Perhaps we humans are still in command, and perhaps there really will be a conventional robot war in the not-so-distant future. If so, let's roll. I'm ready. My toaster will never be the boss of me. Get ready to make me some Pop-Tarts, bitch.
There are very few Americans who honestly care who Lindsay Lohan is dating. But it's still information they need to have. This is because those people care about something else entirely; they're worried about the possibility of everyone else understanding something that they're missing.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and O. J. Simpson have a lot in common. We don't normally lump them together, because certain key contrasts are tricky — for example, one man is a Muslim intellectual and the other more or less decapitated his ex-wife.
In Western culture, virtually everything is understood through the process of storytelling, often to the detriment of reality. When we recount history, we tend to use the life experience of one person — the journey of a particular hero, in the lingo of the mythologist Joseph Campbell — as a prism for understanding everything else.
The Constitution is awesome, but still overrated; it's like Pet Sounds. The wide-scale adoption of political correctness was silly, but not unreasonable. The freedom that was lost was mostly theoretical and rarely necessary. No one is significantly worse off.
Once people decide they want you to do something, they don't really care what your qualifications are. However you describe yourself becomes proof that you're the ideal candidate. This is true in journalism, and in life.
A ten-year-old boy doesn't want a hyper-dexterous giant to choke, just as a ten-year-old girl doesn't feel good when Britney Spears has a nervous breakdown on live TV. Only an adult can feel good about someone else's failure.
As recently as the grunge era, there remained a bohemian cachet in casually mentioning that you didn't own a TV. But nobody thinks like that anymore. Today, claiming you don't own a TV simply means you're poor (or maybe depressed). In one ten-year span, high-end television usurped the cultural positions of film, rock, and literary fiction.
The only people who think the Internet is a calamity are people whose lives have been hurt by it; the only people who insist the Internet is wonderful are those who need it to give their life meaning.
I also did an Ozzy piece for him, and so I got hired. Everything happened really fast. I can't give people advice, because everything in my life changed completely in less than a year and it's still not something I am used to.
By now, everyone I know is one of seven strangers, inevitably hoping to represent a predefined demographic and always failing horribly. The Read World is the real world is The Real World is the read world. It's the same true story, even when it isn't.
Women intrinsically understand human dynamics, and that makes them unstoppable. Unfortunately, the average man is less adroit at fostering such rivalries, which is why most men remain average; males are better at hating things that can't hate them back (e.g., lawnmowers, cats, the Denver Broncos, et cetera). They don't see the big picture.
In Fargo, they say, well, that's a job. How well do you get paid? For example, for this book I was written about in Entertainment Weekly, and it was kind of cool because my mom asked me if Entertainment Weekly was a magazine or a newspaper.
The solution to this paradox (according to Palahniuk) is the theory of splintered alternative realities, where all possible trajectories happen autonomously and simultaneously (sort of how Richard Linklater describes The Wizard of Oz to an uninterested cab driver in the opening sequence of Slacker).
Ignorance is not bliss. That platitude is totally wrong. You will not be intellectually happier if you know fewer things. Learning should be a primary goal of living. But what if ignorance feels better—not psychologically, but physically? That would explain a lot of human incongruities.