douglas coupland quotes



I've always felt like an alien trapped in a human form. We all do at some time or other; for me it's a permanent state, and I'm still unsure if Earth is a penance or a reward.


Big companies are like marching bands. Even if half the band is playing random notes, it still sounds kind of like music. The concealment of failure is built into them.


Unhappiness is something we are never taught about; we are taught to expect happiness, but never a Plan B to use to use when the happiness doesn't arrive.


In a faraway land called 'pre-2000,' what Earthlings now call blogging was called 'keeping a diary.' It's hard work to do well. I tried doing it in the early 1990s but had to stop because I no longer had a life - instead I had this thing that generated anecdotes to go into my diary. The diary took over and I had to stop.


The neighborhood I grew up in had this fence that surrounds the watershed. And if you go on the other side of that fence, there's nothing until the North Pole and down to Siberia. It's the absolute cutoff point between man and nature.


It feels wistful to imagine a time when people didn't go about their daily routine with the assumption that at any moment another massive media technology will be dumped on us by some geek in California.


We were never supposed to live until 40. We were built to self-destruct at 30, whether from cancer or mental illness. We're all going way beyond our expiration date.


I had a lot of really terrible advice early in my writing career and I cheesed off people without even knowing it, all the while thinking I was implementing good advice.


There used to be a tradition of the loveable rogue who would steal from the honour boxes in churches and buy a round of drinks with the money he snagged. And everyone would find him tremendously good company. But not any more.


Bespoke tailoring: yes! I found this one pair of pants - they're Canali - and brought them into a tailor and said, 'Clone these, dammit.' They just do all the right things. I've got eight pairs in different colors and I never have to think about pants again. The only look otherwise that suits me is, like, the Professor from 'Gilligan's Island.'


Headwise, I always kind of knew that everyone goes grey in our family very early - and I was like, it works for me. I started growing my beard, and it changes the shape of your skull and your face, and I started seeing my mother's side of the family in myself for the first time.


When I look at my daily schedule, I feel like a trout flopping about on a dock, drowning in the air. Some people are ruthless with their schedules. Not me. I wing it.


Everyone should have a tailor. David Wilkes, the guy who does my stuff, is like, 'Well you're a writer - do you want a special pen compartment or something?' Bespoke: That's the term you want to get out there.


I was always the youngest person in class, skinny, scrawny, no good at sports. I asserted myself by being smart. But then I got to college and started to get C's and D's. That was fantastic. I no longer had to be the smartest person in the room.


There's much to be said for feeling numb. Time passes more quickly. You eat less, and because numbness encourages laziness, you do fewer things, good or bad, and the world's probably a better place for it.


Remember travel agents? Remember how they just kind of vanished one day? Well, that's where all the other jobs that once made us middle class are going, to that same magical, class-killing, job-sucking wormhole into which travel agency jobs vanished, never to return.


Salad bars are like a restaurant's lungs. They soak up the impurities and bacteria in the environment, leaving you with much cleaner air to enjoy.


In Canada, we're happy to provide a safe haven for next-door neighbors in the middle of a marital dispute. And if anyone trips while crossing the border, we're happy to set their broken bones for free.


'Stupidity' defines the mental state wherein we acknowledge that we've never been smarter as individuals and yet somehow we've never felt stupider. We now collectively inhabit a state of stupidity.


With Google I'm starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless.




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