I am a magazine junkie and one of my favorite features in the entire world of magazines is Esquire’s “What I’ve Learned.” I’ve even written my own “What I’ve Learned” twice (for my birthday in 2006, as a “year in review” in 2007 which contains fascinating tidbits like “It’s really crazy how fast you can get used to really crazy shit.”)
Esquire has put its entire What I’ve Learned archive online, which is basically the best Christmas gift ever. I think how it works is that a famous person sits down and says a bunch of things and then someone from Esquire writes it down. Some are really long and some are short.
50 Cent, Julia Child, Mary Louise-Parker, Satan, Carrie Fisher, Jodie Foster, Arianna Huffington, Albert Einstein, Paris Hilton, Jesse Jackson, Howard Stern, Joan Jett, Oliver stone, Clint Eastwood, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Danny DeVito, Ted Kennedy, EVERYONE EVERYONE EVERYONE. Also Johnny Depp & Tim Burton is an especially good one as is Homer Simpson.
From some of my favorite “What I’ve learned”s:
Dwight Schrute: “Have you ever really kept your nose to the grindstone? The amount of blood that comes out is shocking.”
Arthur Miller: “Sex is the most compressed set of circumstances that we’ve got. Everything is in that collision.”
Aaron Sorkin: “The rules are all in a sixty-four-page pamphlet by Aristotle called Poetics. It was written almost three thousand years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you’re writing, you’ve probably broken one of Aristotle’s rules.”
Chloe Sevigny: “I’m ambitious, but I’m not ambitious enough to move to Los Angeles.”
Chuck Close: “My father died when I was eleven. That was a real tragedy, a horrible thing to happen when you’re little. But one of the gifts in that experience was that I learned very early in life that you can get past something and you will be happy again.”
Bob Saget: “Full House was a show that was done for ten-year-olds. The critics hated it. They said terrible, terrible things about it. But it should have been reviewed by ten-year-olds. That’s who it was made for. They loved it. And if they loved it, great. Why the hell does a fifty-year-old guy working at a big newspaper have to tell me I’m a piece of crap?”
Yoko Ono: “I still feel that I’m an outsider. About two days ago I was thinking, It’s wrong to think I’m an outsider. I’m just part of the world.”
You can also watch Daniele Ruah from NCIS: Los Angeles lip syncing to some of the best advice Esquire feels they’ve ever given.