You Say You Want a Devolution?

http://www.vanityfair.com/style/2012/01/prisoners-of-style-201201

For most of the last century, America’s cultural landscape—its fashion, art, music, design, entertainment—changed dramatically every 20 years or so. But these days, even as technological and scientific leaps have continued to revolutionize life, popular style has been stuck on repeat, consuming the past instead of creating the new.

By Kurt Andersen Illustration by James Taylor
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE From the fedora to the Afro, styles have changed with the times. Unless you’re living in the 21st century.

The past is a foreign country. Only 20 years ago the World Wide Web was an obscure academic thingamajig. All personal computers were fancy stand-alone typewriters and calculators that showed only text (but no newspapers or magazines), played no video or music, offered no products to buy. E-mail (a new coinage) and cell phones were still novelties. Personal music players required cassettes or CDs. Nobody had seen a computer-animated feature film or computer-generated scenes with live actors, and DVDs didn’t exist. The human genome hadn’t been decoded, genetically modified food didn’t exist, and functional M.R.I. was a brand-new experimental research technique. Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden had never been mentioned in The New York Times. China’s economy was less than one-eighth of its current size. CNN was the only general-interest cable news channel. Moderate Republicans occupied the White House and ran the Senate’s G.O.P. caucus.

Since 1992, as the technological miracles and wonders have propagated and the political economy has transformed, the world has become radically and profoundly new. (And then there’s the miraculous drop in violent crime in the United States, by half.) Here is what’s odd: during these same 20 years, the appearance of the world (computers, TVs, telephones, and music players aside) has changed hardly at all, less than it did during any 20-year period for at least a century. The past is a foreign country, but the recent past—the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s—looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History.

Think about it. Picture it. Rewind any other 20-year chunk of 20th-century time. There’s no chance you would mistake a photograph or movie of Americans or an American city from 1972—giant sideburns, collars, and bell-bottoms, leisure suits and cigarettes, AMC Javelins and Matadors and Gremlins alongside Dodge Demons, Swingers, Plymouth Dusters, and Scamps—with images from 1992. Time-travel back another 20 years, before rock ’n’ roll and the Pill and Vietnam, when both sexes wore hats and cars were big and bulbous with late-moderne fenders and fins—again, unmistakably different, 1952 from 1972. You can keep doing it and see that the characteristic surfaces and sounds of each historical moment are absolutely distinct from those of 20 years earlier or later: the clothes, the hair, the cars, the advertising—all of it. It’s even true of the 19th century: practically no respectable American man wore a beard before the 1850s, for instance, but beards were almost obligatory in the 1870s, and then disappeared again by 1900. The modern sensibility has been defined by brief stylistic shelf lives, our minds trained to register the recent past as old-fashioned.

Madonna to Gaga

Go deeper and you see that just 20 years also made all the difference in serious cultural output. New York’s amazing new buildings of the 1930s (the Chrysler, the Empire State) look nothing like the amazing new buildings of the 1910s (Grand Central, Woolworth) or of the 1950s (the Seagram, U.N. headquarters). Anyone can instantly identify a 50s movie (On the Waterfront, The Bridge on the River Kwai) versus one from 20 years before (Grand Hotel, It Happened One Night) or 20 years after (Klute, A Clockwork Orange), or tell the difference between hit songs from 1992 (Sir Mix-a-Lot) and 1972 (Neil Young) and 1952 (Patti Page) and 1932 (Duke Ellington). When high-end literature was being redefined by James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, great novels from just 20 years earlier—Henry James’s The Ambassadors, Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth—seemed like relics of another age. And 20 years after Hemingway published his war novel For Whom the Bell Tolls a new war novel, Catch-22, made it seem preposterously antique.

Now try to spot the big, obvious, defining differences between 2012 and 1992. Movies and literature and music have never changed less over a 20-year period. Lady Gaga has replaced Madonna, Adele has replaced Mariah Carey—both distinctions without a real difference—and Jay-Z and Wilco are still Jay-Z and Wilco. Except for certain details (no Google searches, no e-mail, no cell phones), ambitious fiction from 20 years ago (Doug Coupland’s Generation X, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow) is in no way dated, and the sensibility and style of Joan Didion’s books from even 20 years before that seem plausibly circa-2012.

An Epiphany

The Aeron chair in which you’re sitting is identical to the Aeron chair in which I sat almost two decades ago, and this morning I boiled water for my coffee in the groovy Alessi kettle I bought a quarter-century ago. With rare exceptions, cars from the early 90s (and even the late 80s) don’t seem dated. Not long ago in the newspaper, I came across an archival photograph of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell with a dozen of their young staff at Morgans, the Ur-boutique hotel, in 1985. It was an epiphany. Schrager’s dress shirt had no collar and some of the hair on his male employees was a bit unfashionably fluffy, but no one in the picture looks obviously, laughably dated by today’s standards. If you passed someone who looked like any of them, you wouldn’t think twice. Yet if, in 1990 or 1980 or 1970, you’d examined a comparable picture from 27 years earlier—from 1963 and 1953 and 1943, respectively—it would be a glimpse back into an unmistakably different world. A man or woman on the street in any year in the 20th century groomed and dressed in the manner of someone from 27 years earlier would look like a time traveler, an actor in costume, a freak. And until recently it didn’t take even that long for datedness to kick in: by the late 1980s, for instance, less than a decade after the previous decade had ended, the 1970s already looked ridiculous.

There are, of course, a few exceptions today—genuinely new cultural phenomena that aren’t digital phenomena—but so few that they prove the rule. Twenty years ago we had no dark, novelistic, amazing TV dramas, no Sopranos or Deadwood or The Wire or Breaking Bad. Recycling bins weren’t ubiquitous and all lightbulbs were incandescent. Men wore neckties more frequently. Fashionable women exposed less of their breasts and bra straps, and rarely wore ultra-high-heeled shoes. We were thinner, and fewer of us had tattoos or piercings. And that’s about it.

Not coincidentally, it was exactly 20 years ago that Francis Fukuyama published The End of History, his influential post-Cold War argument that liberal democracy had triumphed and become the undisputed evolutionary end point toward which every national system was inexorably moving: fundamental political ferment was over and done. Maybe yes, maybe no. But in the arts and entertainment and style realms, this bizarre Groundhog Day stasis of the last 20 years or so certainly feels like an end of cultural history.

Nostalgic Gaze

How did we get here? Coming off the 1960s, that time of relentless and discombobulating avant-gardism, when everything looked and sounded perpetually new new new, cultural creators—designers, artists, impresarios—began looking backward for inspiration. Some 60s counterculturalists had dabbled in the 19th century—the Victoriana of Sgt. Peppers and Haight-Ashbury houses, the folkish fictions of Bob Dylan and the Band, the stoner-cowboy fantasies of the Grateful Dead and the Hells Angels. But starting all at once in the early 70s, nostalgia proliferated as pop culture became fixated on the past: the 1950s and early 60s—American Graffiti, Happy Days, The Last Picture Show, Grease—and to a lesser extent the 1920s, 30s, and 40s (The Great Gatsby, The Godfather, Summer of ’42, Art Deco, midi and maxi skirts). Even the one big new Hollywood species of the mid-70s and early 80s, the special-effects adventure and science-fiction blockbusters by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, was a re-invention of the B movies of the 40s and 50s.

In the 1970s and 80s too, serious architects re-discovered history, creating “postmodern” buildings with classical columns and pitched roofs and pediments and colorful finishes, and set out to build new towns and neighborhoods resembling older towns and neighborhoods. Anti-postmodern architects in turn designed buildings that evoked the styles of modernism when modernism had been new, and architecture devolved into a battle between two fantasias—nostalgia for the 19th and 18th centuries versus nostalgia for the mid-20th-century avant-garde.

At the same time, fine art that recognizably depicted people, the way all art had before the 20th century, became respectable and even fashionable again. Ditto for orchestral music, where seriousness and ambition were no longer equated with dissonance and unlikability. And in pop music, thanks to sampling, even the last genuinely new form, hip-hop, made an explicit and unapologetic point of recycling earlier songs.

Ironically, new technology has reinforced the nostalgic cultural gaze: now that we have instant universal access to every old image and recorded sound, the future has arrived and it’s all about dreaming of the past. Our culture’s primary M.O. now consists of promiscuously and sometimes compulsively reviving and rejiggering old forms. It’s the rare “new” cultural artifact that doesn’t seem a lot like a cover version of something we’ve seen or heard before. Which means the very idea of datedness has lost the power it possessed during most of our lifetimes.

They never used to remake old TV shows, as they did Hawaii Five-O and Charlie’s Angels this past season. It didn’t use to be that most Broadway musicals were revivals (Godspell, How to Succeed in Business, Anything Goes, and Follies, with Evita, Funny Girl, and Annie due any minute) or a movie/TV-derived pastiche (Wicked, Mary Poppins, The Addams Family, Spider-Man, Bonnie & Clyde). The hottest ticket to any straight play last year? Gatz, a six-hour verbatim theatricalization of The Great Gatsby.

Loss of Appetite

Look at people on the street and in malls—jeans and sneakers remain the standard uniform for all ages, as they were in 2002, 1992, and 1982. Look through a current fashion or architecture magazine or listen to 10 random new pop songs; if you didn’t already know they were all things from the 2010s, I guarantee you couldn’t tell me with certainty they weren’t from the 2000s or 1990s or 1980s or even earlier. (The first time I heard a Josh Ritter song a few years ago, I actually thought it was Bob Dylan.) In our Been There Done That Mashup Age, nothing is obsolete, and nothing is really new; it’s all good. I feel as if the whole culture is stoned, listening to an LP that’s been skipping for decades, playing the same groove over and over. Nobody has the wit or gumption to stand up and lift the stylus.

Why is this happening? In some large measure, I think, it’s an unconscious collective reaction to all the profound nonstop newness we’re experiencing on the tech and geopolitical and economic fronts. People have a limited capacity to embrace flux and strangeness and dissatisfaction, and right now we’re maxed out. So as the Web and artificially intelligent smartphones and the rise of China and 9/11 and the winners-take-all American economy and the Great Recession disrupt and transform our lives and hopes and dreams, we are clinging as never before to the familiar in matters of style and culture.

If this stylistic freeze is just a respite, a backward-looking counter-reaction to upheaval, then once we finally get accustomed to all the radical newness, things should return to normal—and what we’re wearing and driving and designing and producing right now will look totally démodé come 2032. Or not. Because rather than a temporary cultural glitch, these stagnant last couple of decades may be a secular rather than cyclical trend, the beginning of American civilization’s new chronic condition, a permanent loss of appetite for innovation and the shockingly new. After all, such a sensibility shift has happened again and again over the last several thousand years, that moment when all great cultures—Egyptian, Roman, Mayan, Islamic, French, Ottoman, British—slide irrevocably into an enervated late middle age.

You can see a corollary dynamic operating in politics as well. At the same moment that movies and music and art and design suddenly began reveling in old-fashioned subjects and forms, America became besotted by Ronald Reagan’s dreamy vision of a simpler, happier, old-fashioned America. Today, with our top federal income-tax rates half what they were when Reagan became president and income inequality dialed back up to its 1920s level, the mantra of today’s sore-winner Republicans remains, still, Less Government … Lower Taxes. Likewise, today’s radical grass-roots political movements are remakes. The Occupy Wall Street (and Occupy Everywhere Else) protests are a self-conscious remix of the Tea Party and Arab Spring protests. And, although the Tea Partiers began by nominally re-enacting the pre-Revolutionary early 1770s, they were actually performing a cover version of the New Left’s would-be-pre-revolutionary late 1960s. Meanwhile, the thing driving all the populist rage, right and left, is the unprecedented flatlining of economic progress: Americans’ median income is just about where it was 20 years ago, as unchanging as American style and culture.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose has always meant that the constant novelty and flux of modern life is all superficial show, that the underlying essences endure unchanged. But now, suddenly, that saying has acquired an alternative and nearly opposite definition: the more certain things change for real (technology, the global political economy), the more other things (style, culture) stay the same.

But wait! It gets still stranger, because even as we’ve fallen into this period of stylistic paralysis and can’t get up, more people than ever before are devoting more of their time and energy to considering and managing matters of personal style.

And why did this happen? In 1984, a few years after “yuppie” was coined, I wrote an article in Time positing that “yuppies are, in a sense, heterosexual gays. Among middle-class people, after all, gays formed the original two-income households and were the original gentrifiers, the original body cultists and dapper health-club devotees, the trendy homemakers, the refined, childless world travelers.” Gays were the lifestyle avant-garde, and the rest of us followed.

Amateur Stylists

Likewise the artists, not so much because we loved art but because we envied the way their lives looked. In the 80s, the SoHo idea—a tatty, disused urban stretch of old warehouses and factories transformed into a neighborhood of loft apartments and chic shops and restaurants—became a redevelopment prototype and paradigm, rolling out like a franchise operation in cities across America and around the world.

Tastefulness scaled. The pivotal decade, from the mid-80s to the mid-90s, can be defined as the one that began with Alessi’s introduction of Michael Graves’s newfangled old-fashioned teakettle, of which more than a million were sold; continued as stylish retail went mega-mass-market in America, with Gap (600 stores then, 1,011 now), Target (246 then, 1,750 now), Ikea (1 then, 38 now), Urban Outfitters (a few then, more than 70 now—plus 135 Anthropologies), the Landmark art-house movie-theater chain (a dozen or so then, 245 screens now), Barnes & Noble (35 then, 717 now), and Starbucks (dozens then, more than 11,000 now) all expanding exponentially; and produced the new magazines Martha Stewart Living, InStyle, Wired (always as much about cool as useful), and Wallpaper.

Then, in the first decade of this new century, came the flood of decorating and fashion and food shows on cable TV—Trading Spaces, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, What Not to Wear, Project Runway, Iron Chef, followed by their scores of second- and third-generation descendants. What really made Mad Men so hot? Not the stories, not the characters, but the “creative class” setting, the 60s-fetishizing production design and wardrobe.

People flock by the millions to Apple Stores (1 in 2001, 245 today) not just to buy high-quality devices but to bask and breathe and linger, pilgrims to a grand, hermetic, impeccable temple to style—an uncluttered, glassy, super-sleek style that feels “contemporary” in the sense that Apple stores are like back-on-earth sets for 2001: A Space Odyssey, the early 21st century as it was envisioned in the mid-20th. And many of those young and young-at-heart Apple cultists-cum-customers, having popped in for their regular glimpse and whiff of the high-production-value future, return to their make-believe-old-fashioned lives—brick and brownstone town houses, beer gardens, greenmarkets, local agriculture, flea markets, steampunk, lace-up boots, suspenders, beards, mustaches, artisanal everything, all the neo-19th-century signifiers of state-of-the-art Brooklyn-esque and Portlandish American hipsterism.

Moreover, tens of millions of Americans, the uncool as well as the supercool, have become amateur stylists—scrupulously attending, as never before, to the details and meanings of the design and décor of their homes, their clothes, their appliances, their meals, their hobbies, and more. The things we own are more than ever like props, the clothes we wear like costumes, the places where we live, dine, shop, and vacation like stage sets. And angry right-wingers even dress in 18th-century drag to perform their protests. Meanwhile, why are Republicans unexcited by Mitt Romney? Because he seems so artificial, because right now we all crave authenticity.

The Second Paradox

So, these two prime cultural phenomena, the quarter-century-long freezing of stylistic innovation and the pandemic obsession with style, have happened concurrently—which appears to be a contradiction, the Second Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History. Because you’d think that style and other cultural expressions would be most exciting and riveting when they are unmistakably innovating and evolving.

Part of the explanation, as I’ve said, is that, in this thrilling but disconcerting time of technological and other disruptions, people are comforted by a world that at least still looks the way it did in the past. But the other part of the explanation is economic: like any lucrative capitalist sector, our massively scaled-up new style industry naturally seeks stability and predictability. Rapid and radical shifts in taste make it more expensive to do business and can even threaten the existence of an enterprise. One reason automobile styling has changed so little these last two decades is because the industry has been struggling to survive, which made the perpetual big annual styling changes of the Golden Age a reducible business expense. Today, Starbucks doesn’t want to have to renovate its thousands of stores every few years. If blue jeans became unfashionable tomorrow, Old Navy would be in trouble. And so on. Capitalism may depend on perpetual creative destruction, but the last thing anybody wants is their business to be the one creatively destroyed. Now that multi-billion-dollar enterprises have become style businesses and style businesses have become multi-billion-dollar enterprises, a massive damper has been placed on the general impetus for innovation and change.

It’s the economy, stupid. The only thing that has changed fundamentally and dramatically about stylish objects (computerized gadgets aside) during the last 20 years is the same thing that’s changed fundamentally and dramatically about movies and books and music—how they’re produced and distributed, not how they look and feel and sound, not what they are. This democratization of culture and style has two very different but highly complementary results. On the one hand, in a country where an adorably huge majority have always considered themselves “middle class,” practically everyone who can afford it now shops stylishly—at Gap, Target, Ikea, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks. Americans: all the same, all kind of cool! And yet, on the other hand, for the first time, anyone anywhere with any arcane cultural taste can now indulge it easily and fully online, clicking themselves deep into whatever curious little niche (punk bossa nova, Nigerian noir cinema, pre-war Hummel figurines) they wish. Americans: quirky, independent individualists!

We seem to have trapped ourselves in a vicious cycle—economic progress and innovation stagnated, except in information technology; which leads us to embrace the past and turn the present into a pleasantly eclectic for-profit museum; which deprives the cultures of innovation of the fuel they need to conjure genuinely new ideas and forms; which deters radical change, reinforcing the economic (and political) stagnation. I’ve been a big believer in historical pendulum swings—American sociopolitical cycles that tend to last, according to historians, about 30 years. So maybe we are coming to the end of this cultural era of the Same Old Same Old. As the baby-boomers who brought about this ice age finally shuffle off, maybe America and the rich world are on the verge of a cascade of the wildly new and insanely great. Or maybe, I worry some days, this is the way that Western civilization declines, not with a bang but with a long, nostalgic whimper.

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給天蠍座的1封信

天蠍座討厭虛偽討厭謊言討厭欺騙。
其實天蠍經常硬撐,即使一百個委屈都習慣用自己的方式獨自一人承擔。
真正痛苦的時候,其實沒人看得見。
他很注重公平,凡事都會分得清清楚楚不會去佔別人便宜。
他非常重感情只要他真心認定的朋友都會真心對待。

天蠍不愛傳訊息也不愛打電話,懶骨頭一個。

對特別的人會例外自尊心很強強過金錢強過事業也強過愛情。
天蠍座需要慢慢相處,因為天蠍座是個被動的星座、
慢熱的星座、放不開的星座。

一見鍾情很難發生在天蠍座身上天蠍的愛需要時間。
他們會喜歡很多人卻很難愛上一個人。

對愛蝎子的賭注總是壓得很大,如果能贏,
那麼他將成為這個世界上最幸福的人,
所有其他的都可以不在乎了。

可一旦輸了,那份痛將使得再次關閉他的心扉,
從此不再對任何人打開,
因為在他的生命中已經承受不起第二次這樣的打擊了。
也許他還會笑用笑去掩蓋那流血的傷口。

有人說天蠍心狠說他會很快忘記過去,而如果有人走進了天蠍的心裡,
他會很難轉身捨不得轉身即使帶給他的會是傷痛。

天蠍把自己小小的包裹起來,其實天蠍很怕寂寞。
他很怕自己心愛的那個人消失、怕自己太依賴那個人,
也許會覺得他冷漠其實天蠍會在心裡每天想千遍萬遍。

天蠍不喜歡爭吵,大多數情況下會用沉默來代替內心的不良情緒。
但,若遇到十分氣惱的情況,他會發威,
結果是口不擇言,不用費勁的說世界上最惡毒的語言,
說出來給對方聽中傷對方。
但過不了兩天天蠍自己會主動反省為自己的言語感到失態和後悔。

天蠍座的人不大會接受別人的意見,
即便是他人不停地規勸,表面上點點頭心裡還是有自己的一套。
天蠍不大懂得察言觀色,如果愛人情緒有變化,
天蠍會胡思亂想許多,認為會是自己哪裡做錯了。
然後就會招來愛人的不滿!
事實上天蠍並不想這樣,只是性格缺陷讓他容易想太多。

蝎子沒事喜歡胡思亂想。
性格與脾氣都比較極端、嗜睡、摯愛音樂、易被感動、
喜歡跟喜歡的人身體接觸,恨不得把身體揉進去那種。

有些悲觀支配欲、有較強的依賴感、偏執、苛求完美雙重性格,
一般很抗拒有人走近,不喜歡聽見周圍有人不停交談,
經常表現出對什麼都不在乎。

天蠍有時候令人難以揣摩,日常生活中他們的思維方式甚至會讓你痴迷。
他們不僅性感無比,而且還賦有精力。
他們對其他任何異性都會冷酷到底,
而對自己的老婆則是溫情綿綿。
而且蝎子其實很好哄的,
只要你的手機時時為他們開著不要不接他們的電話,
出去聚會願意帶著他們那麼蝎子絕對是最棒的伴侶。

當天蠍和自己的戀人鬧彆扭時開始的時候,
他們會很堅決大有一種決不首先向對方妥協的勢氣。
時間一久天蠍就開始想對方的好了,
於是自己主動找上門和戀人和好如初就像什麼都沒有發生過。
雖然蝎子的內心是有些氣的但一見到戀人,就又“傻”過去了。
這就是我所了解的天蠍,自我矛盾加自我折磨的天蠍。

天蠍生性渴望理解,卻不奢求理解安於孤獨更樂於孤獨。
天蠍的優勢在於對於別有用心的人,
能夠一眼看穿並完全做到視若無睹。
也許當你自鳴得意時,天蠍想的正是不和這頭牲口一般見識。
看天蠍就是這樣的心態,清高地忍讓憂鬱地承受卻酷得乾脆利落。
只要你不觸動他的底線一切都好。

天蠍座的人酷愛權力,喜歡有自己的思想方法。
錢和物質對你是不可缺少的,但從不用它來束縛自己的手腳,
你對那些對自己的事業工作有過幫助的人總是念念不忘,
肯為你們慷慨解囊。

天蠍座的人需要經常不斷地處於忙碌之中,
喜歡親自動手去做喜歡改善自己的工作和生活環境,
喜歡更新自己的想法。

天蠍座談戀愛時容易胡思亂想,
不能忍受被忽略忽視的感覺,一點點也不能!
如果另一半不理他,
他就會自己胡思亂想一堆鑽進死胡同後出不來。

然後另一半一個電話又瓦解了所有了胡思亂想。
想要控制,卻又下不了決心。
天蠍座表面堅強內心軟弱想要佔有,
卻又怕太過火不停地自信與自卑交雜。

天蠍不會輕易付出愛她們會保護自己。
如果能經受住天蠍百般的考驗和魔鬼式的訓練,
那麼他會幸運的成為她的愛。
她們怕太認真,怕她們太強烈不愛的時候,冷的像冰,
愛的時候熱情似火讓你很難適從。

她們的思想是比較偏激的要嘛愛要嘛徹底的不愛。
所以天蠍的愛永遠都是轟轟烈烈的。

給處女座的1封信

處女座有時很憂鬱。也許在外表上嘻嘻哈哈,
但當自己一個人的時,也許會故意找傷心的事回憶。
感嘆命運的悲慘,然後第二天再抱著飽滿的精神,面對朋友們。

那種氣氛也許是可以營造出的,悲慘給自己的脆弱找個理由,
告訴自己可以堅強,的確很堅強至少不願讓別人看到眼淚。

處女們不愛說話,外表冰冷高傲讓人無法接近。
他們似乎是天生的悲觀主義者,因為理性的完美主義,
而瞻前顧後他們總是低頭默默地自卑,卻永遠沒有害人的勇氣。

他們絕對不會在你困難的時候,離你而去。
會堅強的陪你度過難關他們在面對痛苦挫折的時候,
往往勇敢得令人佩服。

處女愛一個人的時候真的是“死了都要愛”
充滿羅曼蒂克的愛情藏在內心深處,一但你通過考驗,
他決定付出時,壓抑的情感都將爆發出來,他會變得積極而大膽。
所以能被處女座選中的人是很幸福的,只要你是真的誠實知性負責。
那麼處女座人寧願犧牲自已也不會勉強所愛的。

處女為人知性,冷靜,理智顧全大局知性的代表
面具下處處們也是很敏感的,又多疑還超級的悲觀。
神經纖細甚至還有點神經質。
像個孩子一樣只要一感覺到不安全了,就會內心彆扭糾結。
表面看起來對很多事情都不在乎,其實內心糾結得要死,
需要別人哄著逗著。

處女對任何事都要求過高,極其挑剔。
但實際上處女本身也是最沒底,最矛盾的人。
外表強悍到沒人真正敢融入進去,他需要很多關愛。
需要有一份堅定的安全感來鞏固內心的不安。
處女最大的毛病就是缺乏安全感。
就因為常年把自己保護得死死的,
處女內心就是希望有一個人能看穿他全部的脆弱。

喜歡在傷心的時候,聽傷心的歌。
喜歡在開心的時候,和在乎的人分享常常口是心非。
想拒絕卻開不了口,朋友挺多,但懂的不多。
不喜歡主動聯繫別人,但絕不是不在乎。
不喜歡欠別人,也不喜歡別人欠自己。
很安靜也可以很瘋。
不要覺得他沒心沒肺,他只是對很多事看得很開。

處女的情緒,來自內心深處。
所以一旦發洩出來,就會像火山爆發一樣一發不可收拾。
所以處女需要與了解自己的人在一起,
這樣才可以每隔一段時間就抒發一下自己的心事,
把悶在心裡頭的不愉快全部掏空。

對處女而言,抱怨是有益健康的。
請愛處女的人接受他偶爾吐吐苦水發發牢騷。

THINGS YOU’D LOVE TO SAY OUT LOUD AT WORK:

http://mostexerent.tumblr.com/post/4658603596/things-youd-love-to-say-out-loud-at-work-1-i

1. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of shit.
2. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.
3. How about never? Is never good for you?
4. I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
5. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.
6. I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter.
7. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.
8. I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.
9. It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a damn word you’re saying.
10. Ahhh…I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again…
11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.
12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.
13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don’t give a damn.
14. I’m already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.
15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.
16. Thank you. We’re all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.
17. The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.
19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks?!
20. I’m not being rude. You’re just insignificant.
21. It’s a thankless job, but I’ve got a lot of Karma to burn off.
22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.
23. And your crybaby whiny-assed opinion would be..?
24. Do I look like a people person?
25. This isn’t an office. It’s Hell with fluorescent lighting.
26. I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.
27. If I throw a stick, will you leave?
28. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.
29. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.
30. I’m trying to imagine you with a personality.
31. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.
32. Can I trade this job for what’s behind door #1?
33. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.
34. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.
35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?
36. Chaos, panic and disorder-my work here is done.
37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?
38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.
39. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?
40. Oh I get it…like humor…but different.

《別想擺脫書》(Nobody Will Finish With Books)

http://blog.udn.com/jason080/4120166

人類既聰明又愚蠢,發明了造紙和印刷,也發明了火,但歷史證明:書永遠不死,即使經歷了一次又一次的焚書浩劫,書也沒有徹底消失,因為書的記憶就是人類文化和歷史的記憶,或如艾可指出︰「書就如勺子、斧頭、輪子和剪刀,一經造出,就不可能有進一步改善……也許書的組成部分將有所演變,也許書不再是紙質的書。但書始終是書。」那是說,書的形式會改變,閱讀形式也會改變,但書的用途或結構並沒有改變。

面對家中萬卷藏書,幾乎所有愛書人都受到過這樣充滿敵意的質疑:「這些書你都讀過了嗎?」這二位藏書家整日坐擁書城,自然沒少受到來客的揶揄。對於這個問題,艾可準備了好幾種答案。答案一:「不。這些只不過是我下週要讀的書。」答案二:「我一本都沒讀過。不然我留著它們幹嗎?」又或者:「您知道,我不讀書,我寫書。」艾可承認,藏書人不會讀完每一本書,否則人們將不會有時間把某本心愛的書讀上四五遍。在他們看來,無書不讀無時不讀才真正是一種需要拯救的行為。收藏癖是有自由有選擇性的正常行為,閱讀癖卻可能是一種反常,這種對閱讀行為的依賴,甚至超越了對書籍本身的真正興趣。

如果說書店給人以「有尺度的眩暈」,那麼,在網路資訊充斥氾濫的時代,我們面臨的將是50億個百科全書所帶來的無限的暈眩。這也就是為什麼電子書不應當擁有取代印刷書而存在的命運──當閱讀對象的數量明顯超越了我們的閱讀能力,當獲取閱讀對象不再需要我們支付任何代價,當資訊予取予求,並充滿主觀與謬誤之時,我們將索性不再閱讀。同時,我們會成為電子書收藏家,那些我們擁有卻永遠不會去讀的書將遠遠超越我們的架上書,並將因永遠不會受到旁觀者的指責而安然長眠於硬盤的墳墓之中。

艾可說,書寫是「近乎天然的」,「與身體直接相連的交流技術」,正如人類發明了輪子後,幾千年來輪子始終與史前的輪子如出一轍那樣,書寫的命運長於書籍的命運,更加不得擺脫。