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Eating the Dinosaur

Chuck Klosterman

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Every time I learn the truth about something, I’m disappointed”

“It doesn't matter what you can do if you don't know why you're doing it.”

“If you've spent any time trolling the blogosphere, you've probably noticed a peculiar literary trend: the pervasive habit of writers inexplicably placing exclamation points at the end of otherwise unremarkable sentences. Sort of like this! This is done to suggest an ironic detachment from the writing of an expository sentence! It's supposed to signify that the writer is self-aware! And this is idiotic. It's the saddest kind of failure. F. Scott Fitzgerald believed inserting exclamation points was the literary equivalent of an author laughing at his own jokes, but that's not the case in the modern age; now, the exclamation point signifies creative confusion. All it illustrates is that even the writer can't tell if what they're creating is supposed to be meaningful, frivolous, or cruel. It's an attempt to insert humor where none exists, on the off chance that a potential reader will only be pleased if they suspect they're being entertained. Of course, the reader isn't really sure, either. They just want to know when they're supposed to pretend to be amused. All those extraneous exclamation points are like little splatters of canned laughter: They represent the "form of funny," which is more easily understood (and more easily constructed) than authentic funniness. ”

“If you stare long enough at anything, you will start to find similarities. The word “coincidence” exists in order to stop people from seeing meaning where none exists.”

“The deeper reality is that I’m not sure if what I do is real. I usually believe that I’m certain about how I feel, but that seems naive. How do we know how we feel?…There is almost certainly a constructed schism between (a) how I feel, and (b) how I think I feel. There’s probably a third level, too—how I want to think I feel.”

“Observing someone without context amplifies the experience. The more we know, the less we are able to feel.”

“The message of "The Winner Takes It All" is straightforward: It argues that the concept of relationships ending on mutual terms is an emotional fallacy. One person is inevitably okay and the other is inevitably devastated.”

“We assume that all statements must be mild inversions of the truth, because it's too weird to imagine people who aren't casually lying, pretty much all the time.”

“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.”

“What are the things that make adults depressed? The master list is too comprehensive to quantify (plane crashes, unemployment, killer bees, impotence, Stringer Bell's murder, gambling addictions, crib death, the music of Bon Iver, et al.) But whenever people talk about their personal bouts of depression in the abstract, there are two obstructions I hear more than any other. The possibility that one's life is not important, and the mundane predictability of day-to-day existence. Talk to a depressed person (particularly one who's nearing midlife), and one (or both) of these problems will inevitably be described. Since the end of World War II, every generation of American children has been endlessly conditioned to believe that their lives are supposed to be great -- a meaningful life is not just possible, but required. Part of the reason forward-thinking media networks like Twitter succeed is because people want to believe that every immaterial thing they do is pertinent by default; it's interesting because it happened to them, which translates as interesting to all. At the same time, we concede that a compelling life is supposed to be spontaneous and unpredictable-- any artistic depiction of someone who does the same thing every day portrays that character as tragically imprisoned (January Jones on Mad Men, Ron Livingston in Office Space, the lyrics to "Eleanor Rigby," all novels set in affluent suburbs, pretty much every project Sam Mendes has ever conceived, etc.) If you know exactly what's going to happen tomorrow, the voltage of that experience is immediately mitigated. Yet most lives are the same, 95 percent of the time. And most lives aren't extrinsically meaningful, unless you're delusionally self-absorbed or authentically Born Again. So here's where we find the creeping melancholy of modernity: The one thing all people are supposed to inherently deserve- a daily subsistence that's both meaningful and unpredictable-- tends to be an incredibly rare commodity. If it's not already there, we cannot manufacture it.”

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Book Keywords:

analysis, humor, reality, culture, human-nature, feelings, lying, naivete, blogging

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