“No, we’re not sexist, we’re narcissists: it’s not about you, it’s about us. Men believe they can convince people of their identity— convince a girl to like them. The whole male grammar is structured like this: get her into bed; get her to go out with me; show her what kind of a person I am. We think we can fool women for the same reason a 3 year old thinks he can manipulate his parents: sometimes they let us because they were going to do it anyway. You think you can convince her you’re tougher than you are, but you worry you can’t fool another guy because he “knows” toughness. But why would he know it any better than she? She knows you better than he does; and she knows men— and posturing and puffing up the chest— better than either of you. The only person who doesn’t know what kind of a person you are is you.”—The Last Psychiatrist: When Was The Last Time You Got Your Ass Kicked?
“America isn’t obsessed with sex and violence; it’s obsessed with authenticity (or avoiding it). It just so happens that sex and violence are the only two things that you can’t fake, and we keep coming back to them as the definitive “measures of the man.” We can fake wealth, intellect, status, kindness, political acumen, parenting, looks— there’s no objective measure of any of these things, a man can construct any identity he wants, people might not buy it but who are they to say? But a fight isn’t a matter of opinion, it is too real.”—The Last Psychiatrist: When Was The Last Time You Got Your Ass Kicked?
“Every day, the Gulf Stream carries an amount of heat to Europe equivalent to the world’s output of coal for ten years, which is why Britain and Ireland have such mild winters compared with Canada and Russia.”— Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything