Favorite passages from Going Postal

Last Monday, I published a post containing photos of many of my favorite quotes from Terry Pratchett's The Truth and Jingo.  In it, I said that I was reading Going Postal at the time, and images would be coming when I finished. Going Postal (2004) is about the revival of the Ankh-Morpork post office, which has been closed for years, under the management of convicted con man Moist Von Lipwig.  Its major themes include virtue, one's role in civilization, freedom of choice, and government institutions versus the free market.

Initially, I had over 30 photos.  Some were re-takes of bad shots, but most were quotes I liked, but decided didn't really capture the philosophical cores that I wanted to post.  Some would require too much explaining.  Some were way too much more joke than substance.  Some, the photos just weren't very good.

So I've narrowed it down to just six.

Warning: these post feature vague or thematic spoilers for "Going Postal" by Terry Pratchett.

"Let us consider a situation in which some keen and highly inventive men devise a remarkable system of communication," he said.  "What they have is a kind of passionate ingenuity, in large amounts.  What they don't have is money.  They are not used to money.  So they meet some . . . people, who introduce them to other people, who for, oh, a forty-percent stake in the enterprise give them the much-needed cash and, very important, much fatherly advice and an introduction to a really good firm of accountants.  And so they proceed, and soon money is coming in and money is going out but somehow, they learn, they're not quite as financially stable as they thin, and really do need more money.  Well, this is all fine, because it's clear to all that the basic enterprise is going to be a money tree one day, and does it matter if they sign over another fifteen percent?  It's just money.  It's not important the way shutter mechanisms are, is it?  And then they find out that yes, it is.  It is everything.

"Oh, that's just Thud!  That's easy!"  yapped a voice. Both men turned to look at Horsefry, who had been made perky by sheer relief. "I used to play it when I was a kid," he burbled.  "It's boring.  The dwarfs always win!" Gilt and Vetinari shared a look.  It said: While I loathe you and every aspect of your personal philosophy to a depth unplummable by any line, I'll credit you at least with not being Crispin Horsefry.

["]I have never so much as drawn a sword!" "No, You Have Not.  But You Have Stolen, Embezzled, Defrauded, And Swindled Without Discrimination, Mr. Lipvig.  You Have Ruined Businesses And Destroyed Jobs.  When Banks Fail, It Is Seldom Bankers Who Starve.  Your Actions Have Taken Money From Those Who Had Little Enough To Begin With. In A Myriad Small Ways You Have Hastened The Deaths Of Many.  You Did Not Know Them.  You Did Not See Them Bleed.  But You Snatched Bread From Their Mouths And Tore Clothes From Their Backs.  For Sport, Mr. Lipvig.   For Sport.  For The Joy Of The Game.""In my experience, Miss Cripslock tends to write down exactly what one says," Vetinari observed.  "It's a terrible thing when journalists do that.  It spoils the fun.  One feels instinctively that it's cheating, somehow.["]

Moist recognized that hope.  It was how he'd made his living.  You knew that the man running the Find the Lady game was going to win, you knew people in distress didn't sell diamond rings for a fraction of their value, you knew that life generally handed you the sticky end of the stick, and you knew that the gods didn't pick some everyday undeserving tit out of the population and hand them a fortune. Except that, this time, you might be wrong, right?  It might just happen, yes? And this was known as that greatest of treasures, which is Hope.  It was a good way of getting poorer really very quickly, and staying poor.  It could be you.  But it wouldn't be.

Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known.

I also made a fancy version of number 3 -- when it came up in the TV miniseries "Terry Pratchett's Going Postal" (available on Netflix) Caitlin pointed out that it would make a great poster.  I think it would also work on a T-shirt.