The day after Columbine, I was interviewed... The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. "Wouldn't you say," she asked, "that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?" No, I said, I wouldn't say that... The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. "Events like this," I said, "if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song … The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous..." ~ Roger Ebert
The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball. Some individuals may recollect all the little events of which the great result is the battle won or lost, but no individual can recollect the order in which, or the exact moment at which, they occurred, which makes all the difference as to their value or importance. ~ Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
It is an interesting law of romance that a truly strong woman will choose a strong man who disagrees with her over a weak one who goes along. Strength demands intelligence, intelligence demands stimulation, and weakness is boring. It is better to find a partner you can contend with for a lifetime than one who accommodates you because he doesn't really care. ~ Roger Ebert
The ability of so many people to live comfortably with the idea of capital punishment is perhaps a clue to how so many Europeans were able to live with the idea of the Holocaust: Once you accept the notion that the state has the right to kill someone and the right to define what is a capital crime, aren't you halfway there?
"Kindness" covers all of my politicalbeliefs. No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.
I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it. ~ Roger Ebert's famous review of the 1994 Rob Reiner comedy North
I grew up exuberant in body but with a nervy, craving mind. It was wanting something more, something tangible. It sought for reality intensely, always as if it were not there... But you see at once what I do. I climb. ~ John Menlowe Edwards, British rock climber (18 June 1910)
We observe that nothing creates fascists like the threat of freedom.
Pleasantville is the kind of parable that encourages us to re-evaluate the good old days and take a fresh look at the new world we so easily dismiss as decadent. Yes, we have more problems. But also more solutions, more opportunities and more freedom. I grew up in the '50s. It was a lot more like the world of Pleasantville than you might imagine. Yes, my house had a picket fence, and dinner was always on the table at a quarter to six, but things were wrong that I didn't even know the words for.
I have no patience for churches that evangelize aggressively. I have no interest in being instructed in what I must do to be saved. I prefer vertical prayer, directed up toward heaven, rather than horizontal prayer, directed sideways toward me. I believe a worthy church must grow through attraction, not promotion. I am wary of zealotry; even as a child I was suspicious of those who, as I often heard, were “more Catholic than the pope.” If we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, we must regard their beliefs with the same respect our own deserve.
Raised as a Roman Catholic, I internalized the social values of that faith and still hold most of them, even though its theology no longer persuades me. I have no quarrel with what anyone else subscribes to; everyone deals with these things in his own way, and I have no truths to impart. All I require of a religion is that it be tolerant of those who do not agree with it. I know a priest whose eyes twinkle when he says, “You go about God’s work in your way, and I’ll go about it in His.”