Commonplace Book of Quotations: Streetcars, "V", Hollywood Relationships and Car Chases, Voltaire and Pledging Allegiance to the Bank of America

“…Jokes lead the way, like sniffer dogs, dragging their handlers behind them.”
--Craig Brown in a profound article describing the evolution of his humor from satire to the absurd.

“They [Merrill Lynch and Bank of America officers] find out they’re $7 billion off on the estimate of losses for the fourth quarter and they never think maybe we should go back and adjust these bonuses?” Cuomo told me, as Thain was finally responding to investigators on Tuesday at the New York attorney general’s office. “He refused to answer questions on the basis that ‘the Bank of America didn’t want me to.’ You can take the Fifth Amendment or you can answer questions. But there’s no Bank of America privilege. The Bank of America doesn’t substitute for the Constitution. And who’s the Bank of America, by the way?”
-- N.Y. State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

“All of us invest our identities in what we believe. It’s hard to concede anything to the other side.”
-- Zoe Heller

“In any case, you do not disown your belief in socialism just because Stalin’s executioners claim to believe in it too, any more than you find Morocco unpleasant just because Michael Portillo drops in on the place occasionally. In Orwell’s view, it was the Stalinist Left that had betrayed the common people, not democratic socialists like himself. Orwell first encountered Stalinism in the squalid betrayals of the Spanish Civil War, which is where he also first properly encountered socialism. If his disgust with Soviet Realpolitik was born in Spain, so was a faith in the goodness and resilience of the human spirit, which there is no reason to believe he ever entirely abandoned.” -- Terry Eagleton

“I get the feeling that Evey [in the film adaptation of V for Vendetta was aged not to offer a clearer renunciation of V's actions, but to set up an utterly conventional love story between the two of them, their conflicted, moving father/daughter relationship [Evey is 16 in the original] scrapped because Hollywood can imagine no kind of relationship other than enemy or lover.”
-- Marc Singer on his blog I am Not the Beastmaster

“At least 40 other cities are exploring streetcar plans to spur economic development, ease traffic congestion and draw young professionals and empty-nest baby boomers back from the suburbs, according to the Community Streetcar Coalition, which includes city officials, transit authorities and engineers who advocate streetcar construction. More than a dozen have existing lines, including New Orleans, which is restoring a system devastated by Hurricane Katrina. And Denver, Houston, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, N.C., have introduced or are planning to introduce streetcars.”
-- Bob Driehaus, NY Times

“I can't believe they got rid of the giant squid. Probably my favourite thing about talking about Watchmen is discussing the layers upon layers of the dialogue and the quality of the characters and the complexity of the story lines and all the parallel plots and deeper meanings and how everything is related together and the many references and accurate style of the story then at the end... A GIANT SQUID SQUASHES NEW YORK AND EVERYONE DIES.”
-- Comment on New York magazine

"Basically, the network and I had different ideas about what the tone of the show would be. They bought something somewhat different than what I was selling them, which is not that uncommon in this business. Their desires were not surprising: up the stakes, make the episodes more stand-alone, stop talking about relationships and cut to the chase. Oh, and add a chase. That you can cut to."
-- Joss Whedon

“Perhaps he [Voltaire] hated too much, but we must remember the provocation; we must imagine ourselves back in an age when men were burned at the stake, or broken on the wheel, for deviating from orthodoxy. We can appreciate Christianity better today because he could then, because he fought with some success to moderate its dogmas and violence…We can feel the poetry and drama of religious ritual now that the transient triumph of toleration leaves us free to worship or abstain. We can accept a hundred legends as profound symbols or illuminating allegories, because we are no longer required to accept their literal truth.”
-- Will and Ariel Durant, The Age of Voltaire

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