“If You Work in Marketing, Kill Yourself”

Hey, I didn’t say it. Bill Hicks said it in his 1993 special Revelations (clip here), a dark yet endlessly quotable hour in which that bit lands with particular force because of structure as much as theme. It stands apart because it contains no punchline. Laughs trickle out, then sheepishly flatline, then erupt ecstatically each time Bill insists that, no, really, he means what he’s saying. This is stand-up but there’s no joke here: Human beings whose job is to manipulate your sense of need and take your dollars have no redeeming value. 

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On Not Writing

Remarking on what really makes a person a writer, Christopher Hitchens offered that it comes down to whether the individual needs to write, or merely wants to. The true writer will find that something goes haywire within if the itch goes unscratched; writing “must be that without which you could not live.” The pen might as well be an internal organ.

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Lingua Ciclismo

Best not to assume one’s native tongue will provide even a sliver of insight into the language of a technical hobby. In this way, cycling resembles seafaring and the whole pandora’s box of nautica. Port and starboard, fore and aft—we all know some of these terms, but they only scratch the surface of an entire linguistic universe. That they are entirely without utility to the general public is of no matter; this stuff is reserved for professionals and rabbit hole navigators. 

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Keyboard Kamikazes

Receiving several billions of dollars in aid from the world’s preeminent military superpower is apparently not enough. In addition to F-35 bombers, the Israel Defense Forces also need teens with lactose intolerance to run interference for their online reputation. Their posts follow a basic script: any sentiment against zionism not qualified with thirty or so proactive apologies to the Jewish people is antisemitic. And it’s not just Israel. All over the world, strife and conflict are reduced to linguistic squabbles, with sides racing to brand their enemies unpretty things like “racist” and “bigot,” all to win the hearts and minds of out-of-the-loop social media users.  

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