- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Advice compiled and condensed from actual sources by Kelly Jane Torrance, who composed the questions.

Who knew that winning my field’s highest honor could bring with it so much trouble? I won the best-actor Oscar this past weekend - and didn’t thank my wife. People really noticed, because she’s in the business, too. Maybe I made a big mistake. Hilary Swank didn’t thank her spouse when she won an Oscar, and the marriage didn’t last. I’m really in the doghouse right now - it doesn’t help that this comes after our brief separation last year. I told people I didn’t have time to mention her, but I did manage to give a shout-out to a bunch of friends. Still, she knows how I feel about her, so why should I have to say thanks?

- Sean Penn

Dear Sean,

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.

- G. K. Chesterton

I just signed a contract with Crown Publishers to write three books, two about my childhood, the other about my years in the White House. I’m a little nervous about my decision. I was one of the most private people in the last administration, keeping to myself while friends and foes speculated on my personal and professional life. I’m a bit reticent to reveal too much about either, even now. I’m an educated woman and don’t feel ready to retire the life of the mind quite yet, but should I really have agreed to a book deal?

- Condoleezza Rice

Dear Condoleezza,

Words, like nature, half reveal and half conceal the soul within.

- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I’m being taken to court - but I feel like I’m being taken to the cleaners. I lost an expensive ring in Amnesty International. Apparently, I’m the only do-gooder in this case - he’s suing me for the full amount. Doesn’t anyone do a good deed just for the sake of a good deed anymore?

- Bianca Jagger

Dear Bianca,

We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them.

- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

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