Subversive Quotes

We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Subversive Quotes from Justin Simien, Johnny Flynn, Tahar Rahim, Tavi Gevinson, Amy Tan. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.

Racism is over in the 'Star Trek' future, but they foun

Racism is over in the ‘Star Trek’ future, but they found a way to comment on sexism and racism in the present day in such a subversive and smart way, you know?
Justin Simien
My dad was an actor, and he made it all seem quite magical. It felt like a slightly subversive thing, telling stories, when all of my other friends’ parents were builders or bank clerks. It’s always seemed quite magical to me.
Johnny Flynn
What is art? Art talks about life; it’s subversive.
Tahar Rahim
What feels most productive to me isn’t to think so much in terms of how I can be alternative, but how I can be subversive in a way that feels organic, how I can connect with people, and how I can just be myself, which may be the hardest thing to be.
Tavi Gevinson
Chinese artists have been subversive over thousands of years, taking what they think of the government and embedding it in their art. There might be censorship of not going as far as they might.
Amy Tan
I think the best pop is always subversive in its nature.
James Righton
Granted, there are times when, for business reasons, you do something that’s more mainstream. But even then, I try to find something that has a dark or subversive aspect.
Ryan Phillippe
Producers are men who will keep their heads in the noisy presence of writers and directors and not be carried away by art in any of its subversive guises. Their task is to guard against the unusual. They are the trusted loyalists of cliche.
Ben Hecht
I wish that there were more games having the courage to talk about more subversive topics. Talking about politics, sexuality, human relationships.
David Cage
I do not believe that the hungry man should be treated as subversive for expressing his suffering.
Óscar Arias
She doesn’t do the things heroines are supposed to. Which is rather Jane Austen’s point – Fanny is her subversive heroine. She is gentle and self-doubting and utterly feminine; and given the right circumstances, she would defy an army.
Susanna Clarke
I’ve never been a popular person, but it doesn’t matter. I have everything in my life that I want. I’m not a walking publicity stunt. I’m not an anarchist, or bitter. I’m not trying to be subversive. I just try to remain unguarded, unprotected by fear, and agents and publicists, and I feel comfortable that way.
Vincent Gallo
I don’t want to speak for my movies; you could say my movies are just completely silly and dumb, but in the case of ‘Idiocracy’ and ‘Borat,’ without a doubt there is a really subversive and sophisticated assault on American culture.
Adam McKay
The reason people get afraid of writing real, honest journalism and fiction, and the reason corrupted people and demagogues are afraid of journalism and fiction and poetry across the world, is because it is a subversive form.
Nathan Englander
Frankly, I think that’s something that black people in America have often done – finding ways under very, very difficult circumstances to be subversive, but also to push things forward. And I think that applies to music. I think it applies to dance. I think it applies to a number of things.
Andre Holland
I like films that just put you in someone’s world. It can be very subversive. Hitchcock would put you in the mind of a psychopath, and you’d care about them.
Richard Linklater
My husband and I like to reminisce about how, when we were 9, we read straight through L. Frank Baum’s ‘Oz’ series, books filled with wizards and witches. And you know what those subversive tales taught us? That we loved to read!
Judy Blume
If I wanted to make a subversive record, it would be horrifying and insane.
The function of literature, through all its mutations, has been to make us aware of the particularity of selves, and the high authority of the self in its quarrel with its society and its culture. Literature is in that sense subversive.
Lionel Trilling
I have more respect for somebody who points at his ideal – in this case, the ideal of the pirate – and then becomes something that’s more radical, more exciting, more subversive than a pirate could ever be.
Will Oldham
I’m very drawn to subversive comedy like Alexander Payne and Jason Reitman. But at the end of the day, if you want to do great work, you have to pay your dues.
Kelly Rohrbach
The thing that makes a great genre movie is one that’s not just entertainment, not just horror or sci-fi or whatever. The ones I love are the genre pictures with some subversive message underlying it all.
Ethan Hawke
Communists love to make films about composers because composers compose music and don’t talk subversive things.
Milos Forman
When I was a kid, pre-1994 was still apartheid, so we didn’t get a lot the subversive music from the States or from the U.K. A lot of the music we would get was the poppiest pop music, so I’ve never really had a bad association it.
St. Lucia
I’m drawn to subversive material and material that speaks to communities and people who tend to be marginalized, and telling those stories in ways that subvert expectations. That’s always been fun for me to play and always been fun for me to write.
Natasha Rothwell
When a good idea sparks, it’s usually because of some subversive angle that means the song we’re writing will be fresh.
Robert Lopez
Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity.
Leonard Cohen
I enjoy working in a quiet and subversive way.
Andy Goldsworthy
Those of us who live in Mumbai or Delhi have notions about what women who live in Bhopal, or smaller towns, are like; and that perception is wrong. Some people are scared by how complex and subversive these women’s lives can be.
Konkona Sen Sharma
I knew from reading about Sarah Grimke that she’d been given a handmaid to be her personal slave and that her name was Hetty. The only other fact I knew about her was that Sarah taught her to read: They conspired in a very subversive way, by locking the door and screening the keyhole.
Sue Monk Kidd
Even things like Abba – I think it’s always got a dark, subversive element to it. You’ve got these four blonde Swedish people singing about their relationships breaking up while they’re all going out with each other.
James Righton
The new always carries with it the sense of violation, of sacrilege. What is dead is sacred; what is new, that is different, is evil, dangerous, or subversive.
Henry Miller
My house was bugged. They couldn’t find any information on me being a subversive because I happen to love America; I just don’t like some of the things the government is doing.
Eartha Kitt
In the early ’60s, it was still a fairly subversive thing, though, to say that you should take a painting, cut it, set it on fire, step on it, hammer nails into it.
Elvis Mitchell
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie… a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
George Orwell
I loved practical jokes. I loved being goofy on the playground, and I loved doing silly cartoons, but I was not this subversive little delinquent. I am an Eagle Scout, after all.
Steve Breen
It’s kind of a subversive act to tell a story of a woman past a certain age, to develop a four-hour movie based on a marriage and a story of two people past middle age.
Frances McDormand
Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free.
Bertrand Russell
Sometimes people get mad at The Simpsons’ subversive story telling, but there’s another message in there, which is a celebration of making wild, funny stories.
Matt Groening
Fidel Castro’s most scandalous show trial was not mounted against a political figure but against a writer: Heberto Padilla. In 1971, after 38 days of detention, Mr. Padilla was forced to ‘confess’ at the Cuban writers’ union to the charges of ‘subversive activities.’
Alvaro Enrigue
The Internet carries the flag of being subversive and possibly rebellious and chaotic, nihilistic.
David Bowie
Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.
Henry Steele Commager
I was very excited to do ‘The Witches.’ It was with one of my favorite directors, Nick Roeg, and I loved his work from ‘Don’t Look Now’ and ‘Eureka.’ So I was very excited to work with him. The story was a very subversive fairy tale by Roald Dahl, and a fantastic part.
Anjelica Huston
I was a mimic when I was a child. I mimicked the teacher and made friends that way, actually. That was a very subversive activity, because I was a goody-goody who never got in trouble. But if I went off in the corner and mimicked the teacher, people loved it.
Anna Deavere Smith
My early novels were written in quite a dark place. I stand by them, but I would never write them again. I think it is subversive to embrace emotional optimism, because it goes against the grain.
Matt Haig
That’s the privilege of being a grandparent – they can indulge the children while parents have to be the bad guy. Grandparents can also be subversive and naughty with them.
Toby Stephens
Cisgender people tend to want trans stories of triumph that are easy to metabolize. I want to make things that are subversive and not so entry-level.
Patti Harrison
Although it is hard to see why any sensible authority would feel threatened by the peaceful expression of one’s point of view, there is a long history of trying to repress subversive depictions of political figures – back in the 19th century, for example, France’s King Louis Philippe was depicted as a piece of fruit.
Nazanin Boniadi
People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth.
Raoul Vaneigem
Sir Hugh Greene is the man I hold most responsible for the state of our country today. For 11 years hardly a week went by without a sniping reference to me. And he gave access to anyone who was prepared to say anything morally subversive.
Mary Whitehouse
Art is maybe a subversive activity. There is a certain rebellion when you are an artist at heart, even if only in the art of living.
Philippe Petit
I like racism above the ground so it can be dealt with, but when it’s subversive and subjugated, it gets real dangerous.
Eddie Griffin
If I say most people are pretty decent that may sound nice and warm but actually it’s really radical and subversive and that’s why, all throughout history, those who have advocated a more hopeful view of human nature – often the anarchists – have been persecuted.
Rutger Bregman
‘The Beach’ novel, in my mind, was, in some respects, subversive.
Alex Garland
My designs are slightly subversive in their way; it can be in the cut or the colour, but they’re always obtainable: they’re not so difficult that a 40-year-old woman wanting to go to a cocktail party looking foxy and a little bit different in something well-made would be alienated by them.
Giles Deacon
I was always the new kid, and I got to know the language and the politics of being on the outside, looking in. Never being in the clique – always being a student of the clique, a subversive, and I could look around and identify the other guys who were excluded.
Padgett Powell
Among so many things, ‘Time Passes’ has shown me subversive ways of portraying time, of looking away from the human to the far more terrifying, far more immense texture of time beneath the minute span of a human life.
Lauren Groff
I don’t see myself as subversive. I just don’t necessarily buy what people tell me initially.
Colin Cowherd
Everything serious in the world is well approached by humour. It’s a powerful and often quite subversive tool. I suppose there is an argument that could be made against me for being frivolous, but I do think a laugh is a very generous thing to give.
Beeban Kidron
Each of you possesses the most powerful, dangerous and subversive trait that natural selection has ever devised. It’s a piece of neural audio technology for rewiring other people’s minds. I’m talking about your language.
Mark Pagel
My mantra was to educate people – to actually give them the know-how they could use – and to do it in a very subversive kind of way. I would entertain them, and I was going to teach them whether they knew it or not.
Alton Brown
I don’t consider myself a ‘radical.’ Radical in American society has, I think, become this buzzword that makes a lot of ideas and discussions seem foreign or new to people – whether for or against them. Is it radical to seek justice? Is it radical to be rescued by love? Is it subversive to be sweet?
Chelsea Manning
I tell my students that being a writer is like being a member of a medieval guild and that what we are doing is very subversive and very important.
Jayne Anne Phillips
Writing, I’m convinced, should be a subversive activity – frowned on by the authorities – and not one cooed over and praised beyond common sense by some teacher.
Dan Simmons
Theater will never, and never has, gotten audiences like film. But theater goes to work on society in a different and more subversive way.
Athol Fugard
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was not engaged in subversive work; she was an apolitical project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of the Reuters news agency.
Nazanin Boniadi