The Devastation Of ‘Eighth Grade’

Notes On A Dirty Little Secret

LAST WEEK, someone on Twitter asked their followers what lines have stuck with them or even become part of their personal philosophies.

I came up with two right off the top of my head: “There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” (Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater) and “This is an awful place to be dropped down halfway.” (Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2).

The former can be too broadly read and misapplied to, say, defend tone policing, but really, for me, it simply speaks to a good place from which to start, and then let the reality of events dictate straying from the premise.

The latter I think can speak to or for anyone who feels as if they have been brought into a world that didn’t bother preparing a proper space for them.

There’s another line that’s stuck with me, a new one, that I didn’t bring up on Twitter because it’s been waiting for me to write about it at a bit more length. Several weeks ago I finally watched Eighth Grade, and it’s near the end, asked by Kayla of her father.

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