Joker Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Joker. Here they are! All 100 of them:

Enough madness? Enough? And how do you measure madness? - The Joker
Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum)
All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That's how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad day.
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
A joker is a little fool who is different from everyone else. He's not a club, diamond, heart, or spade. He's not an eight or a nine, a king or a jack. He is an outsider. He is placed in the same pack as the other cards, but he doesn't belong there. Therefore, he can be removed without anybody missing him.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
Smile, because it confuses people. Smile, because it's easier than explaining what is killing you inside.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
If I have to have a past, then I prefer it to be multiple choice.
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
When you don't fit in, you become superhuman. You can feel everyone else's eyes on you, stuck like Velcro. You can hear a whisper about you from a mile away. You can disappear, even when it looks like you're still standing right there. You can scream, and nobody hears a sound. You become the mutant who fell into the vat of acid, the Joker who can't remove his mask, the bionic man who's missing all his limbs and none of his heart. You are the thing that used to be normal, but that was so long ago, you can't even remember what it was like.
Jodi Picoult (Nineteen Minutes)
Impossible is my specialty.
Marissa Meyer (Heartless)
The joke loses everything when the joker laughs himself.
Friedrich Schiller (Die Verschwörung des Fiesco zu Genua)
As you know, madness is like gravity...all it takes is a little push.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
So I'm an ace?' Will grinned. 'I'm flattered Halt, flattered. I had no idea you regarded me so highly.' Halt gave him a long-suffering look. 'I might have been more accurate to say a joker.' Whatever you say.
John Flanagan (The Kings of Clonmel (Ranger's Apprentice, #8))
For the murder of Jest, the court joker of Hearts, I sentence this man to death.’ She spoke without feeling, unburdened by love or dreams or the pain of a broken heart. It was a new day in Hearts, and she was the Queen. ‘Off with his head
Marissa Meyer (Heartless)
Madness is the emergency exit. You can just step outside, and close the door on all those dreadful things that happened. You can lock them away…forever." The Joker
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Why is a raven like a writing-desk?
Marissa Meyer (Heartless)
If you’re good at something, never do it for free.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
There is always Joker to see through the delusion. Generation succeeds generation, but there is a fool walking the earth who is never ravaged by time.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
Nobody panics when things go “according to plan”. Even if the plan is horrifying!
The Joker - Heath Ledger
Their morals, their code; it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. You'll see- I'll show you. When the chips are down these, uh, civilized people? They'll eat each other. See I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... *do* things.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
‎"Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos...
The Joker - Heath Ledger
What doesn't kill you, simply makes you stranger!
The Joker - Heath Ledger
It's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn . . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything--obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
They Laugh At me Because I'm Different. I laugh At Then Because The're all the same
The Joker - Heath Ledger
There must be some kind of way out of here,' said the joker to the thief...
Bob Dylan
Why so serious? >:)
The Joker - Heath Ledger
How can two people hate so much without knowing each other?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve. -The Joker
Christoper Nolan
...My point is, I went crazy. When I saw what a black, awful joke the world was. I went crazy as a coot! I admit it! Why can't you?
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
If just one of [those people] experiences life as a crazy adventure--and I mean that he, or she, experiences this every single day... Then he or she is a joker in a pack of cards.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
True love is finding someone whose demons play well with yours" - The Joker
The Joker Batman Arkham City
I believe whatever doesn’t kill you, simply makes you stranger.
The Joker Heath Ledger
I believe that whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you stranger.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am -- not stuck in the middle, but hovering above the entire farcical spectrum, weeping as I behold my fellow man's devotion to political illusion and self-destruction.
Robert Higgs
You see, in their last moments people show you who they really are.
The Joker Heath Ledger
Does it depress you? To know just how alone you really are?
The Joker Heath Ledger
Laugh and the world laughs with you!
Grant Morrison
Afraid? Batman's not afraid of anything. It's me. I'm afraid. I'm afraid that The Joker may be right about me. Sometimes…I question the rationality of my actions. And I’m afraid that when I walk through those asylum gates... when I walk into Arkham and the doors close behind me... it’ll be just like coming home.
Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth)
I can't believe you jokers fixed it." Hi was picking his way down to the beach. "Believe it, clown. Too much brain power here to fail." Still pumped, Shelton threw another palm Ben's way. "Oh, I'm sure." Hi streched, yawned. "It was something highly technical, I suppose? Something requiring mechanical ability? Nothing as simple as tightening a wire or flippin a switch, right?" Ben reddened. Shelton developed an intrest in his sneakers. Score one for Hi.
Kathy Reichs (Virals (Virals, #1))
And...here...we...go...
The Joker - Heath Ledger
See, there were these two guys in a lunatic asylum... and one night, one night they decide they don't like living in an asylum any more. They decide they're going to escape! So, like, they get up onto the roof, and there, just across this narrow gap, they see the rooftops of the town, stretching away in the moon light... stretching away to freedom. Now, the first guy, he jumps right across with no problem. But his friend, his friend didn't dare make the leap. Y'see... Y'see, he's afraid of falling. So then, the first guy has an idea... He says 'Hey! I have my flashlight with me! I'll shine it across the gap between the buildings. You can walk along the beam and join me!' B-but the second guy just shakes his head. He suh-says... He says 'Wh-what do you think I am? Crazy? You'd turn it off when I was half way across!
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
I believe whatever doesn’t kill you simply makes you… stranger.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
It's salt. Why don't you sprinkle some on me, honey? Aren't I just good enough to eat?
Grant Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum - A Serious House on Serious Earth)
Tell your men they work for me now, this is my city!
The Joker - Heath Ledger
I hope I remember everything," said Toni. "You won't," said Trapp. "That's how you learn. But after you make the same mistake one, or two, or five times, you'll eventually get it. And then you'll make new mistakes.
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Here’s what I believe: 1. If you are offended or hurt when you hear Hillary Clinton or Maxine Waters called bitch, whore, or the c-word, you should be equally offended and hurt when you hear those same words used to describe Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway, or Theresa May. 2. If you felt belittled when Hillary Clinton called Trump supporters “a basket of deplorables” then you should have felt equally concerned when Eric Trump said “Democrats aren’t even human.” 3. When the president of the United States calls women dogs or talks about grabbing pussy, we should get chills down our spine and resistance flowing through our veins. When people call the president of the United States a pig, we should reject that language regardless of our politics and demand discourse that doesn’t make people subhuman. 4. When we hear people referred to as animals or aliens, we should immediately wonder, “Is this an attempt to reduce someone’s humanity so we can get away with hurting them or denying them basic human rights?” 5. If you’re offended by a meme of Trump Photoshopped to look like Hitler, then you shouldn’t have Obama Photoshopped to look like the Joker on your Facebook feed. There is a line. It’s etched from dignity. And raging, fearful people from the right and left are crossing it at unprecedented rates every single day. We must never tolerate dehumanization—the primary instrument of violence that has been used in every genocide recorded throughout history.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
When a joker dies, the joke remains.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Confessions of a Misfit)
I can tell we’re going to get along like Batman and the Joker. (Fang) Just remember one thing, world. I’m the best friend you’ll ever have or the last enemy you’ll ever make. (Thorn)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter, #18; Were-Hunter, #4; Hellchaser, #2))
I don't belong anywhere. I am neither a heart, a diamond, a club, nor a spade. I am neither a King, a Jack, an Eight, nor an Ace. As I am here - I am merely the Joker, and who that is I have had to find out for myself. Every time I toss my head, the jingling bells remind me that I have no family. I have no number - and no trade either. I have gone around observing your activities from the outside. Because of this I have also been able to see things to which you have been blind. Every morning you have gone to work, but you have never been fully awake. It is different for the Joker, because he was put into this world with a flaw: he sees too deeply and too much. Truth is a lonely thing.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
Out in the country it was not uncommon to discover that she had slipped away, alone, out to the lake, maybe, or down to the cellar, where once I found her sitting in the big marooned sleigh, reading, her fur coat thrown over her knees. Things would have been terrible strange and unbalanced without her. She was the Queen who finished out the suit of dark Jacks, dark King, and Joker.
Donna Tartt (The Secret History)
I'm not exactly sure what happened. Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another... If I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!" ~ JOKER
Alan Moore (Batman: The Killing Joke)
For a moment she turned in a circle, staring at her hands, which she held high and useless, close to her breast. She bobbed and shambled like an ape doing a trick, and her face was the silly, bewildered face of a joker's victim. And yet she could make no move that was not beautiful. Her trapped terror was more lovely than any joy that Molly had ever seen, and that was the most terrible thing about it.
Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn (The Last Unicorn, #1))
I have gone around observing your activities from the outside. Because of this I have also been able to see things to which you have been blind... Every morning you have gone to work, but you have never been fully awake. Of course, you have seen the sun and the moon, the stars in the sky, and everything that moves, but you haven't really seen it at all. It is different for the Joker, because he was put into this world with a flaw: He sees too clearly and too much.
Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery)
Have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?
Joker
The impossible is more believable than the highly improbable.
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
The time you quit learning is the time to quit playing.
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Don't talk like you're one of them! You're not... even if you'd like to be. To them you're just a freak, like me. They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their "code"... it's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these "civilized people", they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.
Christopher Nolan
I don't just randomly kill people... I kill people when it's funny.
Neil Gaiman (Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?)
If I lived through the next day or so, I needed to start keeping track of where these jokers liked to get their bloodthirsty freak on. It might give me an edge someday. Or at least a list of places that could use a nice burning down. I hadn't burned down a building in ages.
Jim Butcher (Cold Days (The Dresden Files, #14))
An idea doesn't die," said Trapp. "It exists somewhere, in its own dimension, waiting to be perceived.
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Okay, you were probably taught there are five senses," he said. "We see, hear, touch, smell and taste. But how do we know those are the only five? What are the senses that we don't have? What are we failing to perceive?
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Days of prosperity make us forget adversity. Good times seems out of reach during the bad ones. Both can seem like final destinations, the summation of our days. Then the cosmic joker plays with our ways. Yesterday's condition no longer remains. All commas, no periods, all stops, no stays, the pleasure's for rent, but so is the pain.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know... You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan". But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds. Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!
Christopher Nolan
We may be surrounded by some greater reality, to which we are oblivious. And even if we could somehow perceive it in some entirely new way, it is extremely doubtful we would be able to comprehend what we perceived.
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Kingsley, ever the joker, had his Venator mark tattooed near his unmentionables
Melissa de la Cruz (Gates of Paradise (Blue Bloods, #7))
I may be a criminal lunatic, but I'm an AMERICAN criminal lunatic!
John Byrne (Batman/Captain America)
Desire becomes surrender. Surrender becomes Power.
The Joker
Moomah," Travis mumbled and Joker looked to the kid to see his eyes on the magazine, his fingers twiddling his lip. "Yeah, son, that's your momma." Travis looked to him. "Moomah." "Yeah, boy." Travis took his fingers from his lip and curled them around Joker's. "Joejoekah." "Yeah," Joker whispered. "I'm your Joker." The boy wobbled a second then dropped forward and landed a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss on his hand and Joker's mouth. He wobbled back. "Love you too, kid," Joker whispered. Travis giggled.
Kristen Ashley (Ride Steady (Chaos, #3))
It is a terrifying thing when the animals laugh at the hunter. Take a tip from Harlequin and the Joker. If you imitate a fool well, you are not likely to be fooled by others. To be it bluntly, albeit unorginally: "A fool who knows he is a fool is indeed a wise man.
Anton Szandor LaVey
العنف لايتناسب مع هذا العالم الهزلي
ألبير قصيري (The Jokers)
-كيف حال البشر الأن يا أمير؟ أذكر أنهم كانوا أشرار. -أنهم هكذا دائما. ولكن غباءهم لايزال ممتعا
ألبير قصيري (The Jokers)
Life will deal me many different hands, some good, some bad (maybe they've already been dealt), but from here on in, I'll be turning my own cards. —Alton Richard
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Tack’s voice was granite when he started, “They will not take her boy, and the time to fuck with Carissa Teodoro is now over.” Joker’s voice was a quiet growl when he started, “You know you got my love, brother.” “I do,” Tack returned. “And it’s a privilege, Carson.
Kristen Ashley (Ride Steady (Chaos, #3))
Why so Serious?!
Joker The Dark Knight.
There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for avast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own. However, nothing dispirits, and nothing seems worth while disputing. He bolts down all events, all creeds, and beliefs, and persuasions, all hard things visible and invisible, never mind how knobby; as an ostrich of potent digestion gobbles down bullets and gun flints. And as for small difficulties and worryings, prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker. That odd sort of wayward mood I am am speaking of, comes over a man only in some time of extreme tribulation; it comes in the very midst of his earnestness, so that what just before might have seemed to him a thing most momentous, now seems but a part of the general joke.
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
Dean ‘Ruckus’ Cole was a different kind of asshole to Baron ‘Vicious’ Spencer. He fucked you over with a polite smile on his face. In that sense, he was the Joker. In his mix of confidence, cockiness, good looks, and money, there was a dash of insanity thrown in. Enough to let you know that he meant every word he said.
L.J. Shen (Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2))
The clown figure has had so many meanings in different times and cultures. The jolly, well-loved joker familiar to most people is actually but one aspect of this protean creature. Madmen, hunchbacks, amputees, and other abnormals were once considered natural clowns; they were elected to fulfill a comic role which could allow others to see them as ludicrous rather than as terrible reminders of the forces of disorder in the world. But sometimes a cheerless jester was required to draw attention to this same disorder, as in the case of King Lear's morbid and honest fool, who of course was eventually hanged, and so much for his clownish wisdom. Clowns have often had ambiguous and sometimes contradictory roles to play. ("The Last Feast Of The Harlequin")
Thomas Ligotti (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
Uh... half.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
So why don't we have a go? There are two of us.' Little Mike realized that his friend was actually serious. 'Two of us? Father Hillary had God Almighty helping out, and look where it got him.' 'I know. But we're a team. For years, since primary. Batman and Robin.' 'Robin got killed,' said Mike. Christy was shocked. 'He did not, did he? Jesus, I didn't hear about that.' 'Yeah. It was a big shock. The Joker kilt him.' 'That fuckin' Joker. I didn't see that coming.' ("Taking on PJ")
Eoin Colfer (Dublin Noir)
Madness, as you know. Is like Gravity. All it takes is a little push.
The Joker - Heath Ledger
Show Dr. Princi your teeth. That's right, let's see 'em all. Christ, Sparks, is that your tongue or are you swallowing a squirrel? Keep moving -
Thomas Harris (Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1))
The truth is, Colonel, that there's no divine spark, bless you. There's many a man alive no more value than a dead dog. Believe me, when you've seen them hang each other...Equality? Christ in Heaven. What I'm fighting for is the right to prove I'm a better man than many. Where have you seen this divine spark in operation, Colonel? Where have you noted this magnificent equality? The Great White Joker in the Sky dooms us all to stupidity or poverty from birth. no two things on earth are equal or have an equal chance, not a leaf nor a tree. There's many a man worse than me, and some better, but I don't think race or country matters a damn. What matters is justice. 'Tis why I'm here. I'll be treated as I deserve, not as my father deserved. I'm Kilrain, and I God damn all gentlemen. I don't know who me father was and I don't give a damn. There's only one aristocracy, and that's right here - " he tapped his white skull with a thick finger - "and YOU, Colonel laddie, are a member of it and don't even know it. You are damned good at everything I've seen you do, a lovely soldier, an honest man, and you got a good heart on you too, which is rare in clever men. Strange thing. I'm not a clever man meself, but I know it when I run across it. The strange and marvelous thing about you, Colonel darlin', is that you believe in mankind, even preachers, whereas when you've got my great experience of the world you will have learned that good men are rare, much rarer than you think.
Michael Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
Tack studied him before he remarked, “You think I’m whipped.” Joker made no reply. He wouldn’t disrespect a brother like that, especially not Tack. But he did think that. Absolutely. Tack grinned and took a pull from his beer. After he dropped it, he said reflectively, still grinning. “Maybe I am. Though, the way I am and the woman holds that whip, it’s a good thing to be.
Kristen Ashley (Ride Steady (Chaos, #3))
-الأول هو أن هذا العالم الذي نعيش فيه تحكمه عصبة نبيلة من الأنذال التي لطخت الأرض. -أنا اتفق تماما مع هذا الرأي.. والثاني؟ -الثاني، أنه لايجب أن نأخذ الأمر على محمل الجد، لأن هذا هو مايرغبون به.
ألبير قصيري (The Jokers)
― Question. Would you die for me? ― Yes. ― That's too easy. Will you... Would you live for me? ... Hmm? ― Yes. ― Careful! Do not say this oath thoughtlessly! ... Desire becomes surrender, surrender becomes power. You want this? ― I do. ― Say it. Say it. Say it! Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty... ― Please?! ― Mm, God, you're so... good!
Joker & Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad (2016 movie directed by David Ayer)
...The wine was red wine, and had stained the ground of the narrow street in the suburb of Saint Antoine, in Paris, where it was spilled. It had stained many hands, too, and many faces, and many naked feet, and many wooden shoes. The hands of the man who sawed the wood, left red marks on the billets; and the forehead of the woman who nursed her baby, was stained with the stain of the old rag she wound about her head again. Those who had been greedy with the staves of the cask, had acquired a tigerish smear about the mouth; and one tall joker so besmirched, his head more out of a long squalid bag of a nightcap than in it, scrawled upon a wall with his finger dipped in muddy wine-lees—BLOOD.
Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities)
„Like‟ is a mild sort of word for what Con and I have,” Collin replied, leaning forward to touch noses with the big doofus. Constantine half-closed his eyes and twitched his whiskers back. “I‟d go with the deeply twisted interpersonal relationship that a hero has for his nemesis, sort of a Batman/Joker thing, if the Joker suddenly started going down on Batman like a porn-star on Viagra.” Jeff looked at him in alarm. “Jesus, Sparky, stop touching my cat!
Amy Lane (Living Promises (Promises, #3))
Are you always this moody? If so, I think we need some sort of call . . . so I know when you’re not approachable.” He stares at me, lip curled in disgust. “Call?” “You know, like a bird call. Ka-kaw! Ka-kaw!” He blinks. “Are you fuckin’ nuts?
Bella Jewel (Anguish (Jokers' Wrath MC, #3))
It had been more than a year since the Joker’s conquest of America and we were all still in shock and going through the stages of grief but now we needed to come together and set love and beauty and solidarity and friendship against the monstrous forces that faced us. Humanity was the only answer to the cartoon. I had no plan except love. I hoped another plan might emerge in time but for now there was only holding each other tightly and passing strength to each other, body to body, mouth to mouth, spirit to spirit, me to you.
Salman Rushdie (The Golden House)
When I turned the corner, I saw Toni waving at me from the elevator. I think I've already told you how it made me feel to see her smile and wave at me. You can have your sunsets and waterfalls. If a piano were to suddenly fall on my head, that's the image I'd want forever engraved in my mind. —Alton Richard
Louis Sachar (The Cardturner: A Novel about a King, a Queen, and a Joker)
Great!” I rubbed my hands together. “Which one first?” Anders’s eyebrows rose. “Tory, that’s a hefty request. Those machines are extremely expensive. We rarely log time on them for side projects.” He pauses, lips pursed. “Your teacher couldn’t have reasonably expected you to conduct a full microscopic analysis. How would you? I think you’ll be okay with just the swab.” “Of course we will.” Hi elbow-jabbed my side. “Tory’s such a kidder. Let’s run the mass spectrometer.” He flashed a “get a load of this guy” face at Anders while aiming a thumb back at me. “What a joker!
Kathy Reichs (Code (Virals, #3))
The more people stared at their phones, the more money these companies made. Period. The people in Silicon Valley did not want to design gadgets and websites that would dissolve people’s attention spans. They’re not the Joker, trying to sow chaos and make us dumb. They spend a lot of their own time meditating and doing yoga. They often ban their own kids from using the sites and gadgets they design, and send them instead to tech-free Montessori schools. But their business model can only succeed if they take steps to dominate the attention spans of the wider society. It’s not their goal, any more than ExxonMobil deliberately wants to melt the Arctic. But it’s an inescapable effect of their current business model.
Johann Hari (Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention - and How to Think Deeply Again)
In one way, at least, our lives really are like movies. The main cast consists of your family and friends. The supporting cast is made up of neighbors, co-workers, teachers, and daily acquaintances. There are also bit players: the supermarket checkout girl with the pretty smile, the friendly bartender at the local watering hole, the guys you work out with at the gym three days a week. And there are thousands of extras --those people who flow through every life like water through a sieve, seen once and never again. The teenager browsing a graphic novel at Barnes & Noble, the one you had to slip past (murmuring "Excuse me") in order to get to the magazines. The woman in the next lane at a stoplight, taking a moment to freshen her lipstick. The mother wiping ice cream off her toddler's face in a roadside restaurant where you stopped for a quick bite. The vendor who sold you a bag of peanuts at a baseball game. But sometimes a person who fits none of these categories comes into your life. This is the joker who pops out of the deck at odd intervals over the years, often during a moment of crisis. In the movies this sort of character is known as the fifth business, or the chase agent. When he turns up in a film, you know he's there because the screenwriter put him there. But who is screenwriting our lives? Fate or coincidence? I want to believe it's the latter. I want that with all my heart and soul.
Stephen King (Revival)
I'm driving." Roarke's hand paused as it reached for the car door, and his brow winged up. "It's my car." "It's my deal." They studied each other a minute, crowded together at the driver's side door. "Why are you driving?" "Because." Vaguely embarrassed, she dug her hands in her pockets. "Don't smirk." "I'll try to resist. Why?" "Because," she said again, "I drive when I'm on a case, so if I drive, it'll feel like -- it'll feel official instead of criminal." "I see. Well, that makes perfect sense. You drive." She started to climb in while he circled around to the passenger side. "Are you smirking behind my back?" "Yes, of course." He sat, stretched out his legs. "Now, to make it really official, I should have a uniform. I'll go that far, but I refuse to wear those amazingly ugly cop shoes." "You're a real joker," she muttered and jerked the car into reverse, did a quick, squealing spin, and shot out of the garage. "Too bad this vehicle doesn't have a siren. But we can pretend nothing works on it, so you'll feel official." "Keep it up. Just keep it up." "Maybe I'll call you sir. Could be sexy." He smiled blandly when she glared at him. "Okay, I'm done. How do you want to play this?
J.D. Robb (Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8))
A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself. Whilst she is walking across a room or whilst she is weeping at the death of her father, she can scarcely avoid envisaging herself walking or weeping. From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually. ... ... Every woman's presence regulates what is and is not 'permissible' within her presence. Every one of her actions - whatever its direct purpose or motivation - is also read as an indication of how she would like to be treated. If a woman throws a glass on the floor, this is an example of how she treats her own emotion of anger and so of how she would wish it to be treated by others. If a man does the same, his action is only read as an expression of his anger. If a woman makes a good joke this is an example of how she treats the joker in herself and accordingly of how she as a joker-woman would like to be treated by others. Only a man can make a good joke for its own sake. One might simplify this by saying: men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at. This determines not only most relations between men and women but also the relation of women to themselves. The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object - and most particularly an object of vision : a sight.
John Berger (Ways of Seeing)
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
You were born a giver, don't die a taker. You were born an earner, don't die a begger. You were born a sharer, don't die a hoader. You were born a lover, don't die a hater. You were born a builder, don't die a destroyer. You were born a creator, don't die an immitator. You were born a leader, don't die a follower. You were born a learner, don't die a teacher. You were born a doer, don't die a talker. You were born a dreamer, don't die a doubter. You were born a winner, don't die a loser. You were born an encourager, don't die a shamer. You were born a defender, don't die an aggressor. You were born a liberator, don't die an executioner. You were born a soldier, don't die a murderer. You were born an angel, don't die a monster. You were born a protecter, don't die an attacker. You were born an originator, don't die a repeater. You were born an achiever, don't die a quitter. You were born a victor, don't die a failure. You were born a conqueror, don't die a warrior. You were born a contender, don't die a joker. You were born a producer, don't die a user. You were born a motivator, don't die a discourager. You were born a master, don't die an amateur. You were born an intessessor, don't die an accusor. You were born an emancipator, don't die a backstabber. You were born a sympathizer, don't die a provoker. You were born a healer, don't die a killer. You were born a peacemaker, don't die an instigater. You were born a deliverer, don't die a collaborator. You were born a savior, don't die a plunderer. You were born a believer, don't die a sinner.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Rhett, do you really--is it to protect me that you--" "Yes, my dear, it is my much advertised chivalry that makes me protect you." The mocking light began to dance in his black eyes and all signs of earnestness fled from his face. "And why? Because of my deep love for you, Mrs. Kennedy. Yes, I have silently hungered and thirsted for you and worshipped you from afar; but being an honorable man, like Mr. Ashley Wilkes, I have concealed it from you. You are, alas, Frank's wife and honor has forbidden my telling this to you. But even as Mr. Wilkes' honor cracks occasionally, so mine is cracking now and I reveal my secret passion and my--" "Oh, for God's sake, hush!" interrupted Scarlett, annoyed as usual when he made her look like a conceited fool, and not caring to have Ashley and his honor become the subject of further conversation. "What was the other thing you wanted to tell me?" "What! You change the subject when I am baring a loving but lacerated heart?
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
Man's inhumanity to man will continue as long as man loves God more than he loves his fellow man. The love of God means wasted love. 'For God and Country' means a divided allegiance—a 50 per cent patriot. The most abused word in the language of man is the word 'God.' The reason for this is that it is subject to so much abuse. There is no other word in the human language that is as meaningless and incapable of explanation as is the word 'God.' It is the beginning and end of nothing. It is the Alpha and Omega of Ignorance. It has as many meanings as there are minds. And as each person has an opinion of what the word God ought to mean, it is a word without premise, without foundation, and without substance. It is without validity. It is all things to all people, and is as meaningless as it is indefinable. It is the most dangerous in the hands of the unscrupulous, and is the joker that trumps the ace. It is the poisoned word that has paralyzed the brain of man. 'The fear of the Lord' is not the beginning of wisdom; on the contrary, it has made man a groveling slave; it has made raving lunatics of those who have attempted to interpret what God 'is' and what is supposed to be our 'duty' to God. It has made man prostitute the most precious things of life—it has made him sacrifice wife, and child, and home. 'In the name of God' means in the name of nothing—it has caused man to be a wastrel with the precious elixir of life, because there is no God.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
A change in direction was required. The story you finished was perhaps never the one you began. Yes! He would take charge of his life anew, binding his breaking selves together. Those changes in himself that he sought, he himself would initiate and make them. No more of this miasmic, absent drift. How had he ever persuaded himself that his money-mad burg would rescue him all by itself, this Gotham in which Jokers and Penguins were running riot with no Batman (or even Robin) to frustrate their schemes, this Metropolis built of Kryptonite in which no Superman dared set foot, where wealth was mistaken for riches and the joy of possession for happiness, where people lived such polished lives that the great rough truths of raw existence had been rubbed and buffed away, and in which human souls had wandered so separately for so long that they barely remembered how to touch; this city whose fabled electricity powered the electric fences that were being erected between men and men, and men and women, too? Rome did not fall because her armies weakened but because Romans forgot what being Roman meant. Might this new Rome actually be more provincial than its provinces; might these new Romans have forgotten what and how to value, or had they never known? Were all empires so undeserving, or was this one particularly crass? Was nobody in all this bustling endeavor and material plenitude engaged, any longer, on the deep quarry-work of the mind and heart? O Dream-America, was civilization's quest to end in obesity and trivia, at Roy Rogers and Planet Hollywood, in USA Today and on E!; or in million-dollar-game-show greed or fly-on-the-wall voyeurism; or in the eternal confessional booth of Ricki and Oprah and Jerry, whose guests murdered each other after the show; or in a spurt of gross-out dumb-and-dumber comedies designed for young people who sat in darkness howling their ignorance at the silver screen; or even at the unattainable tables of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Alain Ducasse? What of the search for the hidden keys that unlock the doors of exaltation? Who demolished the City on the Hill and put in its place a row of electric chairs, those dealers in death's democracy, where everyone, the innocent, the mentally deficient, the guilty, could come to die side by side? Who paved Paradise and put up a parking lot? Who settled for George W. Gush's boredom and Al Bore's gush? Who let Charlton Heston out of his cage and then asked why children were getting shot? What, America, of the Grail? O ye Yankee Galahads, ye Hoosier Lancelots, O Parsifals of the stockyards, what of the Table Round? He felt a flood bursting in him and did not hold back. Yes, it had seduced him, America; yes, its brilliance aroused him, and its vast potency too, and he was compromised by this seduction. What he opposed in it he must also attack in himself. It made him want what it promised and eternally withheld. Everyone was an American now, or at least Americanized: Indians, Uzbeks, Japanese, Lilliputians, all. America was the world's playing field, its rule book, umpire, and ball. Even anti-Americanism was Americanism in disguise, conceding, as it did, that America was the only game in town and the matter of America the only business at hand; and so, like everyone, Malik Solanka now walked its high corridors cap in hand, a supplicant at its feast; but that did not mean he could not look it in the eye. Arthur had fallen, Excalibur was lost and dark Mordred was king. Beside him on the throne of Camelot sat the queen, his sister, the witch Morgan le Fay.
Salman Rushdie (Fury)
So,Batman,eh?" Effing St. Clair. I cross my arms and slouch into one of the plastic seats. I am so not in the mood for this.He takes the chair next to me and drapes a relaxed arm over the back of the empty seat on his other side. The man across from us is engrossed in his laptop,and I pretend to be engrossed in his laptop,too. Well,the back of it. St. Clair hums under his breath. When I don't respond,he sings quietly. "Jingle bells,Batman smells,Robin flew away..." "Yes,great,I get it.Ha ha. Stupid me." "What? It's just a Christmas song." He grins and continues a bit louder. "Batmobile lost a wheel,on the M1 motorway,hey!" "Wait." I frown. "What?" "What what?" "You're singing it wrong." "No,I'm not." He pauses. "How do you sing it?" I pat my coat,double-checking for my passport. Phew. Still there. "It's 'Jingle bells, Batman smells,Robin laid an egg'-" St. Clair snorts. "Laid an egg? Robin didn't lay an egg-" "'Batmobile lost a wheel,and the Joker got away.'" He stares at me for a moment,and then says with perfect conviction. "No." "Yes.I mean,seriously,what's up with the motorway thing?" "M1 motorway. Connects London to Leeds." I smirk. "Batman is American. He doesn't take the M1 motorway." "When he's on holiday he does." "Who says Batman has time to vacation?" "Why are we arguing about Batman?" He leans forward. "You're derailing us from the real topic.The fact that you, Anna Oliphant,slept in today." "Thanks." "You." He prods my leg with a finger. "Slept in." I focus on the guy's laptop again. "Yeah.You mentioned that." He flashes a crooked smile and shrugs, that full-bodied movement that turns him from English to French. "Hey, we made it,didn't we? No harm done." I yank out a book from my backpack, Your Movie Sucks, a collection of Roger Ebert's favorite reviews of bad movies. A visual cue for him to leave me alone. St. Clair takes the hint. He slumps and taps his feet on the ugly blue carpeting. I feel guilty for being so harsh. If it weren't for him,I would've missed the flight. St. Clair's fingers absentmindedly drum his stomach. His dark hair is extra messy this morning. I'm sure he didn't get up that much earlier than me,but,as usual, the bed-head is more attractive on him. With a painful twinge,I recall those other mornings together. Thanksgiving.Which we still haven't talked about.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))