Ann Friedman - Sentences I saved this year

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Two skeletons sit on a bench outside. The lawn is green and there are some palm-like trees behind them. They are wearing santa hats.
Ho ho ho   

Lines I loved this year
As I go about my reading all year long, I try to remember to copy the lines I love into my notes app. Here are some of the sentences I saved this year:

The difficult part is admitting that the character of America has been observed and explained many times over by the oppressed. If you’re witnessing fascism on a livestream, you’re too late. -Daisy Alioto

It’s like a heaviness, like you’re waking up to more of the same, and it’s never going to change. Like wading through something thicker than water. Maybe a tar pit. -Jen George

What if all this time we have misunderstood the story of the Tower of Babel?…What if it was not just to different tribes but to each individual human being that a separate language was given, unique as fingerprints. And, step two, to make life among humans even more strifeful and confounding, he beclouded their perception of this. So that while we might understand that there are many peoples speaking many different languages, we are fooled into thinking that everyone in our own tribe speaks the same language we do. -Sigrid Nunez, What Are You Going Through

I am reminded that a party is always a screenshot of a scene. -Michelle Lhooq

Progress, it turns out, is not something to arrive at; its most robust presentation is the understanding that you’ll never reach it. No, it’s the understanding that you’ll never reach it and that you cannot predict why from the moment you’re standing in. -Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Finding out Ben and Jen were getting back together was the first truly shocking piece of news I’ve heard in years that wasn’t also horrible. I am convinced that experiencing surprise this intense unattended by panic and dread literally increased my serotonin production. -Sarah Miller

Literary phone sex! What a time to have a pulse. -Delia Cai

The human imagination is not as limitless as we like to pretend, and it’s funny how often, in trying to get beyond the boundaries of the known, we just end up circling back to our own privates. -Alison Willmore

Feminism can be just as competitive as any beauty pageant: yet another mirror in which to examine one’s blemishes, and yet another means — the irony is exquisite — of comparing oneself with other women. -Andrea Long Chu

There is, at 38, an undercurrent of longing, and I think it’s a longing for control—a response to time not caring about me. -Taylor Harris

This is the nature of middles. They are messy and luxurious at the same time. The boundaries are less set; you are invited—required—to immerse yourself. -Brittney Cooper

Choice in respect to important matters became more and more difficult; people found it troublesome to settle on a mode of work, for instance, or a partner. Choice in respect to trivial matters, on the other hand, assumed an importance that no one could have thought to predict. -George W.S. Trow

This obsession with everyone’s thoughts and behavior seems to suggest a desire for a moral code, a desire for certainty in an uncertain world. -Alicia Kennedy

"By monetizing each aspect of their life, they can extract value from everyday interactions." -Jen Lee

[Curating is] an act of generosity—you’re sharing what you love and what has inspired you. ... Algorithms, by definition, are based on calculations that treat the viewer as a consumer and nothing else. -Martin Scorsese (lol I can't believe he made this roundup)

It is a way to feel alive, at times, work. And it is a way, if we are being honest here, to not have to think about the rest of your life. -Jami Attenberg

Some bleak, furious part of myself wondered why the race war hadn’t started because here were white people bragging about the long, continuous line of their history, or, showing off their attempts to link themselves to a long, continuous line of history while here I was standing before it shorn of my antecedents and ancestors.  -Brandon Taylor

[T]he dissonance of the black spotlight, of being revered in one way and reviled in another, a revulsion that makes clear the hollowness of the reverence. -Yaa Gyasi

Imagine bearing witness as your natural landscape is redesigned! -Heather Havrilesky

"I want to figure out how to transform harm in every possible context because I have been harmed, and I have harmed other people." -Mariame Kaba 

That’s not Black teacher work. That’s white family work. -Kiese Laymon

I must admit, just when I think I'm king, I just begin! -Kate Bush, Sat in Your Lap

Each of us, however unconsciously, can’t but be the vehicle of the history which has produced us. Well, we can perish in this vehicle, children, or we can move on up the road. -James Baldwin

For as much as we might predict and project, the future is, and always will be, an undiscovered country. -Jamelle Bouie

People have done this before, but not us. -Ada Limón

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Ann Friedman

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PO Box 26932 | Los Angeles, CA 90026
© 2021

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