Kathleen Conklin and Edie are discussing the concept of war criminals.
Kathleen Conklin (Lili Taylor) It was the whole country. They were all guilty. How can you single out one man?
Jean (Edie Falco) Well, you can’t jail a whole country, you know. They needed a scapegoat. He was the unlucky one who got caught.
Kathleen Conklin No, I don’t think luck had anything to do with it. I mean, how did he get over there? Who put the gun in his hand? They say that he was guilty of killing women and babies. How many bombs were dropped that did the exact same thing? How many homes were destroyed? And who’s in, who’s in jail for that?
Kathleen Conklin The old adage from Santayana, that those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, is a lie. There is no history. Everything we are is eternally with us.
Kathleen Conklin Dependency is a marvelous thing. It does more for the soul than any formulation of doctoral material.
Kathleen Conklin describing a library Oh, the stench here is worse than a charnel house. This is a graveyard. Rows of crumbling tombstones. Vicious libelous epitaphs. And we’re all drawn here like flies.
Kathleen Conklin What’s your major?
Anthropology Student (Kathryn Erbe) Anthropology.
Kathleen Conklin Do you like it?
Anthropology Student What else is there? Man is the measure of all things–Protagoras–right? What are you studying?
Kathleen Conklin Adversity’s sweet milk: philosophy.
Anthropology Student Look what you’ve done to me! How could you do this? Doesn’t this affect you at all?
Kathleen Conklin No. It was your decision. Your friend Feuerbach wrote that all men counting stars are equivalent in every way to God. My indifference is not the concern here. It’s your astonishment that needs studying.
Kathleen Conklin You think hell shuts down after a couple of years? You think what you’ve done isn’t, isn’t floating around somewhere in space? What makes you think you’ve been forgiven for lying to your mother as a child, huh? Or of having slept with married men in adultery or paying taxes that turn Central America into a mud puddle, huh?
Kathleen Conklin You know, this obtuseness, it’s disheartening, especially in a doctoral candidate. You ought to know better.
Jean You’re hurting me.
Kathleen Conklin Are you kidding me? I’ll crush you like cardboard.
Peina (Christopher Walken) You know how long I’ve been fasting? Forty years. The last time I shot up, I had a dozen and a half in one night. They fall like flies before the hungry, don’t they? You can never get enough, can you? But you learn to control it. You learn, like the Tibetans, to survive on a little.
Peina The entire world’s a graveyard, and we, the birds of prey picking at the bones. That’s all we are. We’re the ones who let the dying know the hour has come.
Peina I’m not like you. You’re nothing. That’s something you ought not to forget. You’re not a person. You’re nothing.
Peina You can’t kill what’s dead. Eternity’s a long time. Get used to it.
Kathleen Conklin What’s gonna happen to me?
Peina Read the books. Sartre, Beckett. Who do you think they’re talking about? You think they’re works of fiction?
Kathleen Conklin There’s a difference between jumping and being pushed.
Kathleen Conklin Essence is revealed through praxis. The philosopher’s words, his ideas, his actions, cannot be separated from his value, his meaning. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Our impact on other egos.
Kathleen Conklin We drink to escape the fact we’re alcoholics. Existence is the search for relief from our habit, and our habit is the only relief we can find.
Casanova (Annabella Sciorra) We’re not evil because of the evil we do, but we do evil because we are evil. Yeah. Now what choices do such people have? It’s not like we have any options.