I love sushi, but I'm not going to write a column about it.— Joel Stein
The most viral Joel Stein quotes that will inspire your inner self
The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they're following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying.
When wine drinkers tell me they taste notes of cherries, tobacco and rose petals, usually all I can detect is a whole lot of jackass.
Reporting in general makes me pretty nervous.
But I realized: all the amazing work experiences of my life were thanks to reporting. So that forces you to go do it.
I wish I'd legitimately talked about some painful moments in my life where I felt insufficient as a kid.
I've gotten thicker skin mostly from being older.
You just stop caring quite as much about everything.
I want to be heavily tied to a city that I write for every week, that knows my stuff and I can interact with.
I'm not that clued into what people are that touchy about and how many of them there are and how niche these niches are.
I have some idea that if I pick on [boy band] One Direction, I'll get a ton of hate mail, because I know that when you're 15, you love a band like you will kill people. But I don't quite realize that that's true about people - adults - who read The Hunger Games.
Early on, even in college, I figured out that it was just more interesting to me to create content than to write about other people. So that makes it more marketable.
You're not going to change anyone's mind. Especially online.
I think the local food movement has been taken to idiotic extremes.
And so I wrote about that and people got pissed.
Being in New York and having worked at Time Out New York and then being at Time, living in New York for a long time has helped because I know everybody. And they're the people who call me and give me jobs. So that kind of real networking, which is just living in a place and having jobs where people around you are extremely successful, has helped me tremendously.
There have been people who represent something very symbolic and I've been freaked out interviewing them.
I would be at home reading, because I felt so disconnected from humanity.
I never thought to look at the New York Times one, even though I knew people were pissed off. I've seen YouTube videos from people who are pissed off at me about that and that takes a lot of effort to go find.
The fun thing about journalism is if you go do a story about something, you can now ask three intelligent questions about it. Or say three intelligent things. And that gets people talking.
With a Q&A, you need obviously to keep it snappy.
I can't explain why I don't read comments.
Maybe because I worked at Time for so long and they don't have them, so I keep forgetting that they're there.
You have to live among rich liberals to understand what they're saying.
You'll never believe what they mean by 'middle class.' They mean themselves.
You really, really have to care about animals to want to kill one.
You have to learn all this stuff about them and start thinking like them.
I have a really high bar for being angry. Like, it doesn't even happen every year.
I don't like to be in the forest. It's a weird thing. I've learned to have a general appreciation for nature, which has taken a while. But the forest, I still don't really love.
You don't really want an army of people making individual decisions.
And I don't think I completely understood that until people gave me examples of what happens when your army takes over your government and it's like, "Oh, yeah, I guess you can't really have people make individual moral decisions."
I can't imagine what someone would write that would infuriate me.
Maybe if my loved one had died of some disease and someone was insensitive, that would piss me off.
I can't imagine deer hunting. I used to think I couldn't imagine deer hunting because killing a deer seemed so awful. But now I think about just sitting in a tree and doing nothing all day and probably not even seeing a deer. Not moving and sitting in a tree? That seems rough.
I don't read the "letters" section of Time magazine.
I think it's just my habit as a reader. I don't read comments on stories, in general.
I'm good at marketing myself through the columns.
But compared to other people I know, as far as networking and pushing yourself out there, I'm not very good at that.
I've learned over time that every editor has told me when you're getting that much hate, you don't talk about it. You just kind of don't give it oxygen and let it go away. It's almost - not always, but almost - always the best policy.
I think I realized that Dave Barry was funnier than I'll ever be, and he made no attempt to make any actual points. He had a general libertarian point of view, but in general, he just liked to make jokes.
If New Vegas foretells something about America's future, then the culture wars are all but over, and culture lost.
I hate walking up to strangers.
Online reaction is very different than real-world reaction.
Heaven is totally overrated. It seems boring. Clouds, listening to people play the harp. It should be somewhere you can't wait to go, like a luxury hotel. Maybe blue skies and soft music were enough to keep people in line in the 17th century, but heaven has to step it up a bit. They're basically getting by because they only have to be better than hell.
People are different in different situations and people are different online than they are in real life.
When I get real big volumes of hate mail, it's usually because I wrote something poorly. But it's also because some group told people to e-mail me and those people didn't read the article, they read the post about what I wrote about. And they all e-mail me. And they all come around at the same time.
If you're at my level and you go to a bookstore, even a good turnout is not that many people. Sometimes it is. But for the most part, it's not a huge turnout.
I don't read "letters" sections of magazines, but I'll read anyone's blog post about me.
The people who get places in life just say yes to everything.
Basically, I wake up, take care of my son for a little while, and then like, "I am gonna write!" And then I wind up.
When Time got rid of my column, I thought it was all over.
It was really sad. And then, I just started pushing it to lots of places. And I thought someone would run my column, I thought it was popular, and no one wanted it.
I've definitely written people e-mails telling them I've loved their stories, but that seems more like a professional journalist thing to do.
I try to see what that person is thinking or feeling about that particular day.
I just get more of a sense of what that person's like and hopefully it's more interesting than a normal conversation.
I always thought that being at Time and tweaking your bosses and exploiting your expense account was just fun. Just joyous.
What I wound up doing, which I think is really journalistically dubious, is changing the order of some of the things I did, so that the things I ended up struggling with the most wind up being two-thirds of the way in.
People would ask if I wanted to host things and I was like, "No, I'm a writer, I don't host things." Just thinking I wouldn't be good at it - which is true - but also just wanting to hold on to some part of my identity.
You don't get anywhere without saying yes.
You can get away with stuff in a one-page story that you can't get away with in a book.
When I lose my column again, I'm sure I'll get hungry again.
Maybe it's having a kid, but it's probably just getting to do what I always wanted to do - I'm really not that hungry.
As journalism dies, I kind of feel like I want some skills besides writing.
I'd like to be able to write movies or host TV shows or whatever. Things that I might actually not inherently like quite as much, but are interesting and fun things to do. A good backup plan.