This week(ish) in Great Sentences

I’m a little behind on some of these, but it’s August and the world is slow, so I feel no shame.


You slog through your days beleaguered and reactive even when there are no noticeable disasters — a normal day has its many large and small annoyances, and the world, if you care to notice, and it is difficult not to, is burning

Norm Fischer, “For the Time Being,” NYT 8/7, on zen meditation and finding concrete happiness


Surrounded by candles, Stapp strummed an acoustic guitar, with an annotated Bible open on the table in front of him, next to a closed copy of The Art of War.

DX Ferris, “Creed’s Stapp talks breakup, make up and shaved head,” Rolling Stone, 8/7, via Idolator

Who were the people clamoring for a Creed reunion again?


But we have needs we can’t admit, and one is to be in a scrum of thinly clad corpulence milling in brilliant sun in front of the deep-fried-ice-cream stand and feel the brush of wings, hip bumps, hands touching your arm (“Oh, excuse me!”), the heat of humanity with its many smells (citrus deodorant, sweat and musk, bouquet of beer, hair oil, stale cigar, methane), the solid, big-rump bodies of Brueghel peasants all around you like dogs in a pack, and you—yes, elegant you of the refined taste and the commitment to the arts—are one of these dogs.

Garrison Keillor, “Take in the State Fair,” National Geographic, July 2009

“Scrum” is a tragically under-used word in modern writing.


“It’s what we’ve got to keep doing. People feel that here. I think even our drivers feel like, We’re not bringing in doughnuts. We’re bringing in The Inquirer and Daily News.”

Brian Tierney, quoted in “What’s a Big City Without a Newspaper?” NY Times Magazine, 8/6


“How far will reporters go for a story? Some are so desperate, they’ll work for a newspaper.

— Stephen Colbert, Aug. 17, via Obsolete

16 responses to “This week(ish) in Great Sentences

  1. Stop feigning ignorance about Creed’s fanbase, ass-munch. They sold 35 million CDs.

    Somebody bought those CDs.

    (And yes, I own “My Own Prison,” which is an undeniably good CD, and I own “Human Clay,” which was pretty awesome, and I own “Weathered,” which was equally awesome. Mark Tremonti kills. Widely known fact. Teach yo’ self.)

  2. Cribbs — That is incredibly embarrassing. And appalling. You make me sick.

  3. Nah. Shit’s honest. Minnesota in embarrassing.

  4. Garrison Keillor is woefully under-appreciated in this country. Nice find.

    /Cribbs, your grammar is enbarrasssings

  5. Where is my grammar poor?

  6. Bah. See the forest.

  7. Minnesota is just fine. That’s all it ever wanted to be.

    Creed is a giant self-loathing vomit ballad. You know who likes them?

    1) Mr. Jeffers’ 7th grade Sunday School class.
    2) The part of Pennsylvania between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. I believe Tim Russert once called this abyss “Alabama.”
    3) Alabama.
    4) Jonathan “The Hills” Cribbs.

  8. Creed was pretty good. Most people, quite honestly, just don’t have the stones to admit it.

  9. Best comments fight ever. Next week: Who likes Nickelback?

  10. While I don’t like Nickelback, there’s unquestionable genius in that band. I can’t figure out where it comes from or who or what’s behind it, but I imagine Chad Kroger could hurl a cinderblock at a drumset, record it and release it, and it’d be a Top 10 hit. There isn’t a hard rock band out there that manages to kill the charts every two or three weeks, seemingly.

  11. The World According to Cribbs: If it’s commercially successful, it’s good. Follow ye masses! Reap thy rewards!

    Now, of course, I’m not a true Donnellyian CounterCulture Hipster — I can find virtue in saccharine, feel-good pop culture — an overwhelming majority of ‘Follow Me, Sheep’ chart-toppers are genuine garbage.

    In my opinion, that includes, but is not limited to: Creed, Nickleback, the Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana/Cyrus, T-Pain,, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul and The Hills.

  12. Nah, I’m just smart enough to know when something interesting is going on and something isn’t. There are plenty of interesting ways to look at Nickelback regardless of whether you like their music.

  13. Such as?

    “Smart enough.”


  14. Such as the fact that their popularity has been analyzed to death. An editor at Rolling Stone once called them “critic proof.” Little-known fact: Since 2000, they’re the second largest-selling foreign musical act in the United States. No. 1? The Beatles.

    I don’t own one of their CDs or any of their songs, but the ability to do all that is pretty remarkable.

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