Great Lines: The Rules of Employment Edition

I couldn't pick just one or two of the points in this post, so I'm going to repost it.

  • Stay calm. Remember, you can’t become worse off than when you started.

  • Cultivate a professional mindset. You are above the company, descending to help them. Do the work required, do honest work, help them achieve their goals, but don’t become mentally trapped.

Great Lines: The Don't Want to Be Enlightened Edition

I'm worried that we've got an impassable gulf between the Trump faction and the rest of America. In times like this, I read history and it shows that there were times in the past when were similarly divided. America made it through. But can we keep on repeating history? I don't know.

This is an old article, but it shows how little things have changed over the years.

Great Lines: The Hillbilly Elegy Edition

J.D. Vance is now one of the people he talks about it in this book. People say that it was plain to anyone that he would make his current heel turn into a die-hard Trumper. For me, this raises a larger question: if someone turns out to be a terrible person, can you still enjoy the art that they made? I don't actively listen to R. Kelly or Michael Jackson anymore, but I won't change the song if they come on. At the end of the day, I don't have the answer. If you have thoughts, please reply to this email.

Great Lines: The Infinite Choices Edition

One good thing about the pandemic: there is no longer a social obligation to hug people. I've never been a big hugger, but have grown to tolerate it. No more! I'm finally going to shake off the yoke of the Hug Industrial Complex after all these years.


What you have to realize is that you are always saying ‘no’ to something because anytime you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you are simultaneously saying ‘no’ to an infinite number of others.’”

Great Lines: The Barbershop Edition

Over the past 3 weeks, I've begun venturing back out into the world. It's been odd, but not nearly as jarring as I thought it might be. I feel bad for folks who are having a lot of social anxiety being around people again. If you read this newsletter and are one of those people, call or email me and I will come to you.

On to the show...

First, an accurate recap of the Trump team’s press conference in Philadelphia in November:

Great Lines: The Denialism Edition

I read this great article about denialism this week. I cast out a denialist from my life earlier this year, after realizing that he was entirely malignant and was employing "whataboutism" as a cover to say increasingly insane things.

The majority of denialists cannot be reasoned with. Stop talking to them and do something that will actually bring you joy.

First, the difference between denial and denialism:

Great Lines: The White Man's Word Edition

I recently read Dave Parker's new autobiography, Cobra. There are tons of good stories in the book, but this one about what happened after a black player was unfairly fined by the league was my favorite:

Charlie had some idea of what this was about and found George Sisler Jr., son of the great first baseman for the St. Louis Browns, sitting very properly on a stool in the bar. In an extremely stern voice, Sisler demanded to know the details of the incident with Rochester police. Charlie once again was forced to explain himself. Sisler wasn't convinced.

Great Lines: The 24 Hours To Live Edition

I had an ethical conundrum a few weeks back. I saw that I could go to a small town in the southern part of the state and get vaccinated. After thinking about it, I decided to wait my turn here at home. It ultimately seemed unethical to me to take a dose from someone else in that community.

I’ve been sitting inside for the past year. What’s a few more months?

First, a look into how police unions see those who they protect:

Great Lines: The Nixon/Trump Edition

I’ve recently been watching a lot of the original “Head of the Class” series on HBO Max. This type of nostalgia has been very prevalent in my life recently.

Over the past 3 months, I indulged in a very self reflective exercise. I found all of the links I’ve felt were worth saving, scattered all across various online repositories. I got all of the links together, tagged them with their subject, and organized them in the way I’d always dreamed of. It gave me a small bit of control in an uncontrollable time. When all was said and done, I had almost 29,500 links catalogued.

Great Lines: The Sibling Business Edition

Since this past October, I’ve been in a state of constant anxiety. First it was the election. Then it was the terrorist attack on January 6. Then, it was the impeachment. But, I realize now that there’s no sense in me worrying about these things. I can’t control them. It also helps to have an actual human being as president, instead of the sentient Youtube comments section we’ve had to endure over the past 4 years.

So I’m back. I’ll do my best to keep the issues flowing. You do your best to keep reading them.

Great Lines: The Focus Edition

Our brains are ravaged by a constant barrage of information. We aren’t meant to be in a state of such constant and persistent stimulation. I’ve really gotten into Cal Newport over the past few years. I highly recommend reading his books. He talks about the need for people to focus so they can do deep, meaningful work.

This past week, Newport ran a series of posts for Focus Week on his blog. I recommend reading all of them. Here are some excerpts:

Great Lines: The Killer Mike Edition

First, Matt Taibbi talks about the politicization of facts:

We’ve become incapable of talking calmly about possible solutions because we’ve lost the ability to decouple scientific or policy discussions, or simple issues of fact, from a political argument. Reporting on the Covid-19 crisis has become the latest in a line of moral manias with Donald Trump in the middle.

Great Lines: The Trump Rally Edition

First, Drew Magary went to a Trump rally back in 2016. His base hasn’t changed much since then:

“I know the greatest negotiators in the world,” he said. “Now some of these people are horrible human beings. You wouldn’t have them to dinner. They’re vicious. They’re crude. They’re unhappy. They treat everybody badly. Who cares? I want them negotiating against China. Think of Carl Icahn, a friend of mine. He’d be great. I’d say, ‘Carl, take China’.”

Great Lines: The Old Man In Poverty Edition

First, a lawyer for the superrich who both exploits the tax code to save his clients money and sounds the alarm when a loophole feels too outrageous:

He's not ashamed of this. His methods are perfectly legal. In fact, he sees himself not as someone who exploits the system for the benefit of the few but as the guy who keeps the system honest for everyone.