Troy: I think I got half of it... which got me through the half I didn't.
"Never underestimate your audience. They're generally sensitive, intelligent people who respond positively to quality entertainment."
— Cameron Mitchell, Stargate SG-1 ("200")
"Why should things be easy to understand?"
"Yes, to understand this joke you need to know relativity and image processing theory. No, I am unrepentant."
"People have asked me why I made the first chapter of my first novel so long, and in an invented English. The only answer I can come up with that satisfies me is, to keep out the scum."
"Fuck the casual viewer. Seriously, who wants a casual viewer? If you’re a writer do you want a casual reader? I don’t want those people. Don’t want ‘em. Throwing them back. They’re like little fish on the hook. Throw ‘em back. I want the guy who’s come in who wants to be told a story. A story has a beginning, middle and an end."
—David Simon, the creator of The Wire
"I can say with pride verging on smugness that I've got two very successful shows that assume their audience is very smart."
"Most people just don’t bring everything they’ve got to what they do. We don’t feel we have to strip things away and make the songs more simple for people to understand what we’re about… it’s a cornucopia, a myriad.”
—John Flansburgh on Flood
"We've got a great show for you today... But first, I've got a bone to pick with you all, my fellow public radio listeners. NPR News recently did a survey of their listeners' favorite beach reading. Y'know, lighter fare for summertime, mindless stuff. Among the finalists submitted by NPR listeners: The Brothers Karamazov and that perennial guilty pleasure, War and Peace. Now look, you're my peeps, and nobody else is listening: c'mon guys! Haven't we had enough sand kicked in our faces? I thought we agreed to keep this quiet! Remember, anybody asks, you love Danielle Steele, and please cover up your copy of Immanuel Kant's Critique of Practical Reason with the Us Weekly we gave you. Okay?"
—Peter Sagel, Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!
"If you can't handle the complexity, I'm sorry you are stupid, because you are missing out."
"I accidentally bumped into a guy who was wearing a hat, had a ponytail, and had piercings in his eyebrows, nostrils, and lip. He tells me, 'Hey! You got a lot of nerve!' And I go, 'Hey! You got a... lot of... cranial accessories!' (crowd laughs) This is a smart crowd; I like smart crowds. When I get the dumb crowds I gotta go, 'Hey! You got a lot of shit on your head!'"
"An audience is never wrong. An individual member of it may be an imbecile, but a thousand imbeciles together in the dark — that is critical genius."
"When you were controlling the feeds, did you notice the parabolic? Hey, it's important. Parabolas are important. Here, look at this. In all the equations that describe motion and heat... in all the Feynman diagrams, what's the one variable that you can turn into negative and still get rational answers from?"
— Abe Terger, Primer. (If this made sense to you, your name has the letters "MSc" or "PhD" after it somewhere.) note
"Primer is a film for nerds, geeks, brainiacs, Academic Decathlon winners, programmers, philosophers and the kinds of people who have made it this far into the review."
"And the award for the most pretentious title goes too…Wrongs Darker than Death or night! In a hotly competitive race against other stalemates such as Nor the Battle to the Strong, The Darkness and the Light, Ties of Blood and Water and Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges this has to be the most tongue twistingly over the top episode title. Especially when the wrongs aren’t anywhere near as dark as death or night. I realise a lot of these titles have been selected from poems and sayings but the sad truth of the matter is that plenty of poetry and proverbs are pretty pretentious too."
"Who was Kojima really trying to impress with MGS1? And therefore, who was he really trying to punish in MGS2? Didn’t he understand the paradox he’d created for himself? Teenagers who want to fantasize about snapping a bad guy’s neck in the middle of a blizzard, or stuffy professors and Roger Ebert? There’s not much of an overlap in that Venn diagram... America is indeed stupid, but it’s the job of artists to work around that. The themes of MGS2 are powerful and highly relevant, but they’re wasted. They may as well be in Latin and spoken in reverse. Dumb it down for the masses and work on attracting a cult following to disseminate your messages — don’t engineer the world’s greatest prank in order to prove that you’re smarter than everyone, you crazy man!"
"In Gehn's bedroom, you can find a spherical machine with a lever on it. If you activate the lever, you will see a video of a woman saying some gibberish: 'Blurga? Scrugla pridla bugga.' Boring, right? Well, you have to understand that this woman is in fact Gehn's wife and that the D'ni words she is saying can be translated as something like: 'Is this thing on? My dear Gehn, I will love you for all eternity'. Considering the woman in the Imager looks thirty-ish and Gehn looks almost seventy, it really makes you wonder: How old is this video? How many times has Gehn watched it during his thirty years of confinement in a lonely world? It almost makes you feel some sympathy for the despot he's become. You can also find his journal on his desk, where most of his writing is steady, self-assured descriptions of his nefarious plans, except for a single entry about his wife. It is extremely pale and shaky, ending in a smudge that suspiciously looks like a single tear. This really blows my mind: it's got to be the most understated tidbit of background information in a video game. How many games require you to have knowledge of an imaginary language to understand all the nuances of its story? And Riven is literally full of little things like these, which almost no one will ever notice. I feel for the Miller brothers since it must be frustrating. Maybe it's a bit like being the curator at the Louvres, who sees a new bunch of slack-jawed yokels walk around his museum every day, 'oooing' and 'aaahing' at the pretty sights for a while, without ever noticing anything about the deliberate use of colors, contrasts, lines or the different artistic movements and their place in history."