"There's no more enemies!"
—CIA Analyst upon hearing of Gorbachev's resignation, The X-Files ("Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man")
"How the fuck do you peddle an arms race when the only asshole you've got to race against is yourself!?"
—Agent Russell, The Russia House
Revolver Ocelot: We live in a sad age: Imperialism, totalitarianism, perestroika... 20th century Russia had its share of problems, but at least they had an ideology. Russia today has nothing!
Solid Snake: They're struggling between freedom and order. And with that struggle, a new spirit of nationalism has been born.
"The Russians got bigger things to worry about than your genitals, believe me. The whole country went to shit. We tried hard to put a lid on it, but that idiot Gorbachev—with the little strawberry on his forehead—he gave away the crown jewels. Still, they got their, you know, boy in the White House; that was nice."
—Mike Toreno, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Boris: The real Michael Westen, yes? Back home, your story Russian intelligence tells to scare. They say you are one name for many people, special operations team. They think one person cannot make so much problems.
Michael: Nope. Just me.
Boris: (chuckles, shakes hand) Nice to meet you, Michael! Is new world, yes?
Michael: (sadly) Yes.
—Burn Notice, "Pilot"
"(The) last few years have been very confusing for people in my line of work."
— Greg, the Russian "cultural attaché" from Sneakers
"I can't change sides, you silly old fart! There's no side to change sides to!"
— General Leland Zevo, Toys
Earl Bassett: So how you and Heather doing?
Burt Gummer: Well, she's.. still visiting her sister. You know, she actually blames our problems on the collapse of the Soviet Union!
Earl Bassett: Well, you did take that kinda hard, Burt...
Spudgun: I think she's got a point, actually.
Richie: Well why don't you just go and live in the Soviet Union?
Spudgun: Because it doesn't exist.
Dave Hedgehog: And it's horrible.
Richie: [Floundering] Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes... well, that was my point.
Spudgun: Well, it was a bit of a stupid point then, wasn't it?
“Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”
"Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain."
—Vladimir Putin (attributed) paraphrasing the old adage, "A conservative at 20 has no heart, a liberal at 40 has no brain."
"In June, Jack had his unpleasant meeting with Khrushchev at Vienna. Khrushchev wanted total disarmament, as opposed to Kennedy's meager ban on nuclear testing, so devised that each side could cheat. It seems clear now that the Russians wanted to settle their accounts with us and move from war to peace. But Jack was not about to let twilight turn to peaceful evening if it meant that, in the process, he would be reduced from potential warrior-god to mere Chester A. Arthur."
— Gore Vidal, Palimpsest
"I'm running out of enemies...I'm down to Kim Il-Sung and Castro."
"This is the overriding image of the 1990s. The lurking horror of something that is erased. The other shoe waiting to drop. A peace time borne not out of any victory, lacking any stability, bounded menacingly by a leering trail of zeroes glaring eschatologically in the distance. The nineties are a soap bubble of calm always in the midst of bursting."
"The fall of the Soviet Union caused a lot of problems — such as political and economic disarray, missing nuclear weapons, runaway crime, that sort of thing — but probably the worst thing about it was that moviegoers lost maybe the best bad guy country we'd ever had, aside from Nazi Germany. James Bond used to be a lone man taking on a massive evil empire with just his wits and lovemaking skills. Then one day in the 90s he finds himself fighting newspaper owners."
—Cracked, "6 Groups Who Don't Work As Movie Bad Guys Anymore"
"In truth, we have not thought nearly enough about the end of the cold war, and especially the intellectual vacuum that it left behind. If nothing else, the cold war focused the mind. The ideologies in conflict, whose lineages could be traced back two centuries, offered clear opposing views of political reality. Now that they are gone, one would expect things to be much clearer to us, but just the opposite seems true. Never since the end of World War II, and perhaps since the Russian Revolution, has political thinking in the West been so shallow and clueless. We all sense that ominous changes are taking place in our societies, and in other societies whose destinies will very much shape our own. Yet we lack adequate concepts or even a vocabulary for describing the world we find ourselves in. The connection between words and things has snapped. The end of ideology has not meant the lifting of clouds. It has brought a fog so thick that we can no longer read what is right before us. We find ourselves in an illegible age."
—Mark Lilla, The New Republic