Andrew Vachss quotes and sayings
October 19, 1942
If I ever stopped being angry, I couldn't write anymore. How could I?
I think people should be consumers of journalism.
Anyone who says, 'Books don't change anything,' or - more commonly - that crime fiction is the wrong genre for promoting social change - should take a closer look.
Building a mechanical device for its appearance is like putting lace on a bowling ball.
I don't sign contracts for my books.
The Humane Society of America thinks Michael Vick should have a dog. I think whoever's in charge there should have a lobotomy.
Fighting means you could lose. Bullying means you can't. A bully wants to beat somebody; he doesn't want to fight somebody.
The more bullets flying, the less accurate each individual slug has to be.
Children know the truth: love is not an emotion, love is behavior.
Cats are the lap-dancers of the animal world. Soon as you stop shelling out, they move on, find another lap. They're furry little sociopaths. Pretty and slick -- in love with themselves. When's the last time you saw a seeing-eye cat?
Journalism is what maintains democracy. It's the force for progressive social change.
I didn't start out angry. I started out a young man wanting adventure.
Be he the first to stand or the last, a man must stand," the father had told his adoring son. "And if there is only one man, then that man must stand alone." ~Thomas to Bruce Wayne.
A moral society will not set standards for becoming a parent, but it will establish irreducible minimums for maintaining that sacred status.
The idea that you're not a writer until you're published is a lie.
Crime takes the pulse of a culture. It tells us the truth about us as a species.
Information is the hardest currency.
I did criminal defense work part-time, and that paid the bills for representing abused and neglected children... and for defending in juvenile court those kids the 'child protective system' had missed when it had the chance.
Without question, I've either got to be a writer, or I fail.
My stuff isn't for everyone.
Camouflage doesn't help when the other guy is willing to defoliate the whole jungle.
Ask any experienced defense lawyer: the real risks are for an accused person who is innocent. A guilty defendant has many more options available.
We don't protect our young, and we tolerate predators of our own species.
From the very second that two people sat together around a fire in the forest, there was another human out there who felt better in the dark.
Roots are nice, but a tree can't run.
If love would die along with death, this life wouldn't be so hard.
Chronic sexual predators to Vachss, pedophiles have crossed an osmotic membrane. They can't step back to the other side - our side. And they don't want to. If we don't kill them or release them, we have but one choice. Call them monsters and isolate them.... I've spoken to many predators over the years. They always exhibit amazement that we do not hunt them. And that when we capture them, we eventually let them go. Our attitude is a deliberate interference with Darwinism - an endangerment of our species.
A trial is not a search for truth. It is a contest and, often, one that produces no winners.
Courier 12 is the Type-O blood of fonts - works just as good for a 'N.Y. Times' op-ed as a screenplay or a short story.
I hate bullies. I hate them. I'm not good enough with words to describe how much I hate them.
Victimizers of children are the enemies of any so-called society.
A free press doesn't mean it's not a tame press.
Fear is an enemy that can be killed only at close range. The closest range of all is intimacy. The deeper the fear is embedded in one's spirit, the more vulnerable it is.
Ours is a country where anything can be accomplished if enough people get angry... because, in America, we act on our collective anger.
People are pushing against the fabric of society all the time.
Even if sheep could talk, they'd never ask questions.
Most investigators don't even know what the word means. You stop the cops from using informants and the only crimes they'd ever solve would be those by deranged postal workers who come to work once too often.
The third person narrator, instead of being omniscient, is like a constantly running surveillance tape.
It isn't much use writing slogans on a wall if you plan to total the building.
I'm in pursuit of what cannot be achieved: perfection.
When you hunt predators, the best camouflage is weakness.
No politician is threatened by the child protective constituency, because it does not exist.
A kid in an abusive home has far fewer rights than any POW. There is no Geneva Convention for kids.
All children are born pure egoists. They perceive their needs to the exclusion of all others. Only through socialization do they learn that some forms of gratification must be deferred and others denied.
I write everything in Courier 12 because I write for publication, not pleasure.
Evil is a matter of choice. Those people who have been victimized and refuse to imitate their oppressors are in my mind the greatest heroes we have.
Two rules: You enter without breaking. And you remember that nobody misses what you don't take.
It's the family you choose that counts.
There is no Constitutional right to prey on others. The Internet is just a piece of technology, like the telephone. Society has the right to modify its uses.
I want to disabuse people of the idea that knowledge is power. Knowing how to get to Detroit is not the same thing as having the bus fare.
I don't even use italics or boldface; that's clutter, not clarity. Fancy fonts are fine for blogs, just as calligraphy is fine for diaries. But when you're writing for anyone other than yourself, you want to get as universal as possible.
I don't understand people whose gratification is a BMW. You don't know what joy is until you see a kid who was tortured get adopted by a family.
He said when the Lord made people He made them all the same for starters. But life marks people. If you know the way, you can read them like maps.
I believe my publisher has shown a great deal of faith in me over a lot of years but I'm not prepared to be so arrogant to say that the long-term literary value of my work would compensate them for a financial failure.
Journalism is the protection between people and any sort of totalitarian rule. That's why my hero, admittedly a flawed one, is a journalist.
If a train is coming at you, closing your eyes won't save you ... but if you look right at it, you at least have a chance to jump.
A dog is like a personhe needs a job and a family to be what he's meant to be.
Henry David Thoreau
C. S. Lewis
J. K. Rowling
George R. R. Martin
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rita Mae Brown
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
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