Soundbite Factory

For the convenience of the media, we are providing prepackaged "soundbites" for your dining pleasure. You can safely throw them into any article simply by appending "Campbell said" to the end. Soundbites are a form of poetry, not unlike haiku, intended to capture an issue in as few words as possible. Each soundbite should....
  • Have no unnecessary words.
  • Flow easily off the tongue in natural speech.
  • Usually be composed of two sentences.
  • Contain a single complete idea.
  • Express an irony (something different from what is expected).
  • Be uneditable—that is, no print or video editor can remove any part without destroying the meaning.
We try our best here to live up to the high standards of the artform. In the list below, the latest comes first.

“It is my job to say things that other people know but cannot say.”
“The transition of foster care from state to county has not gone well. Instead of a state controlled horror show, we now have a county controlled horror show with most of the same staff and all the same problems. When are we going to clean house?”
“I don't think foster parents should see themselves as passive and temporary but as an active and permanent support system for the child. This role should have a special name, like 'avatar,' and it should combine foster parenting with long-term advocacy.”
“The song says, 'It's all happening at the zoo,' but I think it's all happening at family court. You have relationships, mostly dysfunctional. You have parenting, also dysfunctional. You've got mental illness, lots of it. You've got deep philosophical questions that must always relate to some concrete course of action. What more could a writer ask for?”
“So much depends on personalities. You have good caseworkers and bad ones. You have lawyers, public defenders and probation officers who can connect with their clients and those who don't. Some people are well-suited to their jobs and others just don't get it.”
“It is surprising how many people in Family Services, including lawyers, have no intuitive comprehension of the law or the principles behind it. Everything that happens here is grounded in law, and understanding it gives me an advantage.”
“The system always has problems and the resources are never enough, but I know one way you can improve the system at no additional cost to the taxpayer. You remove an incompetent worker and replace them with a better one.”
“I do not want to become the guy who everyone runs to when they have a grievance. There are too many grievances and not enough time. I can't be an advocate for individual cases, but I can try to make the system more transparent and effective.”
“So this guy lost his daughter. Boo hoo. It happens all the time in family court. I am trying to see the bigger picture. These things have to happen. I just want them to happen in as humane a way as possible.”
“I don't feel homeless. I just sleep closer to nature. Think of me as Henry David Thoreau with a minivan and storage units.”
On the Child Advocate Program: “Someone is giving them money and saying, 'Represent these kids,' but no one is telling them how to do it. They're just throwing lawyers at the problem. They think that anyone with a law degree is skilled at understanding kids and their needs.”
“I never planned to become a family court activist. I got dragged into it. I'm like Bugs Bunny. Two years ago, I just wanted to be left alone, raise a family and lead a normal life, but when someone sticks a gun down my rabbit hole, I'm going to react.”
“Drugs are a red herring. The real problem isn't drugs but underlying mental illness that leads people to drugs. If you cut off all the meth, cocaine and booze in the world, then the people who do these drugs will find something else. It's a personality issue, not a drug issue, and personalities are very hard to change.”
“I want to move beyond 'Can you help the poor children?' to 'Wow! This is where things are really cooking!' I want Family Services to be the most lively, contentious, groovy, happenin' place since Haight-Ashbury in the 60s.” Las Vegas Sun, 12/18/05
#5 “With so many neglected children already here, it seems a crime to create more. If you adopt a kid, then you are fulfilling a need. If you produce your own, it's like digging a hole just to fill it up again. It may keep you busy for 20 years, but in the end you haven't done anything to help the world.”
#4 “Childbirth is a selfish undertaking. You aren't doing it for the kid; you are doing it for yourself. Do you think your genes are so superior that they need to be preserved?”
#3 “I don't think you'll find anyone in Family Services who is deliberately malicious. Everyone believes they are doing good, but not everyone has the intellectual and emotional capacity to know what good is.” Las Vegas Sun, 12/18/05
#2 “I'm not saying that the system is corrupt and needs to be gutted. It's the only system we have, so we have to make it work.”
#1 “The government is good at concrete things like building roads and maintaining an army, but now we are asking it to do something it isn't suited for: To step into people's homes and repair families.” Las Vegas Sun, 12/18/05

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