“Everything popular is wrong,” said Oscar Wilde, my all-time favorite writer and quite possibly the most quotable person to walk this bitter earth since the cut-off date for eligibility for inclusion in The Holy Bible. But even Wilde had his off days, occasions when overstatement got the best of him.
While I have a healthy dose of skepticism when it comes to anything or anyone embraced by the masses, to stick to such a sweeping generalization about them would be to occasionally miss some very good points. Sometimes popular people, the ones otherwise known as celebrities, actually get it right. Though I’m generally inclined to pass on hearing their views on world events, because, well, who cares what George Clooney thinks about the state of anywhere outside of Hollywood, I listen anyway, open to the unlikely event that I might actually learn something.
Musicians are more likely to offer up words of wisdom, mostly because, unlike actors and actresses, many of them actually write the words that make them famous. Having interviewed countless of them over the years, though, I also realize that they’re most quotable when they’re talking about themselves, or ripping a rival to shreds.
But every now and then, miracles happen: Celebrities say the darnedest things, words to live by, words to post on your Facebook Timeline, like the shockingly sobering Marilyn Monroe quote that one of my friend’s shared today, which inspired me to compile this latest list of memorable quotes.
“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you learn to appreciate them when they’re right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself… and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” — Marilyn Monroe
“I finally faced the fact that it isn’t a crime not having friends. Being alone means you have fewer problems.” — Whitney Houston
“The future hasn’t happened yet, and the past is gone. So I think the only moment we have is right here and now, and I try to make the best of those moments, the moments that I’m in.” — Annie Lennox
“Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” — George Burns
“Men and women should live next door and visit each other once in a while.” — Katharine Hepburn
“I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.” — Eminem, on gay marriage
“I don’t think being monogamous is a natural instinct for human beings, but it doesn’t mean I don’t believe in monogamy or true love. I believe in finding a soul mate. Monogamy can be hard work for some people. I don’t think it applies to everybody, and I don’t think a lot of people can do it.” — Scarlett Johannson
“These parents, they think I’m a role model for their kids, that their kids look at me as some sort of idol. But it’s the parents’ job to make sure their kids don’t turn out that shallow. That’s not my responsibility. I’m not responsible for your kid.” — Britney Spears
“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” — Lady Gaga
“To me, ‘fearless’ is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, ‘fearless’ is having fears. ‘Fearless’ is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, ‘fearless’ is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.” — Taylor Swift