> But the biggest lesson he imparted is that if you don't have your health, you have nothing. No matter how great things are going for you, if you have a toothache, if you have a sore throat, if you're nauseated, or, God forbid, you have some serious thing wrong with you — everything is ruined.
Even though this sounds like common sense, I only really learned it this year when I started having annoying health issues from working all the time, not working out, and not eating healthy (startup food). Something as simple as enjoying a Sunday in the park would not be possible because of say back pains. And then I realized that it didn't really matter what I did or achieved unless I had my health to enjoy doing it and the rewards from it.
One common thing you notice among highly creative people is how they completely lock down certain aspects of their life. It is as if they want to conserve all their mental energies for their creative efforts without wasting anything on miscellenous tasks. Hence you find people working with a single type of pens, clothes, walking routines etc.
So, not sure about Woody Allen's diet preferences but it seems to me that just taking out the option of eating unhealthy dramatically cuts down on decisions making and mental energy. A single Frankfurter will not alter your health, but if you open up the possibility of eating them you need to wonder - Is one per day OK? what about one per week? If you eat a hamburger does that mean you can't eat a Frankfurter for two days etc. etc.. If Allen is half as neurotic as he seems you can imagine him spending a lot of time deciding what to eat and what not. Just nukeing the option -- will not eat frankfurters, period. -- seems to be a good mental hack.
Same here. I quit sugar, and wife put me on a strict "cook it yourself" diet (i.e. everything we eat we make from scratch.) It is amazing. I would eat half a banana for desert and find it too sweet. For comparison, I used to put a whole banana in my frosted flakes cereal, then squirt chocolate topping into the abominable mix.
I gag when I think of what I used to eat. I went back to the U.S. last year and found restaurant fare almost universally gross. Within two nights, I decided to move from a hotel room to a family suite just because it had a kitchenette. When I wasn't cooking in my room, I was eating $40+ meals at "decent" places (compare to Australia where food is a lot less pre-processed.)
Put it into perspective. If you're a multimillionaire or a famous film persona, which Woody Allen is both, then you have so many greater rewards that life can offer than a frankfurter. Sure he can give into one of these pleasures, but perhaps, at the cost of a shortened life where he can experience so many more rewards. I respect him for watching out for his diet and health because there are so many other people in similar positions that always make me wonder why they don't take better care of themselves (now that they've "made it") so they can better enjoy what they've been blessed with. To many people this is all obvious.
> you have so many greater rewards that life can offer than a frankfurter.
Many of which are unhealthy or dangerous. Also, I can assure you that after not eating something enjoyable for a long time, the experience is incredible. I was a strict vegetarian for 7 years. When I decided to change that, I walked into a McDonald's (of all places) and ate 10 cheeseburgers. Biting into the first one caused a sensation much like when you realize you're shortly going to sleep with that hot new girl you've been seeing for a while.
IOW, I feel sorry for Woody Allen - he must really miss Frankfurters. Unless he's winding us up and doesn't really think they're enjoyable (it's normally pork too, not kosher, I don't know if he cares). Perhaps he's neurotic enough to fear unhealthy food.
> make me wonder why they don't take better care of themselves (now that they've "made it")
"Taking care" could mean living a bland, boring, ascetic life or exercising, investing time and energy in extending one's life. Either seems unfitting for the lifestyle of people who worked hard to live their dreams and know they will die anyway. They can afford the best medical treatment anyway.
More than 20 years later they are still together and married with 2 kids. And she isn't hollywood arm-candy - the vapid kind that gets replaced on regular basis with a newer model. So whatever ickiness there was at the start it would seem it wasn't just a case of horny old man syndrome.
>It's just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don't have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we're just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone. And everything that you value, whether it's Shakespeare, Beethoven, da Vinci, or whatever, will be gone. The earth will be gone. The sun will be gone. There'll be nothing. The best you can do to get through life is distraction. Love works as a distraction. And work works as a distraction. You can distract yourself a billion different ways. But the key is to distract yourself.
I love this statement; there is so much truth in it. I find it is something that enters the realm of my thought quite often. The fact that at some time in my life the last event will rob me of everything I am, I know, and will render everything I have done useless to my then forgone reality. Between the truths of death of an individual and death of the universe, nihilism seems all too logical.
However, knowing this,I'm in no way a depressed individual. I don't think I could be any happier in my life. Nihilism has given me freedom.
Which would account for a much tinier proportion. Sounds like your problem is more moral than based on any real-world impact on your take-home pay :)
In reality very few people will actually choose to sit around on the dole, particularly as they grow up a bit. I can't prove it of course but it does bring to mind the old theory that the welfare system unwittingly seeded R+D for the UK's creative industry (up through the 80's at least), and which has turned out to become a major UK export.
I'd be interested to see how many people would actual avail of a service like that. Religious people who believe in an after-life probably wouldn't but I'm sure a lot of others wouldn't either. Steve Jobs quote "Death is very likely to be the single best invention of life because death is life's change agent." appeals to me and people with that perspective probably wouldn't want to live infinitely.
>Religious people who believe in an after-life probably wouldn't
Perhaps not the very devoted, but for the rest, I'm sure they would. Just as they will avail themselves of healthcare services if they get cancer, wear seat belts, avoid flying with dodgy airlines, and a myriad of other ways they seek to avoid death.
>Religious people who believe in an after-life probably wouldn't but I'm sure a lot of others wouldn't either.
Once the certainty of death leaves, people will become a lot less religious. As Woody said, we're looking for distraction, and religion is a good distractor: "don't worry about death, there's this wonderful afterlife."
Indeed. Based on current mortality statistics, only 2% of us would manage to live 10,000 years without succumbing to accidental death of some kind, and the number that would make it 100,000 years is just vanishingly small.
EDIT: This is more a consideration with respect to "cure for ageing"-type advances, not so much the mind-uploading scenario.
I'm under the impression that, pardon the sad thought, we'll be the con'd era. The last before major shift in medicine. We'll dream about it, maybe put our fingertips on it, but we'll go before it's there.
This statement is deep realization and the fact that everything is ephemeral is hard and painful. But there's gotta be more to life than moving from one distraction to the next. I guess it's a religious thing; a greater sense of purpose.
> My two teenage girls think of me as ancient. But I'm up before them and wake them to go to school.
His daughters are teenagers now. Considering he started his relationship with de facto stepdaughter Soon-Yi Previn when she was in her late teens, I'm not sure that is the most reassuring way to start an interview.
"...if I'm on the treadmill and I'm surfing the channels and suddenly Manhattan or some other picture comes on, I go right past it. If I saw Manhattan again, I would only see the worst. I would say: "Oh, God, this is so embarrassing. I could have done this. I should have done that." So I spare myself."
I'd probably say the same thing if, at the age of 44, I made a film starring myself as a guy in a relationship with an underage high-school kid. Of course if it were Mariel Hemingway (who was 18 darnit!) my biggest regret might have been not filming steamier sex-scenes...
A guy will say, "Well, I make my luck." And the same guy walks down the street and a piano that's been hoisted drops on his head. The truth of the matter is your life is very much out of your control.
Does it have to be one or the other, though? A person can control aspects of their life and make themselves successful with hard work and discipline and still have many aspects of their life out of their control (genetics, random occurrences, etc.). I have huge respect for Woody Allen and think he's a genius but I don't really like this quote because it let's people off the hook for their own circumstances which in many instances they can control.
You can control a few parameters and improve your odds, but that's about it - you certainly can't control circumstances by definition. Becoming successful is never just a matter of hard or smart work (though it often requires at least the appearance of those as well). Otherwise most people would simply become successful - at which point we would redefine success in any case.
"A guy will say, 'Well, I make my luck.' And the same guy walks down the street and a piano that's been hoisted drops on his head. The truth of the matter is your life is very much out of your control."