Today we have a rare back-to-back double-quote from the same source. Multiple quotes from one place is something I generally avoid, especially one right after the other, but once in a while I get hit with such a good one-two of quotes that I can’t resist. Interestingly, this and the only previous double-quote – the first and second doubles in the book – both come from Edward Norton movies. Last time it was Red Dragon. Here, it’s 25th Hour.
I don’t remember much about 25th Hour, beyond that it follows Norton’s character (whom IMDb tells me is named Monty), a convicted drug dealer, through the last 24 hours of his life before he goes to jail, and that I enjoyed it. Based on the first quote I gleaned from it, it’s no wonder, as it brings a warm glow to my atheist heart.
Fuck J.C. He got off easy. A day on the cross, a weekend in hell,
and all the hallelujahs of the legioned angels for eternity.
Beyond being an atheist, I’m a full-on anti-theist. I think organized religion is a scourge of modern society, a security blanket it’s well beyond time that we let go of, one that only holds us back from progressing. And this quote neatly encapsulates a lot of the reason why. An immortal being carved off a piece of itself and sent it here to have a bad few days being tortured and murdered, but ultimately resurrected to rejoin its immortal self in the clouds, and this somehow qualifies as both admirable and a sacrifice? Something worthy of worship? Something worth killing over?
Now don’t get me wrong. I fully respect one’s right to religion. I respect one’s right to believe what one wants to believe – with the important caveat that it’s not hurting anyone else – and would be at the front of the fight for that right should anyone ever try to take it away. What you do in your own head is your business and nobody else’s.
But respect religion itself? No fucking way.
The second quote from 25th Hour isn’t near so fraught. On his last night out with friends, Monty offers this toast.
Champagne for my real friends. And real pain for my sham friends.
I like toasts, plus I’m a sucker for a clever play on words, so I felt almost an obligation to break my admittedly pretty bendy rule about multiple quotes and put it in the book. This was as much so I’d remember it for possible future use, as anything else.
I’m still waiting to use it – in reality, the first 25th Hour quote is way more my style and something I actually say in conversation – but I’m hopeful.
To see previous posts in my Quotes series, click here.