Things They've Learned
July 25, 2003 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Why bother figuring out universal truths for yourself when someone else has already done it for you. Find out how a neurotic comedian, a sausage magnate, a genome decoder, and the world's most famous nuclear power plant safety inspector distill life's truths into twenty or so insightful and humorous statements.
posted by euphorb (17 comments total)
"I used to be friends with Miles Davis. He didn't like many folks. I lived across the street from him. He would call me up sometimes—"I got some fish I wanna cook up for ya." I went up there, and he was on a couch, looking out the window. He was just rapt. I said, "What're you watching, Miles?" He said, "The traffic. Where are all these motherfuckers goin'?" -- Rip Torn

posted by woil at 3:38 PM on July 25, 2003

A lot of the Jimmy Dean quotes were great. Haven't eaten his sausage ever though, wonder if it is indeed good.
posted by GriffX at 4:09 PM on July 25, 2003

Oh god, I wish I hadn't worded that post that way...
posted by GriffX at 4:09 PM on July 25, 2003

Cool... Did not know this was available, but the "what I've learned" has always been my favorite regular feature in esquire... the magazine has gone downhill though.... trying to win some of the maxim crowd, I suppose.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:13 PM on July 25, 2003

Homer Simpson is a technical supervisor! Where is XQUZYPHYR?! GriffX, we're all nervous the first time.
posted by squirrel at 4:23 PM on July 25, 2003

"haven't eaten his sausage"

That's fantastic, Griffx.
posted by jonson at 4:23 PM on July 25, 2003

The Edward Teller quotes are good too. A bit scary sometimes... so unapologetic. Not that he really ought to be sorry....

And speaking of unapologetic, Gene Simmons' quotes further confirm his role as the the biggest jerk on the planet.
posted by elendil71 at 4:25 PM on July 25, 2003

I've done everything in the world I've ever wanted to do except kill somebody.
-evel knievel

posted by poopy at 4:32 PM on July 25, 2003

I do think that a lot of Teller's statements were quite scary, but I don't know why that would surprise anyone. I'm not sure if he's right about dropping the bomb in Tokyo bay not hurting anyone, or causing Hirohito to surrender, for that matter.

It sounds awfully cold-blooded I know, but I somehow feel that if the A-bomb hadn't been used the way the U.S. did, it would have increased the chances of it being used by us or by the U.S.S.R. Perhaps the fact that the world did see that horror is the reason the Cold War never went hot.
posted by GriffX at 4:45 PM on July 25, 2003

I read Richard Feinman's autobiography and was struck by the same odd sense that Teller gave me. My theory is that in order to live with yourself in the wake of such an abnormally, profoundly destructive act one, perhaps unconsciously, develops an abnormally, profoundly thick teflon layer of rationalization. And an eerie gallows humor.

No excuse for Hiroshima, GriffX. Period.
posted by squirrel at 4:56 PM on July 25, 2003

I agree with you squirrel, assuming you mean that in the same way that there was no excuse for the entire war - from the first country annexed in Europe by the Wehrmacht to the first peasant murdered in SE Asia by the Imperial Japanese army.
posted by GriffX at 5:06 PM on July 25, 2003

He should stick to magic tricks and playing dumb.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:47 PM on July 25, 2003

While there's no way of telling what might have been if so and so had happened or not, I actually think GriffX has a point.

As a child/young adolescent I studied every piece of A-bomb history I could come across (what can I say, I'm morbid) and the pictures from Hiroshima/Nagasaki spoke in a way no mere statistics could have done about the horrors of using these weapons in anger.

When the nuclear saber-rattling was at it's loudest between India and Pakistan, I spammed all my Indian contacts (okay, that's only one, but still) with pictures and stories from the Japanese nukes, and I imagine others did the same. Who knows, maybe it helped.

Besides, Japan capitulated less than a week after Nagasaki, let's not forget that.
posted by spazzm at 6:00 PM on July 25, 2003

And I am terribly sorry for the offtopic post.
posted by spazzm at 6:28 PM on July 25, 2003

Siegfried: In a forty-year partnership, you know your partner better than you know yourself. But you will still very often want to kill him, to strangle him, to twist him!

Roy: Wear the cape; never let the cape wear you.

posted by gottabefunky at 10:42 PM on July 25, 2003

if I'm gonna take advice from a sausage magnate, it's gonna be Abe Froman.
posted by condour75 at 12:08 AM on July 26, 2003

The Observer Magazine does a very similar column called This Much I Know

There's a death row inmate, a food aid worker in Zimbabwe, Tracey Emin, Anne Robinson, a clown, a Hillsborough survivor, Terry Gilliam, etc.

My favorite is the one with Greg, a 15 year old cancer survivor.
posted by dodgygeezer at 5:13 AM on July 26, 2003

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