My Favorite Things Written For The Internets, 2011
"And yet: there’s no musician I love more "A Line Allows Progress…" is the kind of song that Macaulay Culkin might sing if The Good Son were ever turned into a Broadway musical, but that part at 1:05 when his voice wobbles on “stumble ‘round the neighborhood…” has been, on dozens of cold afternoons when I’m running errands ‘round the neighborhood, more dear to me than my winter coat. “First Day of My Life” is, in its way, as syrupy as any Michael Bublé serenade, but it happens to be a syrup perfectly engineered to flood my emotional circuit-board.”
""At least once a week someone asks me why I write about sports," George wrote in a column. "My friends on the Left persistently refer to the ‘pig mentality’ which governs organized sports and want to know how I can fathom sharing the delectations of Richard Nixon. On the other side of the spectrum—people I run into in bars, and not a few brethren sportswriters (many of whom have closer ties to the management and/or ownership of various teams than I) are wont to ask, ‘If you hate sports so much, why the hell do you write about it?’”“
"But it’s something else, too — something Billy Wilder once referred to as “flesh impact," a rare quality shared only with the likes of Jean Harlow, Rita Hayworth, and Marilyn Monroe. Flesh impact meant having “flesh which photographs like flesh,” flesh you felt you could reach out and touch. In other words: flesh with which you would very much like to have sex. That desire made Clara Bow a star, but would also make it easy to tell outrageous stories about her, and for people to believe those outrageous stories. In 1927, she was the No. 1 star in America. When she retired in 1931 amid a tangle of scandals, she was all of 28 years old."
"That was one of many perceived problems with the use of the 808 on the album. Kanye’s production had been celebrated because he’d created his own sound and perfected it until it became familiar, even the norm. On 808s, that sound shifted so dramatically and so forcefully, it sounded unnatural. The 808 took the place of the Kanye soul sample (there are just four samples on the entire album), and it did so prematurely. Kanye’s emotional burden is expressed in every layer he piled onto “Love Lockdown”—from the pulsing, opening beat to the jumpy piano line and his strained singing. The singing, it must be said, is just never very good on 808s. Throughout the album, Kanye is crying to himself and shouting at us at the same time.”
"And on this wonderful baseball night, this wonderful thought struck me: Raul Ibanez at age 39, in the 12th inning of what was for him and his team a game without consequence, had run his heart out to first base, though the double play was almost certain. Why are you doing this? Maybe it’s because sometimes, when it seems least likely, we might find the best in ourselves.”
"8. Don’t ask yourself if something is fair. Ask someone else—a stranger in the street, for example."
"Obviously, religion plays a role in this (we live in a Christian nation, Tebow is a Christian warrior, non-Christians see themselves as ostracized, and Christians see themselves as eternally persecuted). But the real reason this "Tebow Thing" feels new is because it’s a God issue that transcends God, assuming it’s possible for any issue to transcend what’s already transcendent. I’m starting to think it has something to do with the natural human discomfort with faith — and not just faith in Christ, but faith in anything that might (eventually) make us look ridiculous."
"Fitzpatrick never did go to prison. He died in 2005. Ogletree learned about it by reading a letter at the DeSoto Annex Correctional Institute, where he was serving the 678th day of a sentence that would last another 2,112."
"Be the best. That is, assuming that you are the best. Be the best you can possibly be, whatever that means to you. Absolutely do not step down in order to not threaten people. Don’t apologize. If you genuinely fucked up fine, you are allowed to apologize once but then stop apologizing. Think about how much you hear women apologizing for themselves for no reason, or being self-deprecating or self-abnegating out of habit. What the fuck are you apologizing for? For being too good?”
"The specific traumas of high school recede into memory, but your worldview remains stubbornly you-centric. The problem of self-actualization isn’t simply that people are led to believe they’re special and then face disappointment. It’s that people come to believe they’re special as a necessary survival mechanism, and find that hard to let go even when perspective might actually help. And now we’ve built a gigantic specialness machine called the Internet to keep that perspective as far away from us as possible."
"Spencer said: “Paris Hilton created fame for nothing. The fact that only 400,000 people tuned into her premiere? We’re< Paris Hilton fans.” He continued: “She didn’t make all these surgery mistakes, or crystal mistakes. She didn’t do any of that. But here she is. Her career stopped.””
"it is a luminous piece of provocative, experimental filmmaking quite unlike anything i have ever seen and it raises a good deal more questions than it answers. is it even possible to fault the children for indulging their murderous or libidinous impulses when they have received no tutelage that makes them appreciate the consequences of those actions as everyone else understands them? when does art cross the line from depicting depravity to indulging in it? is morality a dungheap, everyone standing on their own to shout about everyone else’s? this is definitely not for everyone, and that is unfortunate, but i feel like i have seen something we very well may look back on as revolutionary."
"Yet there was more to the calls than that. They turned into marathon, 90-minute, wide-ranging, off-the-record discussions that revealed to me the stunning breadth of the man. One minute he’d be talking about sweeping ideas for the digital revolution. The next about why Apple’s current products were awful, and how a color, or angle, or curve, or icon was embarrassing. After the second such call, my wife became annoyed at the intrusion he was making in our weekend. I didn’t."
"One or eight; all or nothing, When faced with failure, Sadaharu Oh chose the batting stance that embraced nothing. Bagwell’s stance incorporated all, every muscle fiber, every available point of tension. Perhaps on some subconscious level, Bagwell, realizing that there was no use in struggling against the pressure of external forces, projected that struggle inward, allowing the forces that would otherwise sink us to press against each other until they achieved a kind of balance.”
"My brother and I became addicted to cheating. After a certain point, to us, cheating was synonymous with playing; there was no separation between the two. At first we took out the Game Genie after every time we used it, only inserting it into the system again when we wanted to cheat on a particular game. After a few weeks, though, we just left it in there and didn’t take it out anymore. It stayed plugged into the system forever, its codes changing all our games and the way we played them. Once it was in the system, ultimately, there was no point in taking it out."
Bonus: Favorite Things Drawn For The Internets, 2011: