Doug Coupland

Doug Coupland

Douglas Coupland (born December 30, 1961) is a Canadian novelist and artist. His fiction is complemented by recognized works in design and visual art arising from his early formal training. Coupland is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of British Columbia.

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I know it's not cat food, but what exactly is it that they put inside of tinned ravioli?

If cats were double the size they are now they'd probably be illegal.

Forget sex, or politics, or religion, loneliness is the subject that clears out a room.

Forget about being world famous, it's hard enough just getting the automatic doors at the supermarket to acknowledge our existence.

Americans are a quarter of a billion people who have almost nothing in common, except for the fact they've been told they have lots in common.

You can't fake creativity, competence or sexual arousal.

Technology favors horrible people.

Birds are a miracle because they prove to us there is a finer, simpler state of being which we may strive to attain.

People will always choose more money over more sex.

Sometimes failure isn't an opportunity in disguise, it's just you.

Every human being you see in the course of a day has a problem that's sucking up at least 70 percent of his or her radar.

Earth was not built for six billion people, all running around and being passionate about things. The world was built for about two million people foraging for roots and grubs.

If you're not a tree hugger then you're, a what, a tree hater?

I find it hard to believe that human beings are the crowning achievement of life on earth. Something better than us has to come along.

Sometimes it feels as if everything in life is just something we haul into the grave.

Ten commandments, yet seven deadly sins: conflict?

When we constantly ask for miracles we're unraveling the fabric of the world. A world of continuous miracles would not be a world, it would be a cartoon.

Adventure without risk is Disneyland.

Sometimes the best lighting of all is a power failure.

Everybody past a certain age, regardless of how they look on the outside, pretty much constantly dreams of being able to escape from their lives.

Nature is one great big wood-chipper. Sooner or later everything shoots out the other end in a spray of blood bones and hair.

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.

We want our idols to be dead because it makes death a much less scary place.

Christmas makes everything twice as sad.

Depression is when you have lots of love but no one's taking.

There are three things we cry about in life things that are lost things that are found and things that are magnificent.

Brain research tells us that only twenty percent of human beings have a sense of irony which means that eighty percent of the world takes everything at face value.

Figure out what it is in life you don't do well and then don't do it.

We live in an era with no historical precedents. History is no longer useful as a tool in helping us understand current changes.

You can't get mad at weather because weather's not about you. Apply that lesson to most other aspects of life.

The future and eternity are two entirely different things.

I have trouble with seafood because it tastes like a dock.

Eagles are seagulls with a good hairdo.

You can never become rich unless you like rich people.

I think the killers get far too much attention.

Where does personality end and brain damage begin?

I don't want any vegetables thank you. I paid for the cow to eat them for me.

Tofu hot dogs are actually scarier than real hot dogs. It's like wanting the worst possible meat product, without even the thrill of it actually being meat.

Quick. Name ten dead redheads.

The real killers in the business world aren't the ones who aim for the top it's the ones who aim for two notches below the top.

Failure is authentic and because it's authentic it's real and genuine and because of that it's a pure state of being.

Royalty is either going to do very well with cloning or it's going to disappear completely.

A man in a bookstore buys a book on loneliness and every woman in the store hits on him. A woman buys a book on loneliness and the store clears out.

If you don't change then what's the point of anything happening to you?

High school is such a shared experience in North American culture.

Blame is just a lazy person's way of making sense of chaos.

If human beings had genuine courage they'd wear their costumes every day of the year not just on Halloween.

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.

People are pretty forgiving when it comes to other people's families. The only family that ever horrifies you is your own.

Your body isn't just a body. It's an ecosystem.

It's weird when people start sentences with 'frankly' - as if their other sentences don't count.

You spend a much larger part of your life being old not young.

Feeling unique is no indication of uniqueness.

Cloning is great. If God made the original then making copies should be fine.

Being asked what animal you'd like to be is a trick question, you're already an animal.

Before machines the only form of entertainment people really had was relationships.

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.

I think that in the future clocks won't say three o'clock anymore. They'll just get right to the point and rename three o'clock 'Pepsi.'

Thinking you're immortal is weirdly similar to being immortal.

Clowns drink to blot out the ravages of terrifying children for a living.

One of the cruelest things you can do to another person is pretend you care about them more than you really do.

Canadians can easily 'pass for American' as long as we don't accidentally use metric measurements or apologize when hit by a car.

God is what keeps us together after the love is gone.

If you don't have a spiritual practice in place when times are good you can't expect to suddenly develop one during a moment of crisis.

New York is a theme park for people with IQs over 108.

Purchased experiences don't count.

The capacity for not feeling lonely can carry a very real price that of feeling nothing at all.

Everybody has basically the same family it's just reconfigured slightly differently from one to the next.

You can only fall in love six times in your life. Choose wisely.

If God drives a car He'd drive a 1973 Ford LTD Brougham sedan with a claret-colored vinyl roof with oxblood leather upholstery and an opera window.

Once you see someone lose it you can never look at them the same way again.

Fondue sets martini shakers and juicing machines: three things the world could live completely without.

If a building looks better under construction than it does when finished then it's a failure.

A bland smile is like a green light at an intersection - it feels good when you get one, but you forget it the moment you're past it.

In the future torture will once again become the recreational sport of the rich.

The modern economy isn't about the redistribution of wealth it's about the redistribution of time.

What if God exists except it turns out he doesn't really like people very much?

Human beings are the only animal that thinks they change who they are simply by moving to a different place. Birds migrate but it's not quite the same thing.

Florida isn't so much a place where one goes to reinvent oneself as it is a place where one goes if one no longer wished to be found.

If I think too much about all of those Chinese factories where all the stuff in a Wal-Mart is made I get that woozy feeling you get when you see ducks covered in crude oil.

Handmade presents are scary because they reveal that you have too much free time.

Long lives aren't natural. We forget that senior citizens are as much an invention as toasters or penicillin.

When you crop the photo you tell a lie.

I want pills called September 10. You take one and your mind feels like the 11th never happened.

Good-looking people with strong fluoridated teeth get things handed to them on platters.

It also allows you to look as though you're not particularly from the present future or past either.

Nothing very very good and nothing very very bad ever lasts for very very long.

It's very strange that most people don't care if their knowledge of their family history only goes back three generations.

Only losers make decisions when things are bad. The time to rejig your life is the time when it's seemingly smooth.

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.

The universe hands you opportunities for a while and if you don't take them the universe says to itself 'Oh I see this person doesn't like opportunities' and stops giving them to you.

Gap clothing allows you to look like you're from nowhere and anywhere.

Lottery tickets are a surtax on desperation.

Your brain forms roughly 10 000 new cells every day but unless they hook up to preexisting cells with strong memories they die. Serves them right.

Star Trek characters never go shopping.

Is there anything in the world more annoyingly creepy than an unspoken dress code?

Workshops and seminars are basically financial speed dating for clueless people.

Fate is for losers.

I think money is due for some sort of collapse. People are going to realize that money has a half-life like radioactive elements.

The time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself.

The harder you try to become the opposite of your parents the more quickly you become them.

When future archaeologists dig up the remains of California they're going to find all of those gyms their scary-looking gym equipment and they're going to assume that we were a culture obsessed with torture.

If nothing else we simply get used to being alive.

It's difficult to speak with beautiful people. No matter how hard you try to pretend otherwise you still want them to like you.

Your ability to rationalize your own bad deeds makes you believe that the whole world is as amoral as you are.

Make your goals big and broad enough so that they never become answered prayers and boomerang to curse you.

A ring is a halo on your finger.

Once you establish a look and once everybody recognizes that look as your look you never have to think about fashion again.

If someone decides to be a musician now it means because there is no hope of money at the end of it it means they really want to be a musician. And if someone is writing now there is no hope for money at the end of it.

You pretend to be more eccentric than you actually are because you fear you are an interchangeable cog.

When Donald Duck traded his wings for arms was he trading up or trading down?

If our subconscious was attractive we wouldn't have to bury it down deep within us.

Making eye contact with adults while dressed as a clown is risky.

There's a lot to be said for having a small manageable dream.

Most of us have only two or three genuinely interesting moments in our lives, the rest is filler.

I like doing radio because it's so intimate. The moment people hear your voice you're inside there heads not only that you're in there laying eggs.

Every single moment is a coincidence.

Life always kills you in the end but first it prevents you from getting what you want.

Telling people they look relaxed makes them look relaxed.

We need to be around our families not because we have so many shared experiences to talk about but instead because they know precisely which subjects to avoid.

Try not thinking of peeling an orange. Try not imagining the juice running down your fingers the soft inner part of the peel. The smell. Try and you can't. The brain doesn't process negatives.

Flying dreams mean that you're doing the right thing with your life.

On TV people look at your hair and then they look at your skin and then they look at your clothes and by the time they're listening to what you're saying you're off the screen.

We decided that the French could never write user-friendly software because they're so rude.

There's nothing cure or funny or lovable about being cheap. It's a total turn-off.

What exactly is it that humans do that is specifically human? There has to be something. How odd it is for billions of people to be alive yet not one of them is really quite sure of what makes people people.

You wait for fate to bring about the changes in life which you should be bringing about by yourself.

In our heads we're all about 33 years old.

I've got 911 on speed dial.

The person who needs the other person the least in a relationship is the stronger member.

Most people have no idea how to politely answer a phone. The English do and it's been their only major business advantage for the past two centuries.

Never loan a book to someone if you expect to get it back. Loaning books is the same as giving them away.

Men won't read any email from a woman that's over 200 words long.

If your life had lyrics would they be any good?

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.

We're rapidly approaching a world comprised entirely of jail and shopping.

Too much free time is certainly a monkey's paw in disguise. Most people can't handle a structureless life.