Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse

Author: David Mitchell

Release: January 1, 2014

Tagline: And Other Lesson from Modern Life

Publisher: Guardian Faber Publishing

Genre: Comedy, Commentary, Editorial

ISBN-10: 1783350563
ISBN-13: 978-1783350568

Synopsis: “Why is every film or tv programme a sequel or a remake? Why are people so f***ing hung up about swearing? Why do the asterisks in that sentence make it ok? Why do so many people want to stop other people doing things, and how can they be stopped from stopping them? These and many other questions trouble David Mitchell. Join him on a tour of the absurdities of modern life…”

Declassified by Agent Palmer: Almost a Decade Later, Mitchell’s Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse Remains Relevant

Quotes and Lines

I was just glad things were going wrong because that makes it easier to write jokes – utopia is a living hell for satirical columnists.

If you’re ever going to throw a book at a wall, it’ll be during the next few pages.

Freedom of speech is sacrificed at the altar of manufactured rage.

Doesn’t “people” cover families? Of course it does, but he’s got to say “families” because some research document has suggested that that’s a word that people (and families) want to hear.

…the government has nothing to sell us that we don’t already own.

This bit contains a justification of the unfairness of exams, a celebration of aimless university research, and advocacy of teaching the fairytale version of history to give people something to talk about at parties, and a list of fun activities for pupils too obese to stand up under their own steam. But don’t worry, I’m not applying to set up my own free school, so none of these ideas will ever be put into practice.

In the last 50 years, television has supplanted history, culture and mythology as what we have in common.

The compromise they’ve reached – to let a small riot happen while hospitalising the occasional protester – is probably, like democracy, the worst option except for all of the other ones.

Life goes much more smoothly when everyone’s saying sorry. It’s the second most important social lubricant and, unlike the first, it doesn’t damage your liver.

Our evolution into apex individualists has superbly attuned us to injustices against us while atrophying our awareness of the vastly greater number that work in our favour. It’s not our fault, it’s just how we were raised.

But what most annoys me about the scheme is that it completely misses the point of linguistic pedantry. It’s not fun prissily adhering to grammatical rules if it’s mandatory.