebody. Either you’re with us or against us, and both of those options is better than living without a soul.

Net porn is the collective conscious. It’s where we all see the things people would never admit to wanting.
And what is it that we want? From what I can tell, that answer is twofold: We want imperfection, and we want heightened reality.

Saturday morning commercials for all the best cereals are teaching kids who to figure out what’s cool. They’re the first step in the indoctrination of future hipsters: Cereal commercials teach us that anything desirable is supposed to be exclusionary.

Being cool is mostly ridiculous, and so is sugared cereal. That’s why we like it.

The desire to be cool is—ultimately—the desire to be rescued. It’s the desire to be pulled from the unwashed masses of society. It’s the desire to be advanced beyond the faceless humanoid robots who will die unheralded deaths and never truly matter, mostly because they all lived the same pedestrian life. Without the spoils of exclusionary coolness, we’re just cogs in the struggle. But if we can just find that one cool thing that nobody has—that gregarious, nine-foot animated jungle cat who can provide a glimmer of hope and a balanced breakfast—we can be better than ourselves. We can be tigers. ‘Atta boy.

It’s like I said before: important things are inevitably cliché.

Quasi-intellectuals like to claim that math is spiritual. They are lying. Math is not religion. Math is the antireligion, because it splinters the gravity of life’s only imperative equation: Either something is true, or it isn’t. Do or do not; there is no try.

Objective reality is not situational; it doesn’t evolve along with you.

Reality is a paradigm that always seems different and personal and unique, yet never really is. Its reality is autonomous.

I think this is what motivates people to have children. Everyone agrees that creating life is important, so having a child guarantees you’ve done at least one act of consequence.

These are the kind of people who are fanatically good—the kind of people who’ll tell you that goodness isn’t even that much of an accomplishment.



Filed under: Chuck Klosterman,

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