Stop thinking about writing as art. Think of it as work. If you’re an artist, whatever you do is going to be art. If you’re not an artist, at least you can do a good day’s work.
Television is not the truth! Television is a goddamned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a travelling troupe of acrobats and story-tellers, singers and dancers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion-tamers and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business!
The worst kind of censorship is the kind that takes place in your own mind before you sit down to a typewriter.
We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business…There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.
The best thing that can happen is for the theme to be nice and clear from the beginning.
Americans don’t want drama, especially good drama, they just want their boredom killed.
Television is democracy at its ugliest.
Artists don’t talk about art. Artists talk about work. If I have anything to say to young writers, it’s stop thinking of writing as art. Think of it as work.
I’m not a great writer. I’m a great rewriter.
I’m a human being, god-dammit. My life has value!
It’s not greed and ambition that makes wars–it’s goodness. Wars are always fought for the best of reasons, for liberation or manifest destiny, always against tyranny and always in the best interests of humanity. So far this war, we’ve managed to butcher some 10,000,000 people in the interest of humanity. The next war, it seems we’ll have to destroy all of man in order to preserve his damn dignity.
All my brothers, my brothers-in-law, they’re always telling me what a good-hearted guy I am. You don’t get to be good-hearted by accident. You get kicked around long enough, you get to be a real professor of pain.
God save us from people who do the morally right thing. It’s always the rest of us who get broken in half.
I don’t know what’s good, or bad, or true. I let God worry about truth. I just want to know the momentary fact of things. Life isn’t good, or bad, or true. It’s merely factual. It’s sensual. It’s alive!
Don’t think of it as art, think of it as work.
It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic, and sub-atomic, and galactic structure of things today. And you have meddled with the primal forces of nature! And you will atone! Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?
I’m afraid to look in the mirror. I’m afraid I’m going to see an old lady with white hair, just like the old ladies in the park. Alittle bundle in a black shawl just waiting for the coffin.
You British plundered half the world for your own profit. Let’s not pass it off as the Age of Enlightenment.
Television is the menace that everyone loves to hate but can’t seem to live without.
I’m not sentimental about war. I see nothing noble in widows.
We’ve established the most enormous medical entity ever conceived… and people are sicker than ever. We cure nothing! We heal nothing!
You don’t send a man to his death because you want a hero.
This was the story of Howard Beale: The first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.
Television will do anything for a rating… anything!
You’re not such a dog as you think you are.