We here at Brevity felt that we would be doing our readers a disservice by not addressing Black History Month with the next fictional speaker. Unfortunately, Florence from The Jeffersons (or a list of her quotes) was unavailable, so we went with our second choice: Detective Alonzo Harris from Training Day.
It's a strange selection, but we were always impressed that Denzel Washington won his second Oscar for playing a villain, rather than a noble hero or wronged man. Sure, he's Denzel Washington, but there's something remarkably progressive about deeming this role Oscar-worthy. Generally, leading men don't win Oscars for playing murderers; in recent years, only Anthony Hopkins (as Hannibal Lecter) and Jeremy Irons (as Claus von Bulow) come to mind.
Detective Alonzo Harris on introductions: Today's a training day. Show you around, give you a taste of the business. I got 38 cases pending trial, 63 in active investigations, another 250 on the log I can't clear. I supervise five officers. That's five different personalities. Five sets of problems. You can be number six if you act now. But I ain't holding no hands, okay? I ain't baby-sitting. You got today and today only to show me who and what you're made of.
On carpooling: You gotta see the streets. You gotta feel it. You gotta smell it, you gotta taste the streets. How's your Español?
On business school: Unlearn that bulls--- they teach you at the Academy. That s---'ll get you killed out here.
On sexual harassment: You move those hands again, I'll slap the taste out of your mouth. Put your hands over there. Right there.
On office monitoring: I know you ain't no snitch. Gimme a name.
On inflated resumes: Ooh, you lied to me, you lied to me. Lucky I don't make you eat that, dawg.
On cooperation: You're not making them feel like you're part of the team.
On modern cinema: King Kong ain't got s--- on me!
On office scandals: It's ugly, but it's necessary. Sometimes you gotta have a little dirt on you for anybody to trust you.
On professionalism: Why is he my friend? Because he knows my first name?
On ethics: Don't worry about it. You'll get a medal.
On surveillance: I got eyes everywhere.
On the secretarial pool: Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. Look at that. Sexy, ain't it?
On job security: Yeah, I know you got secrets. Everybody got secrets.
On personal responsibility: You made the decision. Live with your decision. Ain't like I put a gun to your head.
On burying the competition: You got the picks and shovels?
On inside information: Yeah. I talked to the three wise men today. Everything's all good.
On overtime: Let's hurry up and do this so we can all go home and do the wife or the girlfriend thing.
On mediation: What's wrong with street justice?
On creative accounting: It's not what you know, it's what you can prove.
On volunteer work: Believe it or not, I do try to do some good in the community.
On break room conversation: This is a newspaper. It's 90 percent bulls---, but it's entertaining. That's why I read it, because it entertains me. You won't let me read it, so you entertain me with your bulls---. Tell me a story, right now.
On retirement: I ain't dead yet.