Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

Like the anti-war folks

April 15, 2009

My friend Tim Lee pithily observed on Twitter that the tea partiers are in a lot of ways similar to the anti-war protesters from several years ago. I tend to agree with them, but they make it very difficult to take them seriously. And like the anti-war folks, they’re letting their cause get hijacked by a variety of other causes, too, including anti-immigration and anti-gay protesters, and, now, many of the mainstream GOP hacks that had no problem growing the federal government back when they were in power.

Radley Balko

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We would not fail?

April 13, 2009

Yes, if we were down there, if we were the damned of the American cities, we would not fail. We would rise above the corner. And when we tell ourselves such things, we unthinkly assume that we would be consigned to places like Fayette Street fully equipped, with all the graces and disciplines, talents and training that we now possess. Our parents would still be our parents, our teachers still our teachers, our broker still broker. Amid the stench of so much defeat and despair, we would kick fate in the teeth and claim our deserved victory. We would escape to live the life we were supposed to live, the life we are living now. We would be saved, and as it always is in matters of salvation, we know this as a matter of perfect, pristine faith.

-From the book “The Corner” by David Simon and Edward Burns

A community of the enslaved

April 6, 2009

You’re never going to get together with any of these people for coffee. They’re too busy, and you’re too busy, and the miles are too vast. You probably want to Friend them because you want to rake or shovel or eat alongside them. Instead you have to rake or shovel alongside the cantankerous guy who bought the house next door and who does not give out Halloween candy. Facebook is a great way to reconnect with old friends and family, provided you do so by sending short wisecracks to one another through a digital hole in the fence.

And not to be a downer, but with Facebook about to become our chosen portal through which the marketplace defines and communicates to us as consumers and ultimately citizens, that metaphor could only darken. We could all end up feeling like cellmates passing each other notes through a crack in the prison wall. If we keep retreating to more screen time as an answer to our disconnectedness, and if the civic glue of commerce keeps moving toward organizing us by our virtual networks, Facebook is at risk of becoming little more than a community of the enslaved. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

Paul Scott

(Hat Tip: Journey Something)

Understanding Twitter

April 2, 2009

Twitter seems to be, first and foremost, an online haven where teenagers making drugs can telegraph secret code words to arrange gang fights and orgies. It also functions as a vehicle for teasing peers until they commit suicide.

Dan Kennedy, writing at McSweeney’s

Teixeira’s cocoon

April 1, 2009

“Like every election, it’s the economy…In tough times, disposable income may not be there.”

-New York Yankees star Mark Teixeira, who signed a $180 million, eight-year contract in the offseason.

Though you might not think it by the way teams like the New York Yankees are spending money, the No. 1 concern of Major League Baseball fans going into the new season is ticket prices, which are being jacked up considerably in New York to overpay for guys like Teixeira.

Good thing Teixeira can afford to put food on the table.

Average Andy

March 31, 2009

It seems likely that Richter’s averageness is the font of both his artistic successes and his commercial failures. Too square to be hip, too well-kempt for slob comedy, and too principled to pander, Richter exudes a normalness that renders him a misfit. But, though as wholesome as Garrison Keillor on the surface, he is as weird as anybody. In the moments that require his zaniest self, he suggests a subtle Chris Farley, with the crucial difference of seeming to prefer malted milkshakes to speedballs.

Troy Patterson

6-year-old cell phone hater

March 31, 2009

“Get off your f**kin’ cell phone…Get off your f**king cell phone NOW!!!!”

-A 6-year-old girl I encountered walking and talking on my cell phone on Bardstown Road in Louisville yesterday.

A blog story, I guess

March 26, 2009

It was a newspaper story that … it wasn’t a newspaper, I’m sorry. It was a blog story that appeared, I guess, in something I probably can’t get a hold of, which is Yahoo! And very simply my comments are what I said.

-Jim Calhoun, responding to a six-month investigation by two award-winning sportswriters into UConn’s questionable recruitment tactics that resulted in a fact-heavy Yahoo! Sports article.

Mass media’s end

March 26, 2009

Mass media reaches its natural end-state when we broadcast our lives rather than live them.

Nicholas Carr

Traffic fix

March 26, 2009

People see traffic congestion as a “problem” that needs to get “fixed” – but fixed is defined in the narrowest of terms. In other words, for too many people, the only way congestion can be appropriately corrected is if everyone can still live in the suburbs, can still commute 20 miles each way to work, can cruise down freeways at 60 mph at any hour of the day, and not have to pay a dime to do it. It’s that attitude that puts so much pressure on government to resist implementing solutions like smart tolls and congestion pricing. It’s that attitude that pressures politicians to vote against gasoline tax hikes. Vote for a higher gasoline tax and you might be able to fill in pot-holes or vote to toll the local highway and you might be able to slash traffic congestion, but you’ll probably get tossed out of office. Resist the change and people will whine and complain and demand action but at least you’ll get to keep your job.

Rob Pitingolo