The Centre for Justice Innovation, our London outpost, is readying a new paper that looks at Intensive Alternatives to Custody, a pilot probation program that, against the odds, has managed to survive despite the withdrawal of central government funding. In reviewing an early draft of the paper (which is great, by the way), one of my critiques was that it needed more quotations. As a reader, I am a sucker for a good quote. I like to think that one of the things that distinguishes our writing at the Center for Court Innovation from some other agencies is that we use quotations almost as much as a good newspaper does.
Anyway, here are three (non-criminal-justice) quotes I came across recently that struck a chord with me:
Iggy Pop in the New York Times: "I couldn't stand the sincere punks. I never believed them. Still don't. Like the Clash were going to make the world politically correct for everybody's benefit -- but only if you kept buying Clash records. I never really went for the righteousness."
(These lines sent a little shudder through me. The Clash have long been my favorite band, but as I grow older, I am beginning to agree with Iggy's assessment.)
DJ Premier on Rakim: "I like when you look and sound like the record. Before we even knew what Rakim looked like, we didn't know what Eric B. looked like, when we saw them, we were like, they looked just like the record...[Rakim] looked like what we were hoping he was going to look like."
(I think Premier hits on an underrated part of Rakim's reputation here: for all the justified accolades his lyrics earn, his appearance has always been a big part of his appeal.)
Josh Levin of Slate on LeBron James: "His horrible self-presentation during and immediately after his move from Cleveland to South Beach meant that any on-court failings would be seen as personal ones, consequences of ego and selfishness rather than of poor form on his jump shot. This conflation of game and life—the notion that good players are good, self-actualized people—is the sports media’s laziest, most-infantilizing habit."
(I couldn't agree more. Levin goes on to write: "The struggles of great players do not always have a deeper meaning...struggles with a game aren't indicative of struggles with personal demons...even the greatest players can be stymied in their efforts to win the NBA Finals.")