Popular culture is a place where pity is called compassion, flattery is called love, propaganda is called knowledge, tension is called peace, gossip is called news, and auto-tune is called singing.
Why do only the awful things become fads? I thought. Eye-rolling and Barbie and bread pudding. Why never chocolate cheesecake or thinking for yourself?
The wood-carver can fashion whatever he will. Yet his products are but toys of the moment, to be glanced at in jest, not fashioned according to any precept or law. When times change, the carver too will change his style and make new trifles to hit the fancy of the passing day. But there is another kind of artist, who sets more soberly about his work, striving to give real beauty to the things which men actually use and to give to them the shape which tradition has ordained. This maker of real things must not for a moment be confused with the maker of idle toys.
There's no reason that anything should ever become obsolete, whether it be VHS tapes, celluloid film, print books or even the previous versions of a computer operating system, as long as even just one person still wants them around. After all, one thing leads to another, old inventions are the basis for new ones, inventors and designers and scientists and hobbyists worked hard to create all these things, so don't they deserve some respect, enough not to have their ideas buried in the dust by the latest trends and fads?
every session I had no fewer than sixteen girls with “allergies” to dairy and wheat—cheese and bread basically—but also to garlic, eggplant, corn, and nuts. They had cleverly developed “allergies,” I believe, to the foods they had seen their own mothers fearing and loathing as diet fads passed through their homes. I could’ve strangled their mothers for saddling these girls with the idea that food is an enemy—some of them only eight years old and already weird about wanting a piece of bread—and I would’ve liked to bludgeon them, too, for forcing me to participate in their young daughters’ fucked-up relationship with food.
I loved buildings that had grown silently with the centuries, catching the best of each generation while time curbed the artist's pride and the philistine's vulgarity and repaired the clumsiness of the dull workman.
Even the simplest things had a glorious pointlessness to them. When buttons came in, about 1650, people couldn't get enough of them and arrayed them in decorative profusion on the backs and collars and sleeves of coats, where they didn't actually do anything. One relic of this is the short row of pointless buttons that are still placed on the underside of jacket sleeves near the cuff. These have been purely decorative and have never had a purpose, yet 350 years later on we continue to attach them as if they are the most earnest necessity.
In 2008, Barack Obama was the electoral equivalent of the Hula Hoop; a political Pet Rock; a craze, a fad, an irrational gadget. The latest have-to-have, must-vote-for candidate.