Tom McAllister Quotes
“The culture at large had exerted the same pressure on her that it exerts on all women, namely to feel insecure about herself regardless of what she was doing, to feel that simply by being a woman in the world she was necessarily doing something wrong and could only correct her wrongness via endless consumerism and an array of contradictory neuroses. She’d been socialized to always apologize, to smile when a man told her to smile, to believe men who told her she was doing something wrong. Before”
“Given enough time and enough tragedies, we will eventually run out of places for new memorials. Every square inch of the planet will be covered in plaques commemorating a war or a shooting or a building collapsing or a massive fire. We will be reminded of the inevitability of tragedy, but when you try to make it impossible to forget, then there is no point in remembering”
“All across the country,” the narrator of one video said, “innocent families are in danger.” They showed a montage of potential perpetrators: drug addicts, illegal immigrants, perverts, terrorists, sociopaths. “This country is in crisis,” the narrator said. “There’s only one way to ensure your safety.”
“They’re everywhere, these people who cannot function in the face of inconveniences, like long lines or a broken pair of sunglasses, people who explode into rages because someone ruined their picture in front of a historic monument, and when you see them, you think, what would these people do if they faced real trauma? How could they possibly survive an actual loss? Would they just stop breathing on the spot?”
“After eleven weeks, the investigation of the shooter was officially closed. The manifesto he’d written had told them everything, particularly who he hated and why. It was a list depressing in its banality, in its adolescent conviction that he’d discovered some grand truth about how people are phonies, how organized religion corrupts, how the world is mostly about pain. As if we didn’t all know this, as if we also weren’t trying to find ways to deal with it that didn’t involve murder.”
“But you can’t do things over again. That’s the point. He wants them to understand the randomness of fate, to understand that he himself is fate personified, and he chose not to kill them, not because they’re special or more important or better prepared or more faithful or more likable, but because there is no reason but unreason.”
“Now at all hours, I could watch the conservative news network or the liberal news network or the centrist news network. They all told me we were doomed, but for different reasons. The news networks were run by billionaires, and the on-air talent were wealthy New Yorkers who ate at the same restaurants and pledged allegiance to their ratings. They looked the same and they represented no meaningful ideology. They aided and abetted the shooters by confusing the narrative. They didn’t know anything about the world but we trusted them because they dressed nicely and spoke with such certainty. I”
- Born: in Philadelphia, PA, The United States.
- Description: Tom McAllister is the author of the novels "How to Be Safe" and "The Young Widower's Handbook," as well as the memoir "Bury Me in My Jersey." He is the non-fiction editor of Barrelhouse magazine and the co-host of the weekly Book Fight! podcast. His shorter work has appeared in a number of places, including Best American Nonrequired Reading, The Collagist, Hobart, The Rumpus, and The Millions. He lives in New Jersey and is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Temple University.