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Brad Parks quotes Showing 1-21 of 21

“I always found strange comfort that the American propensity for mixing alcohol and firearms cut across racial, socioeconomic, and cultural divides, from rural redneck to ghetto gangbanger to skeet-shooting blue blood.”
Brad Parks
“I'm not saying it's simple to find and tell the truth. It takes a great deal of hard work, intellectual honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to keep listening to people even when your gut is telling you they're full of it. Then it involves drilling through the layers of one's cultural assumptions and prejudgments, all the way down to the mushy middle of all of us, where I believe there's a basic humanity that tells us what's right and what's wrong. If we as writers apply that code - without the anchors of agenda or ideology - we can lift our prose to something that can be called the truth. It's the very best of what journalism can and should be.”
Brad Parks, Eyes of the Innocent
“My entrance into the courtyard caused a small stir among the lookouts. I could tell because in the middle of February, in the dark of night, Baxter Terrace suddenly sounded like an Audubon Society refuge - birdcalls being the latest in urban drug - selling counterintelligence...

Birdcalls allowed much more information to be imparted to other members of the operation, without the visitor being aware of what was being communicated. So while a crow's harsh cry could harken the arrival of a member of the city narcotics unit - a significant threat - the sweet song of a chickadee might signal an officer who was merely escorting a social worker to an appointment allowing business to continue in guarded fashion. Someone like me, a stranger on unknown business, might warrant a whipporwill's call.

Where exactly a city kid learned what a whipporwill sounded like, I have no idea. But these kids were nothing if not resourceful. It makes you wonder what they could have accomplished under different circumstances.”
Brad Parks, Eyes of the Innocent
“…through the years, I had come to realize a simple fact of reporting: if you approach people with respect, listen hard, and genuinely try to understand their point of view, they will talk to you, no matter how different your background is.”
Brad Parks, Faces of the Gone
“In some ways, no one is tougher on one another than sisters. Like parents, they're hyperaware of another's past foibles and faults; but, without the infinite parental capacity for love and forgiveness, they judge one another far more harshly for them.
I swear there are times when they really might kill one another. Until, of course, one of them is in trouble or threatened by an outside agent, in which case they band together into an unbreakable front.
Internally fractured yet externally united. The world over, it's the very definition of sisterhood.”
Brad Parks, Say Nothing
“Some people describe their cats as curious or playful or affectionate. Mine is best described as dormant.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“In the end, I just engaged in a staring contest with the wall. The wall kept winning, but I felt like I was gaining on it.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“No way you can get stuck. Your head is much smaller. Look at this big coconut of mine. It's practically Jupiter. Yours is more like, I don't know, Mercury or something."

"That doesn't mean I'm going along with an idea that you're pulling out of Uranus."

We both stopped to snicker. Hard to resist a Uranus joke.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“What the hell happened to you?" she demanded. "What took so long?"

"My car got towed."

"Okay, but why did you swim here?"

"I walked. It just happens to be a hundred and fifty-seven degrees outside.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“It's one thing to be threatened. It's quite another thing to be threatened in grammatically incorrect fashion. I felt like some basic right as a literate American had been violated.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“People who were enmeshed in that world called it, simply, “the system.” And it was really the perfect term for something so cold, complex, and ultimately impersonal. Once you were in it, you lost some part of your humanity. Your family became a file to be passed around from one harried, underpaid, overworked civil servant to another.”
Brad Parks, Closer Than You Know
“[Federal prisons] are dreadful institutions whose procedures are designed to dehumanize the people they contain. And when you look at our rates of incarceration - roughly seven times higher than those of our peer nations, higher even then the Soviet Union under Stalin - you can't help but feel there is something wrong with a society that feels the need to lock so many of its citizens in cages.”
Brad Parks, Say Nothing
“Security was a myth, a grand lie we told ourselves to mask the jarring reality of the human condition: that the social contract was written in sand, not stone, and it could be blown away at any time, by anyone with sufficient breath his lungs.”
Brad Parks, Say Nothing
“What's up?"
"You tell me; you're the one calling.”
Brad Parks, Faces of the Gone
“I’m not saying it’s simple to find and tell the truth. It takes a great deal of hard work, intellectual honesty, open-mindedness, and a willingness to keep listening to people even when your gut is telling you they’re full of it. Then it involves drilling through the layers of one’s cultural assumptions and prejudgments, all the way down to the mushy middle of all of us, where I believe there’s a basic humanity that tells us what’s right and what’s wrong. If we as writers apply that code—without the anchors of agenda or ideology—we can lift our prose to something that can be called the truth. It’s the very best of what journalism can and should be.”
Brad Parks, Eyes of the Innocent
“For all the politically correct halfwits who defined “diversity” in terms of skin color or ethnicity—things that might just be window dressing, depending on the individual—the real value in diversity is having people around who think differently from you, friends who can tell you when your logical is someone else’s crazy.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“I was about to answer when I was interrupted by the sound of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony coming from my pocket. “That’s my editor,” I said. “Like the ringtone?” “Remind me to download you some LL Cool J.” “That’s, what, a drink or something?” Tee just shook his head and muttered, “White people.”
Brad Parks, Eyes of the Innocent
“We all eventually figure out that life is a gift, not a guarantee, and that there’s only one way it ends.”
Brad Parks, Say Nothing
“All the wrinkles of their days on this planet have been smoothed away and turned into one seamless narrative. All their trials and struggles have taken on the aura of parable. All their successes have been magnified, while their failures have been forgotten. And by the time they “passed on”—or “made their transition,” or “entered into eternal rest,” or any of those other wonderful euphemisms for the Long Dirt Nap—they seemed to have achieved some kind of understanding of why they walked this planet in the first place.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door
“The human brain is hardwired with a fervent desire to make sense of the world, to create connections between events whether they exist or not. From a rationalist’s standpoint, it’s something of a design flaw. It’s what led ancient people to believe if they danced a certain way, the rain would fall. It’s what led modern people to believe vaccines caused autism.”
Brad Parks, Closer Than You Know
“one sign of a well-led life is that you have great stories to tell when it’s over.”
Brad Parks, The Girl Next Door


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