Quote: “It’s not what you say, it’s the way you say it!”
If I had a shiny new pound coin for every time I’d heard that, I’d be a rich, rich man. Trouble is, it’s not exactly accurate is it? Great dialogue transcends the performance from whence it came and has the ability to infiltrate popular culture and consciousness.
From the endlessly quotable to the words you wish you’d said yourself, each week will feature an iconic iteration. So in the words of Reservoir Dogs’ Joe Cabot…”Let’s go to work!”
When the sequel to Trainspotting was announced the reaction was, as usual, a concoction of nostalgic excitement and trepidation. This was never more noticeable in T2 Trainspotting than when Veronika starts grilling Renton on what ‘Choose life’ used to mean. Fearing a rehash of arguably the most memorable monologue of the 1990s, what we instead got was something much more painful: a mirror held up to our modern way of living.
“‘Choose life’ was a well meaning slogan from a 1980’s anti-drug campaign and we used to add things to it, so I might say for example, choose… designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian Firetrap.
Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you’ve never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don’t look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wank ’til your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten things you never knew about celebrities who’ve had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion. Choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn and an endless tide of depressing misogyny.
Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two-hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it’s better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s fucking kitchen.
Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you’d done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love, then as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone and there’ll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead.
Choose your future, Veronika. Choose life.”
Which quote makes you question…well…everything? Again. Let us know in the comments below.