18th Nov: We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.
"...So when you feel your heart sink into your chest
Don't forget everything is okay in the end
We are not okay but this is not the end yet."
— "Strange Comfort" by The Color Morale
“The idealist withdrew himself, because he could not suffer the jostling of the human crowd; he had not the strength to fight and so called the battle vulgar; he was vain, and since his fellows would not take him at his own estimate, consoled himself with despising his fellows.”
“I've committed to nothing...and that's just suicide...by tiny, tiny increments.”
— Nick Hornby, High Fidelity
The Doctor: You coming?
Amy Pond: No.
The Doctor: You wanted to come fourteen years ago.
Amy Pond: I grew up.
The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll soon fix that.
—- Doctor Who, "The Eleventh Hour"
Dr. Molly Clock: Perry, no one's "pure evil." I mean, yeah, some people have a hard outer shell, but inside everybody has a creamy center.
Dr. Perry Cox: There are plenty of people here on this particular planet who are hard on the outside and hard on the inside!
Clock: So they have more of a nougat-y center?
Cox: Lady, people aren't chocolates. Do you know what they are mostly? Bastards. Bastard coated bastards with bastard filling. But I don't find them half as annoying as I find naive bubble-headed optimists who walk around vomiting sunshine.
Clock: (rubs his tummy) I'm touching your creamy center! *leaves*
Cox: Oh, I am so very angry that I'm going to find someone to kill just to prove her wrong.
—Scrubs, "My Common Enemy"
Mulder: Enough with the harmonic convergence crap, okay? You’re not saying anything to me.
Melissa Scully: Why don’t you just drop your cynicism and your paranoia and your defeat? You know, just because it’s positive and good doesn’t make it silly or trite!
—The X-Files, "One Breath"
Bruce Wayne: I need your help.
Selina Kyle: And why would I help you?
Bruce Wayne: For this. [Holds up a USB drive] Clean slate.
Selina Kyle: [Skeptical] You'd trust me with that. After what I did to you.
Bruce Wayne: I'll admit I was a little let down. But I still think there's more to you.
“You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting.”
Manchester Black: If you think this is over, then you're living in a bloody dream world!
Superman: You know what, Black...? I wouldn't have it any other way.
—What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?
“...sometimes we ask ourselves why happiness took so long to arrive, why it didn't come sooner, but appears suddenly, as now, when we've given up hope of it ever arriving, it's likely then that we won't know what to do, and rather than it being a question of choosing between laughter and tears, we will be filled by a secret anxiety to which we might not know how to respond at all.”
—José Saramago, The Double
"The advice to ‘kill your darlings’ has been attributed to various authors across the galaxies…and Mister Heist hated them all.
Why teach young writers to edit out whatever it is they feel most passionate about? Better to kill everything in their writing they DON’T love as much.
Until only the darlings remain."
"If you look for light, you will often find it. But if you look only for the dark, it is all you will ever see."
—Iroh, The Legend of Korra
Tiga: ...Now I have a question. People of Sylvarant, what do you plan to do in Tethe’alla, the land of your enemies?
Lloyd: I’ve been thinking about that for a long time. Someone asked me why I came all the way to Tethe’alla…what it is that I want to do. I want a world where everyone can have a normal life. I’m tired of people having to become sacrifices. I’m tired of discrimination. I’m tired of people becoming victims. I’m tired of it all.
Tiga: You are an idealist. The worlds of Tethe’alla and Sylvarant flourish only by victimizing the others. So long as that structure remains the same, anything you say is mere sophistry.
Lloyd: Then we need to change that structure! This world was made by that Yggdrasill guy, right?! If a human or elf built this, then we should be able to change it as well!
Tiga: Hahahaha! You speak like the hero, Mithos. He was a sublime idealist. He ended the Ancient War by insisting there was a way for the two warring countries to coexist in peace. Are you saying you can become the next Mithos?
Lloyd: I’m not Mithos. I want to save the two worlds my way, with the help of my friends.
Pit: Why are you all doom and gloom all the time, Pittoo?
Dark Pit: I think a better question is why are YOU so annoyingly cheerful?
Pit: I'm not annoying. I'm positive!
Palutena: (singing) You gotta stay upbeat, upbeat, upbeat...
Pit: (singing) Or you'll be dead meat, dead meat, dead meat...
Dark Pit: Like I said. Annoying.
"That's the problem with you sad city types. You think a place has to be boring and dull as ditch water before you accept it as real."
— Blabbermouth Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Bigby: "It is better to be feared than loved." Know who said that?
Colin: Yeah, some sad asshole. Eating alone.
"The next real literary "rebels" in this country might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels, born oglers who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles. Who treat of plain old untrendy human troubles and emotions in U.S. life with reverence and conviction. Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue. These anti-rebels would be outdated, of course, before they even started. Dead on the page. Too sincere. Clearly repressed. Backward, quaint, naive, anachronistic. Maybe that'll be the point. Maybe that's why they'll be the next real rebels. Real rebels, as far as I can see, risk disapproval. The old postmodern insurgents risked the gasp and squeal: shock, disgust, outrage, censorship, accusations of socialism, anarchism, nihilism. Today's risks are different. The new rebels might be artists willing to risk the yawn, the rolled eyes, the cool smile, the nudged ribs, the parody of gifted ironists, the "Oh how banal." To risk accusations of sentimentality, melodrama. Of overcredulity. Of softness. Of willingness to be suckered by a world of lurkers and starers who fear gaze and ridicule above imprisonment without law. Who knows."
"A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin."
"In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically."
“Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.”
"I’ll take an earnest person over a hip person every time, because hip is short-term. Earnest is long-term. Earnestness is highly underestimated. It comes from the core, while hip is trying to impress you with the surface.”
—Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
— George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were."
"Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.”
— Noam Chomsky
"Don’t be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things. Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. "Yes" is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes."
"In a time of dismay and dread, is it admirable for filmmakers to depict pure evil? Have 9/11, suicide bombers, serial killers and kidnappings created a world in which the response of the artist must be nihilistic and hopeless? At the end of your film, after the other characters have been killed in sadistic and gruesome ways, the only survivor is the one who is evil incarnate, and we hear his cold laughter under a screen that has gone dark. Your answer, that the world is evil and therefore it is your responsibility to reflect it, is no answer at all, but a surrender."
— Roger Ebert, to David DeFalco on his film Chaos.
"There is a longstanding and not particularly interesting debate over what the killing blow for the classic series was... The difficult and interesting question is not what killed Doctor Who, but what saved it... The [Eric] Saward era, if only in hindsight, is almost overtly an attempt to figure out what Doctor Who should be like in the wake of the Falklands and Thatcher. It gets it dreadfully wrong much of the time, however. In part this is because it concedes the point and tries to be Doctor Who in a Thatcherite world. Whereas here [Christopher] Bidmead just won’t have it. He starts in a world of militaristic institutions holding back the tide of chaos, then has the Doctor just kick the premise to the curb and change the world into one in which good old-fashioned 'tear down the structures of society and leave smart, good people behind to rebuild it' is the order of the universe once again.
It’s a small thing, isolated on the trailing end of an era of unfulfilled potential. But it’s significant — a spiritual escape act. Instead of bending towards Thatcherite hell the universe now takes a last minute swerve into rebirth."
"Optimism is believing that going out in the world and doing things is worthwhile. It’s the cynics who stay home and do nothing. This is why the most cynical hipsters among us are also the most unemployed. This is why I’ve grown to find cynicism so frustrating — cynicism doesn’t cause inaction. The desire for inaction causes cynicism. And so you fight to defend your cynicism tooth and nail."
—Jason Pargin aka "David Wong"
"We all want to be the smirking protagonist who can’t be bothered to get passionate or incensed about anything. Responding to all problems with a 'hmph' as they strut away casually. I’m looking at you, all anime ever. We admire this type of character, ignoring the fact that they’re displaying all the signs of having serious depression. They’re not so much rebels as they are miserable jerks.
This narrative is only encouraged by the idea that happy people are either ignorant, deluded, or just plain faking it. Cynics love to paint happiness as a two-dimensional facade, something disingenuous that should be avoided. And those who are genuinely happy are simply conforming to societal pressure. This is pretty hypocritical, as cynics themselves are often unwittingly conforming to the cool character type."
"If someone gave one of these people a cake, their first response would probably be to call the bomb squad."
—Rational Wiki on Libertarians
"Crapsack worlds and anti heroes have their place. Sometimes, they are very necessary. But an endless diet of dreary cyberpunk and dark fantasy won't do us any more favors than an endless feast of glurge. I'd argue that the cynical nature of these really hurt our ability to hope and work for better. It gets us to accept the hopelessness and jaded outlook of things as 'That's the way it is. I can't change it,' and stops us from fighting when we NEED to fight."
There’s this idea in our culture that cynicism is realistic? That only children believe in happy endings, that people are ultimately selfish and greedy and seeing with clear eyes means seeing the world as an awful place.
That idealism is— easy, I guess. Butterflies and sunshine and love are easy things to have in your head.
But I’ve known since I was fifteen that idealism— faith in humanity— optimism— is the most difficult thing in the entire world.
I constantly struggle to have faith in humanity, because it’s really, really easy to lose it. it’s easy to look at the news and go “what were you expecting? Of course humans behave this way.” It’s easy to see the world and go “Ugh, there’s no hope there.” and the years when I believed that were easy. Miserable— but easy.
It is hard work to see the good in people. It is hard work to hope. It is hard work to keep faith and love and joy and appreciation for beauty in my daily life.
— Blogger pluckyminna
Now, before this movie came out, this is what everyone heard:
"It's the best of the three prequels!" "It's the darkest of the three!" "It's a lot better and darker than the other two films!"
Who gives a crap how dark it is?! My stool is dark, and the doctor says that's bad! ...I don't know why he thinks he knows so much about interior decorating, though.