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Quotes / The New '10s

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My parents had grown up in fantasyland, the last generation in full employment, the last age of sex without fear, the last moment of politics without religion, but somehow their years in the fairy tale had grounded them, strengthened them, given them the conviction]that by their own direct actions they could change and improve their world...Whereas now horror was spreading everywhere at high speed and we closed our eyes or appeased it.
René Unterlinden, The Golden House by Salman Rushdie.

"I have to work to pay to work to get a woman’s attention so she can reject me. Love is impossible. A house, a wife– a second date, impossible. Normal things. I’ll never hold my first child. Those things just ended. Yes, I hate my work. And I’m afraid of losing it. They get angry if you’re not thankful for it. That’s a bad attitude. You have to lie every day, every minute, and say you love the thing that’s killing you. It’s Satanic. What do we have, better toilets? The men are all liars. The women are barely people anymore. I’m barely a person anymore. I’m starting to like it. I’m starting to feel proud when I close a deal. To sell branded entertainment. To sell Verizon to fucking moms– it’s all like this. Everything exists just to sell you shit and you have to sell shit too just to live and they make you fucking smile about it. I’ll get old like this. Alone. Nothing but my career– I wish you would kill me. Please–"
Finally Some Good News

"You asked for wisdom, and you were given glib charm.
You asked for leadership, and you were given a nickel show.
You asked for strength, and you were given a cheap joke.
You asked for a man to represent America, and you were given Mickey Mouse."


Just stop your crying, it's a sign of the times
Welcome to the final show
Hope you're wearing your best clothes
Harry Styles, "Sign of the Times"

"We are the new Americana,
High on legal marijuana,
Raised on Biggie and Nirvana,
We are the new Americana."
Halsey, "New Americana"

Cat's foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door
Twenty first century schizoid man

Blood rack barbed wire
Politicians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man

Death seed blind man's greed
Poets' starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man
King Crimson, "21st Century Schizoid Man", written in The '60s but pretty on the dot as Kanye West realized

Do you know this house is falling apart?
Can I say this house is falling apart?
We've got no money, but we've got heart
We're gonna rattle this ghost town
This house is falling apart
Walk the Moon, "Anna Sun"

If I was of the Greatest Generation I'd be pissed
Surveying the world that I built slipping back into this
I'd be screaming at my grandkids: "We already did this!"
Be suspicious of simple answers
That shit's for fascists and maybe teenagers
You can't fix the world if all you have is a hammer
The first time it was a tragedy, the second time it's a farce
Outside it's 1933 so I'm hitting the bar
And I don't know what's going on anymore
The world outside is burning with a brand new light
But it isn't one that makes me feel warm
Don't go mistaking your house burning down for the dawn
Frank Turner, "1933"

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above
But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?
'How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?'
Bastille, "Pompeii"

Stand-Up Comedy

"There are fears that Britain could be facing a double-dip recession, or worse still, a double-dip with misery sprinkles and fuck-where's-my-job-sauce."

"They say the economy is essentially sound because people are considering buying things. That's like saying fat people are healthy because they might exercise."
Robin Williams, Weapons of Self-Destruction

Video Games

"2000-2010 was a shitty decade. I like this decade better! I have a smartphone now!"
— A Weazel News report, Grand Theft Auto V

Sonya Blade: In the future, we all carry tiny TVs with us?
Cassie Cage: Welcome to the Digital Age.
Sonya: More like the Distracted Age.

Web Animation

"Well we've left behind the 200X's, and we move onto the 20XX's. Maybe that will finally make us feel like we're living in the future, rather than a media controlled slave state where an iPhone is worth substantially more than a human life. Happy new year."

Web Original

People taking selfies with Cybermen? What an appalling comment on today's society (and unfortunately an accurate one).

Europe is very geographically diverse, with landscapes ranging from streets full of rioters in Greece to mountains full of rioters in Britain.

In a small town, there may be no venues for performing arts aside from country music bars and churches. There may only be two doctors in town — aspiring to that job means waiting for one of them to retire or die. You open the classifieds and all of the job listings will be for fast food or convenience stores. The "downtown" is just the corpses of mom and pop stores left shattered in Walmart's blast crater, the "suburbs" are trailer parks. There are parts of these towns that look post-apocalyptic.

The fiscal cliff looms. Wars rage around the globe. Apple Maps wasn't everything they promised.

I feel like today's popular music doesn't really grapple with the important issues, namely that the world is gonna burn and we're all gonna fucking die. That's a message those SELFIENNIALS need to hear in 2015. No more of this self empowerment business.
Drew Magary, "One Day We'll Be Too Lazy to Watch Football."

Matt’s a frightening character because of the nonchalant manner with which he discusses blowing his fellow students’ skulls off. Is he joking? Is he for real? Everything’s so fucking ironic these days, with people afraid of getting caught being earnest — an entire generation of walking memes — that neither his 'accomplice' nor the audience are sure where he stands, at least until the end.
Stuart Millard on The Dirties

If they ever make a film about the recession, they’re going to struggle for “the great speech” scene. That bit when Michael Collins demands of his audience “who will take my place?” or in Into the Storm (2009) where Brendan Gleeson delivers a stirring rendition of Churchill’s “we will fight them on the beaches” speech...Newspapers seldom print whole speeches these days, so they are typically anchored around vacuous sound bytes.

GoFundMe CEO: Over a third of campaigns on our site are intended to raise funds for medical debt, which for many Americans can be overwhelming to the point of personal bankruptcy. [...] While we do take a grim and haunted sort of pride in being the only option for America's 80 million un- or underinsured inhabitants, it is also slowly but surely destroying our will to live. Put simply, it would really help morale around here if there were a few light-hearted campaigns on the site. We could really use a few fun ones. [...]
Director: Should we— do you want us to keep rolling? Are you... are you okay? Do you need a minute?
GoFundMe CEO: (beat) I run a website that hosts popularity contests where if you lose, you die. Would you be doing alright?
CollegeHumor, "GoFundMe CEO: We Could Use A Few Fun Ones"

Real Life

When was the last time you read a story or watched a TV show or a movie that was actually optimistic about the future? I know. I can’t remember either... It’s long been a theory of mine that the 21st century has been marijuana’s new golden age for a reason: The dystopia demands a mild, uplifting oblivion.

For all Trump's nativism and bluster, the 2016 campaign was very much concerned with the One Big Grievance of our time: The economic system is "rigged" against working-class people, to use the word of the year. It is true that Trump's solutions, when he bothered to identify them, were unlikely to succeed. But the fact remains: Eight years after the crash of 2008, the country was still incandescent with rage, and "Make America Great Again" was as obvious a slogan as they come.
Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?

You have a huge population in the center of the country whose life expectancy is dropping. And no one says anything about it. If the life expectancy of Syrian refugees was going down, we'd have a prime time address from the President.
Tucker Carlson, Election Night 2016 coverage.

The power structure understandably fears that Trump’s isolationism will stymie economic growth. But most Americans couldn’t care less about growth because for years they have received few of its benefits, while suffering most of its burdens in the forms of lost jobs and lower wages.

This could be a period of irreversible decline. For the 1 percent and even less — the one-tenth of 1 percent — it's just fine. They are richer than ever, more powerful than ever, controlling the political system, disregarding the public. And if it can continue, as far as they're concerned, sure, why not?"
Noam Chomsky

"I think the people of this country have had enough of experts".
— Michael Gove, anti-intellectual British politician, in the lead-up to the Brexit Referendum.


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