Monday, December 17, 2007

Jack Nicholson in Men's Journal January 2008 issue: the best interview I've ever read. He has solved it all. Read the whole interview, I don't want to spoil it for you by pulling quotes out of context, below is just a selection of good stuff.

"I don't know if you earn good fortune, but I think I've been pretty healthy about exploiting it when I had it, not kicking myself in the ass over it. I don't feel guilty because I'm fortunate. That's a waste."

"Don't waste hate on anything you don't love. This particular lady once told me, 'I never fight with anybody I don't love.' And you can't, anyway."

"Now this is a tough truth, but it's a truth: The men climbed on and over them to live. It's scary. I can't conceive it. But this is a fact. No matter what you may think about yourself, you're this."

"The real fear I have to overcome, actually, is the fear of the unknown. We're very uncomfortable with the unknown, and that's why we tend to cling to the status quo, to structure, to relationships - to just cling. You start off today and every day by trying to overcome fear with clarity. If you have clarity, it'll give you a position of power, the ability to act on your best instincts. I once put it this way in a comedy film: Where there's clarity, there is no choice. Where there's choice, there's misery."

"To be celebrated is uncomfortable, for men in particular. Because you don't have the choice of not being celebrated."

"For years I carried in my wallet this clipping from the Newark Star-Ledger that my mother gave me as a kid. It was the Comic Dictionary definition of a smart aleck: 'A smart aleck is the person who doesn't know that it's what he learns after he knows it all that counts.'... I carried that forever as a cautionary reminder, because I had to learn how to talk less forcefully, not hurl everything I had at somebody and feel like I had to win every argument. The truth is, I'm against nobody. My newest motto is: Everything in addition to; nothing against."

"But life - it'll make you suspicious of love, there's no doubt about that."

"We know the woman's actual cycle of infatuation is nine months; this is not psychological but in her genetic makeup. And your corresponding cycle, or sexual cycle, whatever you want to call it, is 20 minutes? An hour? We have more in common with a male dog than we do with a woman in this department."

"It's a false concept, the escape: 'I'm going to New York. I'm going to leave and go away from the pain.' This does not take anybody out of the world. We know this in many other areas of loss. Why do we think the game of geographic relocation could work here? I arrived at this on a personal level, because I always thought I could do without it, partnerships, in any situation. 'Hey, you're not happy with this scenario - okay, I've done the best I could. Let's see what happens. I'll just - go away.' So it was more an admonition of myself, because you get comfortable with the ways you successfully solve problems, and sometimes that's not the best thing."

"It's only if you don't examine it and allow it to nourish your perceptions that you're cooked. My secretary's a kind of Yiddish mama, and I love her definition of a relationship: 'If it's not half the effort and twice the fun, it's not good."

"Look, I have a lot of late eureka experiences these days. I'm driving along on Mulholland on a particular day, the kind about which my friend Harry Gittes says, 'The Lord's playing L.A. today.' And I'm looking at this beautiful day, thinking, I cannot imagine anything better than this, period. People say, 'Paradise, you're living in it.' But it had never sunk in in that eureka way that not only made me happy, but my tits got hard and my hair stood on end. I thought, Goddammit, you've experienced something here. But one second later I thought, Hey, what about Iraq? That's what I mean by the skill of happiness. It didn't protect me from Iraq. I wasn't able to jump right back into that euphoria. The increment had happened. So it's a grace to be able to modulate that. That's the best thing I have say about happy."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to concur.