Tag Archives: truth

You Don’t Want Hygge. You Want Social Democracy.

“The fact that hygge became an American trend, even in bastardized form, was a sign that we perceived something lacking in our culture and longed for an alternative. But even when we acknowledged the intangible properties of hygge, we still assumed it could be obtained with individual consumer spending.”


“Everyone has to do activities in the unhappy category in order to keep their affairs in order. But it makes sense that if you take some of those responsibilities off people’s plate and design the economy to give them more time to do activities in the happy category, they will be more content and lead more enriching lives.

“Many working-class Americans don’t have much time for activities in the happy category, because they work multiple jobs or long hours and also have to keep a household in order without much assistance. Many more are afraid that if they take time away from their stressful responsibilities, they will overlook something important and fall behind, and there will be no social safety net to catch them — a pervasive anxiety that creeps up the class hierarchy. This breeds alienation, not intimacy.”

You Don’t Want Hygge. You Want Social Democracy.

Hygge has exploded as a cozy, comforting interior design trend. But the security and intimacy it evokes can’t be achieved by scented candles alone – that requires social democracy. It’s the holidays, and you long to be cozy. You want to curl up in a plush armchair next to a crackling fire.

Irrefutable Proof that Santa is Odin

Discussing with Shelly the things I actually like about Christmas, she made the connection that they were the things clearly of pagan origin.

That made me remember this origin story, that Santa is Odin, the absolute best part being the parallel between Rudolph’s red nose and Slepnir the horse’s “habit of feasting on the entrails of Odin’s enemies,” causing his snout to be bloody and red.

It’s a little different than gettin’ hygge by the fireplace and the Christmas tree in fractal-design sweaters, but with the Nordics you get a pretty wide spectrum, and that’s what I love about it.

No photo description available.

Irrefutable Proof that Santa is Odin

Santa, that jolly fat man known worldwide for spreading Christmas joy to well behaved children, has a dark secret. Santa is in fact, Odin, the deicidal king of the Norse gods. And here is the irrefutable proof.


“No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

—Vladimir Nabokov

How the Finnish lifestyle of getting drunk while wearing pants became the new hygge

How the Finnish lifestyle of getting drunk while wearing pants became the new hygge

Many of us are familiar with the idea of stripping to our pants, opening a beer and watching TV. But in Finland ‘Pantsdrunk’ has been elevated to an official activity

“Lots of lifestyle trends tell you to switch off your phones and get outside. Wouldn’t you rather be inside with a glass of wine, working your way through a series of cat videos?”

Kids in the Hall’s Dave Foley on “too soon,” censorship and political correctness.

This whole thing, all day every day. Thank you thank you thank you.

“The idea of people being, ‘Oh, political correctness is ruining the world.’ No, it’s people not understanding what political correctness is. And I think political correctness is basically having a fundamental knowledge of what you’re talking about, and fundamental human empathy.”

” I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress amongst thos…”

” I made some studies, and reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it. I can take it in small doses, but as a lifestyle I found it was too confining. It was just too needful; it expected me to me there for it ALL the time, and with all I have to do—I had to let something go. “

–This quote from Lily Tomlin and Jane Wasgoner’s A Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In The Universe reminds me of us in the bone deep, tingly way only the best quotes can. (Jill)

This got me a little verklempt. In a forever-empty, at-once-alone-and-connected, utopian-performative/saudade Lacanian kind of way.

This got me a little verklempt. In a forever-empty, at-once-alone-and-connected, utopian-performative/saudade Lacanian kind of way.
“You need to build an ability to just be yourself and not be doing something. That’s what the phones are taking away, is the ability to just sit there. That’s being a person. Because underneath everything in your life there is that thing, that empty—forever empty. That knowledge that it’s all for nothing and that you’re alone. It’s down there.
“And sometimes when things clear away, you’re not watching anything, you’re in your car, and you start going, ‘oh no, here it comes. That I’m alone.’ It’s starts to visit on you. Just this sadness. Life is tremendously sad, just by being in it…
“That’s why we text and drive. I look around, pretty much 100 percent of the people driving are texting. And they’re killing, everybody’s murdering each other with their cars. But people are willing to risk taking a life and ruining their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second because it’s so hard.”…
“And I go, ‘oh, I’m getting sad, gotta get the phone and write “hi” to like 50 people’… then I said, ‘you know what, don’t. Just be sad. Just let the sadness, stand in the way of it, and let it hit you like a truck.’
“And I let it come, and I just started to feel ‘oh my God,’ and I pulled over and I just cried like a bitch. I cried so much. And it was beautiful. Sadness is poetic. You’re lucky to live sad moments.
“And then I had happy feelings. Because when you let yourself feel sad, your body has antibodies, it has happiness that comes rushing in to meet the sadness. So I was grateful to feel sad, and then I met it with true, profound happiness. It was such a trip.
“The thing is, because we don’t want that first bit of sad, we push it away with a little phone or a jack-off or the food. You never feel completely sad or completely happy, you just feel kinda satisfied with your product, and then you die. So that’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.”

What Paleo Means to Me (a non-dogmatic view)

“My version of paleo goes beyond food (though that’s a vital piece of it), beyond exercise (also important), beyond every-day life. It’s part of a larger narrative that connects these things with the rest of life, culture, and thought. Yes, it’s connected to how I exercise and the shoes I wear, but also to how I think about things and make decisions about where and how to spend my time (and money). It’s all connected.”



why does ‘liking someone’ have to be this big secret?

why doesn’t everyone in the world just make it really clear?

why can’t we make t-shirts with the names of who we crush on?

why don’t we throw pianos at people and yell HELLO YOU ARE VERY ATTRACTIVE SIR

have you tried throwing a piano

somebody make a gif of this please?

“Family Guy” wisdom–not a contradiction in terms

Brian: Look, Meg, I’ve had enough of this. You’re not going to convert me.
Meg: But, Brian, I just want you to feel the joy that I feel! I mean the church makes me feel accepted and safe, and part of something bigger than myself.
Brian: But Meg, you don’t need an outside voice to feel those feelings; they’re inside you. What you call “God” is inside you–inside all of us. And I just hate to see people hating and killing each other over their own interpretation of what they’re not smart enough to understand.

[W]hile prose tends toward pure ‘interiority,’ coming to life in the reader’s mind, and cinema gravitates toward the ‘exteriority’ of experiential spectacle, perhaps ‘comics,’ in its embrace of both the interiority of the written word and the physicality of the image, more closely replicates the true nature of human consciousness and the struggle between private self-definition and corporeal ‘reality.’

Daniel Clowes, Ice Haven

Should Whole Foods “Close All Its Meat Counters”? (No.)

An open letter to James McWilliams and anyone who has signed or is considering signing the petition asking Whole Foods to “close all its meat counters”:

You say you care about the humane treatment of animals. Then why not spend your time going after the factory farms, or Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), that churn out cheap meat from diseased psuedo-animals by the ton-full to mainstream grocery stores and fast-food restaurants across the country?

Whole Foods is one of the few—if not only—large-scale places that offer alternatives to this. In many parts of the country, it is more affordable and/or accessible than going to local farms or farmers markets.

This may be harder for you to swallow than a tough piece of beef shank, but people will not stop eating meat (and not only because you are not actually asking them to). Please consider the potential ramifications of your proposal. If Whole Foods closes its meat counters, only one thing is for sure: Without the option of their alternatives, people will simply buy more questionably-sourced meat. Factory-farm production will actually increase. In German, there is an apt word for this: verschlimmbesserung (an intended improvement that makes things worse).

And if you think that there is no difference between factory-farm meat and the kinds that Whole Foods offers (inferred by your statement, “there is no such thing as ‘humane’ meat”), I have an assignment for you: Go to a factory farm (if you can; they are notoriously secretive about their operations, and it is discouraged if not downright illegal to visit or take photos or video in them). Then go to a sustainably-run livestock farm that is known for being transparent about its methods. Then tell me there is no difference.

Also, where’s the petition to ask Whole Foods to stop selling produce that may come from farms where migrant workers are essentially enslaved? Or to stop selling heavily processed and packaged foods made from profit-crazed monoculture (i.e. wheat/corn/soy) which wreak havoc on both our bodies and the earth?

Different bodies have different needs, and a more diverse approach to health is absolutely necessary. Not only should Whole Foods not close its meat counters, it should do more to promote the myriad ways of healthful eating and living. They are in a position to educate and help us to be kind to our bodies and the earth (they are not mutually exclusive), no matter what our dietary choices or needs.

Therefore, I propose an alternative to your reckless petition: The Healthy Paleo Coalition is asking Whole Foods to increase their Health Starts Here program’s currently vegan-based definition of “health” to include paleo and traditional diet choices (click here to sign their petition). It is not about limiting choices and promoting dogmatic practices, but rather about expanding awareness and promoting diversity and wellness.


Vanessa Query

(originally posted on Unchained Sunday)

from “Catch-22” (film)

Nately: America’s the strongest nation on earth. The American fighting man is the best trained, the best equipped, the best fed… Italy, on the other hand, is one of the weakest nations on earth and the ltalian fighting man is hardly equipped at all.
Old man: That’s why my country is doing so well while yours is doing so poorly.
Nately: That’s silly! First ltaly was occupied by Germans and now by us. You call that doing well?
Old man: Of course I do. The Germans are being driven out and we are still here. In a few years, you’ll be gone and we’ll still be here. Italy is a very poor, weak country yet that is what makes us so strong—strong enough to survive this war and still be in existence long after your country has been destroyed.
Nately: What are you talking about? America’s not going to be destroyed.
Old man: Never?
Nately: Well…
Old man: Rome was destroyed. Greece was destroyed. Persia was destroyed. Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you think your country will last? Forever?
Nately: Forever is a long time, I guess.

We were not born critical of existing society. There was a moment in our lives (or a month, or a year) when certain facts appeared before us, startled us, and then caused us to question beliefs that were strongly fixed in our consciousness—embedded there by years of family prejudices, orthodox schooling, imbibing of newspapers, radio, and television. This would seem to lead to a simple conclusion: that we all have an enormous responsibility to bring to the attention of others information they do not have, which has the potential of causing them to rethink long-held ideas.

Howard Zinn

All this emphasis on youth–I don’t buy it…. Listen, I know what a misery being young can be, so don’t tell me it’s so great. All these kids who came to me with their struggles, their strife, their feelings of inadequacy, their sense that life was miserable, so bad they wanted to kill themselves…

And, in addition to all the miseries, the young are not wise. They have very little understanding about life. Who wants to live every day when you don’t know what’s going on? When people are manipulating you, telling you to buy this perfume and you’ll be beautiful, or this pair of jeans and you’ll be sexy–and you believe them! It’s such nonsense.

Morrie Schwartz (via Mitch Albom), Tuesdays With Morrie

If you watch advertisements, or cruise the supermarket shelves, you can’t fail to notice that everything is anti-bacterial now, as if common household bacteria have suddenly become as exotic and deadly and Ebola.

It’s a great marketing coup, but potentially a dangerous one. In our enthusiasm for all things anti-bacterial we are, thanks to the law of natural selection, breeding even more deadly forms of bacteria that laugh at our anti-bacterial handsoap. Just as with the overuse of pesticides and antibiotics, the overuse of anti-bacterial products assures that only the fittest bacteria survive, thereby selecting out ever more virulent strains with each new generation.

For this reason, in 2000, the American Medical Association recommended that the practice of common antimicrobials to household products be discontinued. Of course, no one listened to them.

And in our quest for antiseptic environments we lose the low-key exposures to both friendly and not-so-friendly bacteria that keep our immune systems in good working order. This is not to say we should wallow in filth, but it may well be healthier to wallow in a mud hole than in a vat of antiseptic gel.

So the myth in our society is that people are competitive by nature and that they are individualistic and that they’re selfish. The real reality is quite the opposite. We have certain human needs. The only way that you can talk about human nature concretely is by recognizing that there are certain human needs. We have a human need for companionship and for close contact, to be loved, to be attached to, to be accepted, to be seen, to be received for who we are. If those needs are met, we develop into people who are compassionate and cooperative and who have empathy for other people. So… the opposite, that we often see in our society, is in fact, a distortion of human nature precisely because so few people have their needs met.

Dr. Gabor Maté

I don’t care if people call me a radical, a rebel, a red, a revolutionary, an outsider, an outlaw, a Bolshevik, an anarchist, a nihilist, or even a left conservative, but please don’t ever call me a liberal.

Norman Mailer