Quotes: Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty; that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."'
- — John Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn"
"Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary."
"Although my heart may be weak, it's not alone. It's grown with each new experience. And it's found a home with all the friends I've made. I've become a part of their heart, just as they've become a part of mine. And if they think of me now and then, if they don't forget me, then our hearts will be one. I don't need a weapon. My friends are my power!"
- — Sora, Kingdom Hearts
"Tragedies happen. What are you gonna do, give up? Quit? No. I realize now that when your heart breaks, you got to fight like hell to make sure you're still alive. Because you are. And that pain you feel? That's life. The confusion and fear? That's there to remind you that somewhere out there is something better, and that something is worth fighting for."
- — Nathan, One Tree Hill
"Happiness too is inevitable."
"Dawn will come!"
"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe."
- — Barbara, The Sandman: A Game of You
"If there's just the slightest chance we can make ourselves into something better, not trying would be a far greater evil than our inborn prejudices. For now, I can't save humanity, or perhaps even myself, but if I can save your friend... well, that'll be one small step towards bettering this world. It's a long road toward that goal, but all journeys are traveled one step at a time, aren't they?"
- — The Player, Kid Radd
"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."
- — A poster on the forums for The Silver Lining
"Shepherd Book always said, "if you can't do something smart, do something right"."
"Everyone was guilty of something. Vimes knew that. Every copper knew it. That was how you maintained your authority. Everyone, talking to a copper, was secretly afraid you could see their guilty secret written on their forehead. You couldn't, of course. But neither were you supposed to drag someone off the street and smash their fingers with a hammer until they told you what it was."
"I am an optimist, so I know how sad a place the world can be. You are a pessimist, so you are forever finding out."
- — The General(Peter Ustinov), Romanoff And Juliet
"Optimism is what gets us out of bed in the morning. People with depression aren't pessimistic, they're realistic. That's why they're depressed."
- — Dr Richard Wiseman
The optimist sees a light at the end of the tunnel,
the realist sees a train entering the tunnel,
the pessimist sees a train speeding at him, hell for leather,
and the machinist sees three idiots sitting on the rail track.
"The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; the pessimist fears this is true."
- — James Branch Cabell, The Silver Stallion.
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part."
- — Somerset, Se7en
"Daniel and I both want to resolve this peacefully. It's just that only one of us believes that's possible."
"You think there are the good people and the bad people. You are wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides."
- — Vetinari, Guards! Guards!
"My queen, all you say is true. But Rhaegar lost on the Trident. He lost the battle, he lost the war, he lost the kingdom, and he lost his life. His blood swirled downriver with the rubies from his breastplate, and Robert the Usurper rode over his corpse to steal the Iron Throne. Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died."
- — Ser Jorah Mormont, A Storm of Swords
Sandor: There are no true knights, no more than there are gods. If you can't protect yourself, die and get out of the way of those who can. Sharp steel and strong arms rule this world, don't ever believe any different.
Sansa: You're awful.
Sandor: I'm honest. It's the world that's awful.
"You better wake up. The world you live in is just a sugar-coated topping. There is another world beneath it ó the real world. And if you want to survive it, you better learn to pull the trigger!"
- — Blade
"Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms."
- — Dubois, Starship Troopers
"Thereís no reason to assume that my idea of what's better would really be better. I resent it when other people try to inflict their ideas of betterness on me. I donít think they know. And I canít see any authority on the horizon thatís got any answers that seem worthwhile. Most of the things that are suggested are probably detrimental to your mental health."
"I think utopianism and eschatology are really two sides of the same coin. They both assume that some massively transformative event is going to happen thatís going to completely change the nature of society. They only disagree on whether we get a happy ending or all die horribly. And so utopianism is on the wane right now because at the moment most of the plausible candidates for huge historical transformation look like theyíre going to kill us."
"Yesterday, I watched the world nearly die in a thousand thousand terrible ways. Sometimes we would have had time to scream. Today, I'm alive to write about it. You want happy endings? Fuck you. You're alive to read it."
- — SCP Foundation, "black white black white black white black white black white gray"
"Rock, if you think about it, other than this, what do we really value in life? God? Love? Don't make me laugh. When I was a brat, crawling around in that shithole city, it seemed God and Love were always sold out when I went looking. Before I knew better, I clung to God and prayed to Him every single night ó yeah, I believed in God right up until that night the cops beat the hell out of me for no reason at all. All they saw when they looked at me was another little ghetto rat. With no power and no God, what's left for a poor little Chinese bitch to rely on? It's money, of course, and guns. Fuckin' A. With these two things, the world's a great place."
- — Revy, Black Lagoon
"Don't talk like one of them, you're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me. They need you right now. But when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper. See, their morals, their code... it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you, when the chips are down, these... these civilized people? They'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve."
They say, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "Evil prevails."
- — Yuri Orlov, Lord of War
"Life is like a box of chocolates. A cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. Unreturnable because all you get is another box of chocolates. So you're stuck with this... undefinable whipped-mint crap which you mindlessly wolf down when there's nothing else left to eat. Sure, once in awhile there's a peanut butter cup or an English toffee, but they're gone too fast and the taste is... fleeting. So you're left with nothing but bits of hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. And, if you're desperate enough to eat those, all you've got left is an empty box... filled with useless brown paper wrappers."
- — The Cigarette Smoking Man, The X-Files
"The artist who really loves people loves them so well the way they are he sees no need to disguise their characteristics-he loves them whole, without retouching. Yet the word used for this unqualifying affection is 'cynicism'.Ē
Catbert: But what he doesn't realize is that cynicism is almost the same thing as experience.
Asok: It is?
Catbert: Sure, just try thinking the worst about people, and you'll usually be right.
- — Dilbert
"Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something."
- — The Man in Black, The Princess Bride
There are no letters in the mailbox
And there are no grapes upon the vine
And there are no chocolates in your boxes anymore
And there are no diamonds in the mine
- — Leonard Cohen, "Diamonds In The Mine"
"Life sucks. And then you die. "
"There's only one thing that ever changes anything, and that's death. Everything else is a lie. And you can't be saved by a lie. You can't be saved at all."
- —Connor, Angel
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either Go Mad from the Revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new dark age."MOST CYNICAL