When we are young we generally estimate an opinion by the size of the person that holds it, but later we find that is an uncertain rule, for we realize that there are times when a hornet’s opinion disturbs us more than an emperor’s.- “An Undelivered Speech”, 3/25/1895, Mark Twain.
Jack Abramoff: You know, I do a shitload of reading and studying and praying, and I’ve come to a few conclusions I want to share. People look at politicians and celebrities on the TV and the newspapers, glossy magazines – what do they see? “I’m just like them.” That’s what they say. “I’m special. I’m different. I could be any one of them.” Well guess what, you can’t. You know why? Cause in reality, mediocrity is where most people live. Mediocrity is the elephant in the room. It’s ubiquitous. Mediocrity in your schools. It’s in your dreams. It’s in your family. And those of us who know this – those of us who understand the disease of the dull – we do something about it. We do more because we have to. The deck was always stacked against us. You’re either a big leaguer, or you’re a slave clawing your way onto the “C” train. Some people say Jack Abramoff moves too fast. Jack Abramoff cuts corners. Well, I say to them, if that’s the difference between me and my family having the good life and walkin’ and using the subway every day, then so be it. I will not allow my family to be slaves. I will not allow the world I touch to be vanilla. You say I’m selfish? Fuck you! I give back. I give back plenty. You say I – I got a big ego? Fuck you twice! I’m humbly grateful for the wonderful gift that I’ve received here in America the greatest country on this planet. I’m Jack Abramoff. And oh, yeah, I work out every day.
He who cannot forgive others destroys the bridge over which he himself must pass.George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) was a Welsh-born English poet, orator and Anglicanpriest. Herbert’s poetry is associated with the writings of the metaphysical poets, and he is recognized as “a pivotal figure: enormously popular, deeply and broadly influential, and arguably the most skillful and important British devotional lyricist.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.Frederick Douglass (February 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an African-American social reformer, orator, writer, and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He stood as a living counter-example to slaveholders’ arguments that slaves lacked the intellectual capacity to function as independent American citizens. Many Northerners also found it hard to believe that such a great orator had been a slave.
Various sites about his life including this one from the History Channel.
Lonely Are the Brave: Jack W. Burns (Kirk Douglas) is a cowboy who is ill at ease with the modern world of the early Sixties. He rolls his own smokes and cuts through fences when they are in his path. He carries no ID, not even the requisite draft card. He is on a collision course with the world around him. When he learns that his best friend has been jailed for helping illegal aliens he gets himself arrested so he can break his friend out. When his friend refuses to become a fugitive Burns breaks out on his own and sets off a manhunt. Pursued by mild-mannered Sherrif Johnson (Walter Matthau).
A bit of a love story, end of an era story, man against society story, a good fight scene, a prison escape.
Jack Burns: I didn’t want a house. I didn’t want all those pots and pans. I didn’t want anything but you. It’s God’s own blessing I didn’t get you.
Jack Burns: ‘Cause I’m a loner clear down deep to my guts. Know what a loner is? He’s a born cripple. He’s a cripple because the only person he can live with is himself. It’s his life, the way he wants to live. It’s all for him. A guy like that, he’d kill a woman like you. Because he couldn’t love you, not the way you are loved.
Michael Douglas believes this is one of his father’s best movies and Steven Spielberg states in the commentary track that this is one of his favorite films.
The full film, the speech is at 51:44.
Of course his Kirk Doublas is probably most famous for: