Under the sign erected every May above the outer highway reading IT'S SPRING, THINK FARM SAFETY and through the north ingress with its own defaced name and signs addressed to soliciting and speed and universal glyph for children at play [...] and then hard left along the length of a speed bump into the dense copse [...] along the north park's anfractuous roads [...] skirting the corrugate trailer where it was said the man left his family and returned sometime later with a gun and killed them all as they watched Dragnet and the torn abandoned sixteen-wide half overgrown by the edge of the copse where boys and their girls made strange agnate forms on pallets [...]
description of toni ware, embedding human tragedy in factual input in a way that might be lost or glossed over
something similar but for Silicon valley woes? startups dying, corruption, people breaking down, homelessness caused by rent going up
Another thing tormented me in those days: the fact that no one else was like me, and I was like no one else. I am alone, I thought, and they are everybody. And I worried about it.
young CF influenced by this book?
Many investment bankers I interviewed remarked, occasionally with envy but usually with an edge of moral superiority, how inefficient corporate America is because people move so "slowly." As Wong suggested, it is extremely common for investment bankers to interpret their own experience of overwork as a sign that they know how to "get things done," as proof of their "smartness," in contradistinction to the masses of complacent, less capable workers out in "the real world" who therefore need to be restructured to more efficient use. [...] "We've made everyone smarter. We know much more about how global competition works, about how to create efficiency. Before, in the 1970s, corporations were so sloppy; now they are advanced. We're the grease that makes things turn more efficiently; we understood shareholder value and strategy before anyone else."
inspo for Neil not understanding that most workers already know that their hard work is severed from possibility of reward/advancement and maybe even ultimately useless (selling crap people dont need). they just don't care enough to bother
Having a child meant acknowledging you were growing older. But Harry wanted to be the only child in his marriage to Carol. For his behavior throughout the marriage was the behavior of a self-indulgent child, always wanting center stage, always wanting instant gratification. He considered his impulsive behavior a badge of honor, not something to be modified. These character traits, combined with his very competent adult business abilities, made him attractive to many people. He created an image of boyish charm combined with adult business success.
Harry remained Harry. He still lives in Silicon VAlley, still is successful in the job he still likes. He's known as a "player" and enjoys surreal short-term relationships. He continues to fight the battle of staying young forever and is now busy looking into new genetic and hormonal developments as possibilities for arresting the aging process. He has yet to realize that only the dead stay young forever.
just a great character study (somewhat inspo for neil even if the specifics are different)
When Karen took a vacation, we ordered a thousand plastic playground balls and filled her cube with them. They were still being thrown from office to office and rolling around under desks a year later.
She stood in the doorway and turned the knob. She looked as if she wanted to say something else. She wore the white blouse, the wide black belt, and the black skirt. Sometimes she called it her outfit, sometimes her uniform. For as long as I could remember, it was always hanging in the closet or hanging on the clothesline or getting washed out by hand at night or being ironed in the kitchen
She worked Wednesdays through Sundays.
inspo maybe (pano)
Now he was having an affair, for Christ's sake, and he didn't know what to do about it. He did not want it to go on, and he did not want to break it off: you don't throw everything overboard in a storm. Al was drifting, and he knew he was drifting, and where it was all going to end he could not guess at. But he was beginning to feel he was losing control over everything. Everything. Recently, too, he had caught himself thinking about old age after he'd been constipated a few days - an affliction he had always associated with the elderly. Then there was the matter of the tiny bald spot and of his having just begun to wonder how he would comb his hair in a different way. What was he going to do with his life? he wanted to know.
He was thirty-one.
something useful to remember: everybody worries about what they're going to do with their lives. it all ends the same way..
"Honey, you can't do anything," she said. "The time for doing anything has come and gone. It's too late to do anything. I wanted to like it here. I thought we'd go on picnics and take drives together. But none of that happened. You're always busy. You're off working, you and Jill. You're never at home. Or else if you are at home you have the phone off the hook all day. Anyway, I never see you," she said.
this feeling of relying on another person who can disappoint you: something neil got a glimpse of and turned his back on early on
[...] she wrote that she was going to leave her kids with somebody and take the cannery job when the season rolled around. She was young and strong, she said. She thought she could work the twelve-to-fourteen-hour-a-day shifts, seven days a week, no problem. She'd just have to tell herself she could do it, get herself psyched up for it, and her body would listen. [...]
this is so fucked up. but also relevant for neil (treating body as a machine, doing your bidding)
From above came the noise of the workers laboring, hammering and nailing, creating surplus value for bloated plutocrats, while down below two anarchists [...]
[thought: joke about searching for something with better exchange value, not use value, after someone has finally read marx]