23rd Oct: It's time for the second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest, theme: cute monsters! Details and voting here.
I built a little empire out of some crazy garbage
Culled the blood of the exploited working class
But now they've overcome their shyness and they're calling Your Highness
And saying 'kiss me, son of God'
— They Might Be Giants, "Kiss Me, Son of God"
So I'm biggering my company
I'm biggering my factory
I'm biggering my corporate sign
Everybody out there, take care of yours and me?
I'll take care of mine, mine, mine, mine, mine!
(Shake that bottom line)
Let me hear you say 'smogulous smoke'
Complain all you want, it's never ever, ever, ever gonna stop
I'd do it in a minute
If I could write off your murder
I'd save all of my receipts
Because I'd rather you be dead
Than lose a tiny shred of what I made this fiscal year
I'd rather you be dead than ponder parting with my second home
I'd rather you be dead than consider not opening a restaurant
I'd rather you be dead
You can wheel and deal the best of them
Steal it from the rest of them
You know the score
Their ethics are a bore..."
— Ray Stevens,"Mr. Businessman"
There's a man going around in the town
He's the bad businessman
Does his business while he can
He just does his business bad
— Squirrel Nut Zippers - Bad Businessman
"There are so many things I remember
From the deeply revered days of old
When living was gentle and gracious
And working folk did as they're told.
They were wonderful days, I remember,
When a feller could live like a king;
And children were working in coal mines
And life was a beautiful thing.
But the fortunes of mankind are changing;
Things aren't what they were anymore;
And although I'm in no way complaining,
By Harris and Tweed, I preferred it before."
"Damien is a record executive — a cunning hotheaded opportunist. Don’t you see, they thrive on misleading, tricking and ensnaring! They’re like feral animals, rabid dogs thinking only of what will benefit them in the moment!"
Bob Parr: Are you saying that we shouldn't help our customers?
Gilbert Huph: The law requires that I answer "no."
"I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed."
—Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood
"You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage."
— Ripley, Aliens
J.J. Gittes: How much are you worth?
Noah Cross: I've no idea. How much do you want?
Gittes: I just want to know what you're worth. Over ten million?
Cross: Oh my, yes.
Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can't already afford?
Cross: The future, Mr. Gitts — the future!
Max Shrek: "Power surplus"? Bruce, shame on you. No such thing. One can never have too much power. If my life has a meaning, that's the meaning.
Bruce Wayne: Yeah. Well. I'm gonna fight you on this. And I've already spoken to the Mayor, and we see eye-to-eye, so—
Max Shrek: Mayors come and go. Bluebloods tire easy.
Ansem: We need to kick off 2009 with a bang. Something that will remind people how evil FOX truly is. I mean something that would make Sauron jealous. Just pure evil.
[Cut to a courtroom]
"Killing the indigenous looks bad, but the only thing the shareholders hate more than bad press is a bad quarterly statement."
— Parker Selfridge, Avatar
"I hear you're a conspiracy nut. Well, this is the conspiracy, kid. It ain't ancient gods an' aliens an' coded shit on the dollar bill. It ain't even a secret. It's somethin' ordinary folks do for a livin', every day of the week. It's business."
— The Legend, The Boys #19
"People wanna live like this, in their cars and big fuckin' houses they can't even pay for — then you're necessary. The only reason that they all get to continue living like kings is cause we got our fingers on the scales in their favor. I take my hand off and then the whole world gets really fuckin' fair really fuckin' quickly, and nobody actually wants that. They say they do, but they don't. They want what we have to give them, but they also wanna, you know, play innocent and pretend they have no idea where it came from. Well, that's more hypocrisy than I'm willing to swallow, so fuck 'em. Fuck normal people."
—Will Emerson, Margin Call
Asok: Wally, I've discovered a deadly security flaw in our product. Who should I inform?
Wally: No one. The stock market would plunge. We'd have massive layoffs. Your career will be ruined.
Asok: But my negligence could cause the death of a dozen customers.
Richfield: Oh, don't turn into one of those environmental doomsayers, Sinclair. Boo-hoo, it's raining acid, there's a hole in the ozone, you're hurting Flipper! Bah! Bunch of tree hugging pantywaists! They're always standing in the way of profits and it's our job to pave right over them!
Earl: I think you're missing the point sir! The world may be coming to an end!
Richfield: Well, that's a fourth quarter problem. We'll drop a bomb on that bridge when we come to it! Right now my biggest problem is trying to figure out what to do with all this money!
Bartleby: You are responsible for raising an icon which draws worship from the Lord. You have broken the first commandment. Not only that, I'm afraid not a one of you passes for a decent human being. Your continued existence is a mockery of morality. Like you, Mr. Burton. Last year, you cheated on your wife of seventeen years eight times. You even had sex with her best friend while you were supposed to be home watching the kids.
Loki: (giving him two thumbs up) In the bed that you and your wife share, no less!
Bartleby: Mr. Newman: you got your girlfriend drunk at last year's Christmas party and then paid a kid from the mail room to have sex with her — while she was passed out — just so you could break up with her guilt-free when she sobbingly confessed in the morning. (She, uh, killed herself three months later.) Mr. Brace disowned his gay son! Very compassionate, Mr. Brace. Mr. Ray put his mother in a third-rate nursing home and then used the profits from the sale of her home...to buy an oriental rug for himself. Heavens. Mr. Barker flew to Thailand on the company account to have sex with an eleven-year-old boy. Mr. Holtzman okay'ed the production of Mooby Dolls from materials he knew to be toxic and unsafe, because it was, SURVEY SAYS...! Less costly.
"We chase and shout after the man who steals your basket of eggs. The wiser thief is the man who manipulates us into buying goods we need at his shop and overcharges us a copper piece every time he can. He takes much more from us all, without ever having to run anywhere or suffer our anger. Indeed, sometimes we praise him for providing what we want or need, and never look past his welcoming smile."
"It has been said that most merchants die not of lawbreaking or lack of coin but of running afoul of a cabal—one they belong to, two or more they belong to that end up having conflicting aims or activities, or just one they happen to be in the way of. Cabal troubles, even more than angry victims of swindles, are the reason so many merchants mysteriously fall out of high windows, fall 'asleep' on streets where heavily laden wagons can roll over them, or go for swims in handy harbors while unconscious."
Florence: So you're saying we should go to the company C.E.O. and appeal to his generosity and nobility instead of his greed?
"I wonder if the CEO just rubs himself with money."
— Gordon Freeman, Freeman's Mind
After all, what could a master criminal buy? There was a shortage of seaside properties with real lava flows near a reliable source of piranhas, and the world sure as hell didn't need another Dark Lord, not with Gilt doing so well. Gilt didn’t need a tower with ten thousand trolls camped outside. He just needed a ledger and a sharp mind. It worked better, was cheaper and he could go out and party at night.
— Going Postal gives us the obligatory Pratchett quote
"You make history, I make money."
— Steven Jacobs, Rise of the Planet of the Apes
I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."
— The Screwtape Letters (preface)
"The markets are free! So much money for me! Tell me, why should I care for peace and love?!"
— Pig With The Face Of A Boy, Soviet Tetris
Mr.Burns: Kent Brockman is threatening our ill-gotten gains.
Rich Texan: Goldarn! I worked hard to ill-get those gains.
"Family, religion, friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business."
— Charles Montgomery Burns, The Simpsons
"Schindler and I are like peas in a pod. We're both factory owners, we both made shells for the Nazis, but mine worked, dammit!"
— Monty Burns, The Simpsons
Meanwhile the four ugly corporation directors were having a wonderful time. They were running the company all over the place. Twice a day they watered the stock, to keep it fresh. And every Saturday they took a long pair of garden shears and trimmed the dividend. All in all, you would not find a nicer bunch of fellows outside of a police line-up.
— The Narrator, The Solid Gold Cadillac
"Sorry I'm late. Work was murder."
— Norman Osborn, Spider-Man
"I prey on the innocent. It's how I made my fortune, and, quite frankly, it's fun."
"This isn't Wall Street, this is Hell! We have a little something called "integrity."
President: Most of them unemployed, Trau Morgus, because you have closed so many plants. It's caused great unrest.
Morgus: Easily settled. Those without valid employment cards will be shipped off to the eastern labour camps.
President: Of course, the irony is while you've been closing plants here in the west, you've been building them in the east. So if the unemployed were sent to the eastern labour camps, a great many of them would be working for you again, only this time without payment.
Morgus: I hadn't thought of that.
President: Of course you hadn't.
Elliot Carver: Good morning, my golden retrievers! What kind of havoc shall the Carver Media Group create in the world today? News?
Newsman: Floods in Pakistan, riots in Paris, and a plane crash in California.
Elliot Carver: Excellent! Mr. Jones, are we ready to release our new software?
Jones: Yes, sir. As requested, it's full of bugs, which means people will be forced to upgrade for years.
Elliot Carver: Outstanding! Mr. Wallace, call the President. Tell him if he doesn't sign the bill lowering the cable rates, we will release the video of him with the cheerleader in the Chicago motel room.
Mr. Wallace: Inspired, sir.
Elliot Carver: And after he signs the bill, release the tape anyway.
Mr. Wallace: Consider him slimed.
Kaiba: So you've got a dweeb army. Am I supposed to be scared to attack?
Dartz: (smirking) Well, only if destroying an innocent soul concerns you.
Kaiba: (smirkier) Naaah. As the President of a major corporation, I have to do that every day.
— Yu-Gi-Oh!, "Waking the Dragons" arc
The true terrorists of our world do not meet at the docks at midnight, or scream "Allahu Akbar" before some violent action. The true terrorists of our world wear 5000 dollar suits and work in the highest positions of finance, government and business.
—Peter Joseph, Zeitgeist Addenum
"We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. To make money is our only objective."
— Michael Eisner
"Since Activision's rise to gaming publisher domination and their commitment to rehashing money makers over and over again the gaming world has had a new face of evil to point at as the problem with everything ever: Bobby Kotick. To be fair the man doesn't really help himself when he spouts out that games shouldn't be developed for fun or that Activision is just in it for the money. All this being said, you have to wonder if Kotick sits up in a big chair, petting his white cat while he kills his minions for not being able to destroy 007 or if he's actually just a guy running a company."
"One of Walmart’s tractor-trailers rammed into a limo bus carrying Tracy Morgan, Jimmy Mack and others on the New Jersey Turnpike last June. Tracy’s lawyer says that it’s all Walmart’s fault because Kevin Roper, the driver of the tractor-trailer, was awake for more than 24 hours before the crash and he was driving 20mph over the speed limit. But well, if you thought that Walmart’s yellow smiley face of pure evil would just spit out an 'I’m sorry' before dropping a mountain of money into Tracy’s lap, then you don’t know Walmart or billion dollar American corporations... I’m surprised they didn’t say, “No, Tracy’s limo ran into OUR truck. It ran into OUR truck ten times!” But I’m sure they’ll settle, and then the evil minions of Lucifer who run Walmart will roll-forward prices a little bit, because it’s not like that settlement money is going to come out of their year-end bonuses."
"Yeah, we can't get in to see Unplugged. Why not? Well I asked one of the vice-presidents here — and obviously I'm not allowed to say what his name is, so I'll just call him 'Dirtbag' — I said, 'Hey, Dirtbag, how come we can't get in to see Unplugged?' And he gives me this whole rigmarole about how we can't get a load of tickets for you guys, and we only run the network, and we probably can't even count that high."
"My God! ISO 9001 Certification is a license to kill!"
"If corporations are people then why can't I punch one in the fucking face?"
—Eric Gloria Ryan, Jezebel
"'Layoffs Are Necessary If We Want To Keep The Lights On,' Says CEO Halfway Through Tasting Menu"
"I have never understood Donald Trump’s involvement in wrestling. He is always presented as a face counterpart to Vince McMahon’s evil billionaire character, but the facts tell a different, much darker story. While the wrestling persona Mr. McMahon once made Trish Stratus strip and bark like a dog on television, the real-life Donald Trump once tried to demolish a little old lady’s house and turn it into parking space."
"Weyland Yutani, now of the opinion that an uncontrollable biological weapon that reliably wipes out their science teams en masse is totally worth declaring war on their own country's military for. Christ knows how Weyland-Yutani spent their time before the aliens were discovered; probably threw children on piles of burning money."
Chris: Their plan is to make the Daily Planet into a sensationalist tabloid that’ll bring in the money by pushing the world closer to the brink of nuclear war. I’m not kidding: This is actually Warfield’s business model.
David: I’d love to be at the story conference where they named him. “Well, he sees, like, the world as a field for war, right? War... field...”
"I know this is supposed to be an evil corporation, but having actual pure, elemental evil lying around seems to be slight overkill."
"But in our culture ... corporations are always corrupt, and poverty is always the fault of the wealthy people's greed."