The Best of Notable Quotables; December 19, 1994

Vol. Seven; No. 26

Politics of Meaninglessness Award (for the Silliest Analysis)

“The first time I shot somebody, it felt, God, it felt great. I mean, years later, I read this like, magazine, and it likened the feeling to ejaculation, or orgasm, and I thought about it, and it really was....When John Wayne shoots somebody, he rides off into the sunset. Why can’t I, you know? Young people don’t make the logical connections that adults assume they make about those kinds of things. That’s why you’ve got to get rid of the guns.” 

–Criminal-turned- Washington Post reporter Nathan McCall in profile on ABC’s 20/20, February 18.


“One standard conservative argument against antipoverty policies is their cost: taxes burden the affluent and thus, by lowering work incentive, reduce economic output. But if one goal of the policy is to bolster monogamy, then making the affluent less so would help. Monogamy is threatened not just by poverty in an absolute sense but also by the relative wealth of the rich. This is what lures a young woman to a wealthy married or formerly married man. It is also what makes the man who attracts her feel too good for just one wife. As for the economic consequences, the costs of soaking the rich might well be outweighed by the benefits, financial and otherwise, of more stable marriages, fewer divorces, fewer abused children and less loneliness and depression.”

– From August 15 Time cover story on infidelity, by New Republic Senior Editor Robert Wright.

“Programs designed to aid inner city youths...are not pork....’Pork!’ scream the demagogues. ‘Give us the death penalty!’ The next time you or a loved one find yourself trapped in the nightmare of a violent crime, ask yourself if it wouldn’t have been better for the ‘perp’ to have been off playing basketball somewhere. You may find yourself suddenly in favor of even an imperfect attempt at prevention.”

New York Times columnist and former NBC News reporter Bob Herbert, August 17 column.