...ever since then, she has been always by my side. The Saigyou Ayakashi, and the Practioners, and the hateful gazes of my family... For the whole time, she protected me from them all. And, from the butterflies of death to. However... "Today again nothing of significance happened..." ..or did it? Nothing did happen. Because that person a great youkai, right? This laughable power of a mere human... What is it in front of someone like her? Thorns of this kind, for someone like her... They are but a..! ...!! ..As the possiblility dawned upon me, I had to ask myself... When did I start bending the facts to my convinience... Deceveing myself? As the power steadily increased, the future brought by those thorns has unveiled before me with painful clarity... but... she will surley be alright. For all this time, did she not act as if the deadly butterflies where nothing to her? That is why... Yes, for sure, what I saw today must have been my imagination. Someday for sure, I will bring death upon her.
—Part of Yuyuko's final entry in her diary, Touhou Tonari.
Life, it's a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable, because all you get back is another box of chocolates. You're stuck with this undefinable whipped-mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in a while, there's a peanut butter cup, or an English toffee. But they're gone too fast, the taste is fleeting. So you end up with nothing but broken bits, filled with hardened jelly and teeth-crunching nuts, and if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you've got left is a...is an empty box...filled with useless, brown paper wrappers.
—Cigarette Smoking Man, The X-Files
Sometimes there are no words, no clever quotes to neatly sum up what's happened that day. Sometimes you do everything right, everything exactly right, and still you feel like you failed. Did it need to end that way? Could something have been done to prevent the tragedy in the first place? Eighty-nine murders at the pig farm, the deaths of Mason and Lucas Turner make 91 lives snuffed out. Kelly Shane will go home and try to recover, to reconnect with her family but she’ll never be a child again. William Hightower, who gave his leg for his country, gave the rest of himself to avenge his sister's murder. That makes 93 lives forever altered, not counting family and friends in a small town in Sarnia, Ontario, who thought monsters didn’t exist until they learned that they spent their lives with one. And what about my team? How many more times will they be able to look into the abyss? How many more times before they won’t ever recover the pieces of themselves that this job takes? Like I said, sometimes there are no words or clever quotes to neatly sum up what’s happened that day. Sometimes, the day just (Smash to Black, gunshot)...ends.
“I haven’t got a speech. I didn’t plan words, I didn’t even try to, I just knew I had to get here, to stand here and I knew I wanted you to listen, to really listen. Not just pull a face like you’re listening, like you do the rest of the time, a face that you’re feeling instead of processing.
“You pull a face and poke it towards the stage, and we la-di-dah, we sing and dance and tumble around. And all you see up here, it’s not people, you don’t see people up here, it’s all fodder. And the faker the fodder, the more you love it, because fake fodder’s the only thing that works any more. Fake fodder is all we can stomach. Actually, not quite all; real pain, real viciousness, that we can take.
“Yeah, stick a fat man up a pole and we’ll laugh ourselves feral, because we’ve earned the right. We’ve done cell time and he’s slacking, the scum, so ha-ha-ha at him! Because we’re so out of our minds with desperation, we don’t know any better. All we know is fake fodder and buying shit. That’s how we speak to each other, how we express ourselves is buying shit.
“What, I have a dream? The peak of our dreams is an app for our new Dopple, it doesn’t exist! It’s not even there! We buy shit that’s not even there. Show us something real and free and beautiful. You couldn’t. Yeah? It’ll break us. We’re too numb for it. I might as well choke. It’s only so much wonder we can bear. That’s why when you find any wonder whatsoever… you dole it out in meagre portions.
“And only then until it’s augmented, packaged and plumped through 10,000 pre-assigned filters ‘til it’s nothing more than a meaningless series of lights, while we ride day in day out, going where? Powering what? All tiny cells and tiny screens and bigger cells and bigger screens and FUCK YOU!
“Fuck you, that’s what it boils down to! It’s fuck you for sitting there and slowly making things worse! Fuck you and your spotlight and your sanctimonious faces! Fuck you all for thinking the one thing I came close to never meant anything! For oozing around it and crushing it into a bone, into a joke! One more ugly joke in a kingdom of millions! Fuck you for happening! Fuck you for me, for us, for everyone! FUCK YOU!”
—Bing, Black Mirror: Fifteen Million Merits
Clay: Hey, Doc, we were just talking about ex-wives.
Potterswheel: Uh, I'm a widower.
Clay: Oh, right, right. Must be nice to lose a wife to sickness and death instead of her just plain ol' getting sick of you.
Potterswheel: No... Not so nice, especially when you're a doctor.
Clay: She just loved those painkillers! Probably didn't even realize she was infected, right Doc?
Potterswheel: She was... quite comfortable when she passed.
Clay: "Numb", some call it! Now, me and Jesus, we like to feel the pain. Tell me, doc. Did some of those painkillers protect her against you?
Potterswheel: What does that mean?
Clay: You know. The pain. Of you. Day in, day out, being there. With that face. Not knowing what to say. Not caring anymore. Not even knowing that you'll probably only care about her when it's finally too late. Forgetting about all those desperate... those desperate years you spent alone, your barren years when no woman would even consider resting her tired head on your shaky little shoulder. Stinking of belly semen. Why even wipe?
And when you finally get one of these [Points at Dolly and imitates a fanfare] coveted pieces of tail that have been built up as the grand trophy in your nothing life, you try desperately to keep it. Not to protect it! But to hoard it. To keep it away from the other wolves and jackals circling your territory! And you realize, all too soon, that you're not good enough! That maybe there was a jerk-off called Darwin after all. And that you never acknowledged his existence because you knew deep inside that you were really what you feared you were - weak. And passive. And ultimately, broken by the ones who were made the fittest. And that through your weaknesses, you built up a poison that poisoned others around you. [About to cry] That you love.
And the only true justice was to let those dominant jackals feed on you. Survive off you.
—Moral Orel, "Sacrifice"
Marcy: We're all gonna get sick.
Paul: No, Burt's gonna get help. It'll be fine, I promise.
Marcy: It's like being on a plane that you know is gonna crash. Everyone around you is screaming "We're going down! We're going down!" And all you really want to do is grab the person next to you and fuck the shit out of them, cause you know your gonna be dead soon, anyway.
—Paul & Marcy, Cabin Fever
"The balance of hope and despair is always zero. You said so yourself... I understand what you meant now. I've saved plenty of people, but in exchange, resentment and pain took root in my own heart. I even hurt my best friend. As much as I wished for the happiness of one... someone else must be equally cursed. That's how us Magical Girls work. I was stupid... so stupid."
"In a world of absolute zero, even the heart of a knight that burns with justice shall freeze. A transient soul bound together with a world in which darkness, despair and death hold sway! Stand up, my avatar! Blaster Joker!"
— Aichi Sendou, Cardfight!! Vanguard
"I can't believe. Not anymore. There's nothing left to believe in. Nothing."
—Cinderella thinking her chances of going to the ball are dashed
"Go," I urged them. "Let me die here beside my Princess—there is no hope or happiness elsewhere for me. When they carry her dear body from that terrible place a year hence let them find the body of her lord awaiting her."
—John Carter at the end of Gods of Mars
"There's nothing left for me. No place to return to, nobody to love, nothing to believe in... Nothing but Demons..."
—Oersted, Live A Live
Andy: ...You need help, Gary.
Gary: I got help. You know what help was? Help was a lot of people sitting in a circle, talking about how fuckin' awful things have got. That is not my idea of a good time!
Andy: And this is?
Gary: They told me when to go to bed! Me!
Andy: Gary, mate, how can you tell when you're drunk if you're never sober?
Gary: I don't want to be sober! It never got better than that night! That was supposed to be the beginning of my life! All that promise and fucking optimism... that feeling like we could take on the whole universe! It was a big lie! Nothing happened!
Thank you, my friends. Are you my friends? It's hard to tell beneath those masks. A man must consider himself fortunate indeed to have so many, especially when I was pretty sure I had no friends whatsoever - which does rather beg the question: who are you lot, and why are you here? To see me, who at the age of six played for all the crowned heads of Europe, now at a hundred playing to a bunch of strangers with their faces covered. Still, that's life. But thanks for coming anyway, to witness what I hope will be my greatest performance. You know, I used to be asked "Mozart," they said, "what makes great art?" and I never really knew. I used to say some guff about a gift from god, but deep down I was just relieved that I could do it. No-one asks me now, of course, which is a shame because I now have the answer: I tell you, great art is simply a matter of knowing when to stop. That's it. It's as simple as that. I have some music to play you... it's not very good. Oh, the notes are alright, nothing's discordant, but it has no point to it, no soul! I've nothing to say anymore! It's just pretty noise! I've had nothing to say for years, and I look back and wish I'd died young, before I'd realized I was just another mediocrity! [voice cracking] It's time to stop! This will be my final... performance.
[Shoots himself in the head]
Oh, it hasn't worked. It hasn't worked. [shoots himself twice more] What a failure I am. I can't even kill myself properly.
"It’s…I still have not returned. You asked me what happens when a god dies…and there is still no answer! I see eternity before me…and it is useless. And so I drag myself on the course of infinity…for nothing. Why is there no answer, human?! What is this hopelessness? I am…insignificant. It is sickening. I have been in this universe for too long. It is…I cannot…I am diminished. I…am…missing. I cannot process this without my full form…but it has not returned. I am…I am…I am unimportant. Cannot be. Nothing matters. NOTHING I DO MATTERS! GIVE ME PURPOSE! GIVE ME SOMETHING! I CANNOT! I am…I fear. I cannot process this! I am MORE than this…but I am diminished. Nothing I do matters. Tell me…tell me how I can matter! How I can function!"
— The Entity, Atop the Fourth Wall