Russell Simmons at BEA. Photo: Getty Images
Valerie Plame Wilson, Paul Krugman, and Alan Alda were tough acts for Russell Simmons to follow at BEA’s big Saturday author lunch, but the Buddhist rap mogul blew them away with his distillation of Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success. Below, we pluck the wisest wisdom from the fifteen-minute stem-winder he delivered while dipping in and out of notes provided by — you guessed it — his ghost writer.
On the Spiritual Economy of Late Capitalism:
“Giving for a living. I already said giving and getting are the same thing. Getting is giving inside out.”
The Author, Defending Incomprehensible Celebrity Authors.
“Alright, Message to the booksellers — I love this shit [looks down at notes]. Protecting the First Amendment. Spreading truth to power … So I’m inspired by the ABA, or is it the AAB, and they’re protecting the freedom of speech that comes from my publishers.”
From Russell Simmons’s Next Book: Simmons’ Bushisms
“This time, as Paul [Krugman] pointed out, is a very scary time. It has been extremely scary, if you’re a scared person.”
The Dramatic Conclusion
“Oh, wait, now I will read my introduction. First of all, I want to apologize if this speech sounds awkward. I rarely use notes when I speak, but I didn’t want to be my normal rambling self. One of those people just out there selling his book. My book is the same book that got published over and over again, so I say that so you don’t have to buy it … [Turns to Alda] It’s true. Why are you saying shit?! So I’m gonna try these notes. Oh, is it over? It is! Thank you so much.” —Boris Kachka