Is there a turn to make, Does it matter anymore?
Is there something in our history that causes all the war?
I read about good and bad, I see the faces on the screen,
Hear that talk is even cheaper now; I can see just what they mean.
Am I ever to be free of this human condition in front of me?
— Charlie Peacock, "Human Condition"
MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.
His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity
as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.
—Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911)
"It is said that at the dawn of time, man, beast, and all magical beings lived together under Aeglin, the Father Tree. But man had been created with a hole in his heart, a hole that no possession, power, or knowledge could fill."
— Professor Trevor 'Broom' Bruttenholm, Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Man is mortal, and doomed to death and failure and loss.
This lies beyond our comprehension - why do you not despair?
Cornelius: "You don't like them do you?"
Cornelius: "The Humans."
Zira: "We have met hundreds since coming here. And so far I trust...Three."
Three were given to the Elves; immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings. Seven, to the Dwarf Lords, great miners and craftsmen of the mountain halls. And nine... nine rings were gifted to the race of Men, who above all else desire power.
People are messy, awkward, sometimes selfish and cruel. But they're trying, and I'm going to make sure they have a chance.
— Commander Shepard, Mass Effect
Luficer: Just try to imagine, Philip, a world without evil. A world without anger, hate, war, disease, destruction, and all the other terrible things you can think of. The sun shines, the bird whistle, and so do all the nice and friendly people. They are having a really good time. They greet each other, they take care of each other, and they help each other. Can you imagine that Philip?
Philip: Yes... but it is hard.
Luficer: Of course it is. And now it gets even harder. No ruthlessness, laziness, or egoism. No envy, and therefore no sports or competition. The drive to compete has died, because if you lose, you never feel aggrieved or angry, only happy for your opponent. And when the joy of winning and losing is equally great, why even play at all? Books and film are about nothing at all, because in this world there are no bad guys to capture, and therefore no heroes. The newspapers are just as empty as the books, because there is nothing to write about, no crime, no scandals, fraud, political corruption, nothing at all. The unemployment rate will rise dramatically. If only you knew, Philip, how many people have jobs because mankind is unable to behave itself.
—The Great Devilwar
"You will give the people of Earth an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."
— Jor-El, Man of Steel
Nagilum: I have learned all I needed to know. Would you like me to share some of my conclusions?
Picard: I'm not interested.
Nagilum: Of course you are. You are too inquisitive not to want to know. You seem to find no tranquility in anything. You struggle against the inevitable. You thrive on conflict. You are selfish, yet you value loyalty. You are rash, quick to judge, slow to change. It's amazing you've survived.
—Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Where Silence Has Lease"
Harry: Bad things are inside everyone, I donít care how gentle or holy or sincere or dedicated you are. There are bad things in there. Lust. Greed. Violence. You donít need a wicked queen to make that happen. Thatís a part of everyone. Some more, some less, but itís always there.
The Summer Lady: Youíre saying that you were wicked from the beginning?
Harry: Iím saying I could have been. I chose something else. And Iím going to continue choosing something else.
"Out of the crooked timber of humanity no straight thing was ever made."
— Immanuel Kant
"Against Roddenberry's complaints, I dug in my heels. Where was there any evidence, I wanted to know, that bigotry had disappeared—or would disappear—in human affairs? Was racism still not a powerful force in America? Were the Serbs and Croats not intent on "ethnic cleansing"? Were not Muslims still fighting Christians? Had it not always been thus since the beginnings of man? What, I demanded, was the justification for Roddenberry's optimism? The evidence of millennia was on my side. In the meantime, I insisted, in my movie people would continue to act like human beings."
— Nicholas Meyer, The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood.
"Itís not Midnight that renders the Doctor helpless, but the reality of people. Theyíre vivid portrayals of the myth of Doctor Who transported into everyday people, of the sort that Davies writes very, very well. And they break the show. In a wonderfully disturbing inversion of the mawkish glurge that usually constitutes the hero being utterly impotent in the face of a threat, it is not that the hero is flawed because heís fictional. Itís that we are all flawed because we are not."