I think that New York is..
I think that New York is not the cultural centre of America, but the business and administrative centre of American culture.
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One of the characteristics of North American culture is that you can always start again. You can always move forward, cross a border of a state or a city or a county, and move West, most of the time West. You leave behind guilt, past traditions, memories.
At the beginning of my career as a writer, I felt I knew nothing of Chinese culture. I was writing about emotional confusion with my mother related to our different beliefs. Hers was based in family history, which I didn't know anything about. I always felt hesitant in talking about Chinese culture and American culture.
Jamestown changed the world in many ways, but perhaps it shaped our nation most profoundly the day Africans arrived. I can't think of a more relevant place to talk about the issues facing our community today than the place where African culture became American culture.
I did not have a happy family life a few years ago. I was divorced, and I was very alienated from my daughter, and I was out there cutting every ribbon and running around New York hosting events for different causes to supplant my loss because I didn't have a family to go home to. Now I don't want to be Mr. Show Business anymore.
I started out as an actor, where you seek to understand yourself using the words of great writers and collaborating with other creative people. Then I slid into show business, where you seek only an audience's approval whether you deserve it or not.
There are some times when you make films and you travel places, and the take that people in the business have is that the worst way to see a city is to shoot there, because you work these long 12, 13 and 14-hour days, and you go home to the hotel, you eat, and you pass out.
But HBO is less interested in how many people are watching than in how much the people who are watching are liking the show. They didn't set up their business model to make writers happy. It's just a nice unintended consequence.
Advertising is a racket, like the movies and the brokerage business. You cannot be honest without admitting that its constructive contribution to humanity is exactly minus zero.
The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests, and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is a visionary unsuited to control the business of the world.
If the White House could do more to tell parents that getting children reading is their business too, we'd see a big difference. Hollywood and the NBA or NFL could step in, too. In England they have an event called Book Day, where every child receives a pound to use at any bookstore.
Commercial books don't even get covered. The reason why so many book reviews go out of business is because they cover a lot of stuff that nobody cares about. Imagine if the movie pages covered none of the big movies and all they covered were movies that you couldn't even find in the theater?
People look at the same passage, and one person will say this is the best thing he's ever read, and another person will say it's absolutely idiotic. I mean, there's no way to reconcile those two things. You just have to forget the whole business of what people are saying.
Microprocessors were instantly attractive to us because you could build something for a fraction of the cost of conventional electronics. That's essentially what we did with the Traf-O-Data computer - only it was too narrow and challenging an area to try to build a service business in.
The Parisian has his amusements as regularly as his meals, the theatre, music, the dance, a walk in the Tuilleries, a refection in the cafe, to which ladies resort as commonly as the other sex. Perpetual business, perpetual labor, is a thing of which he seems to have no idea.