61st Ask Josh – Asking Josh

In Uncategorized on November 16, 2008 at 10:14 am

Josh, how can I think of a good question to ask on your blog?
Dear The Captain,
I’m glad you asked a question on questions. It is perfectly legitimate to want to know the questions. James Thurber is credited with saying, “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”
Knowing what questions to ask may be something for all humanity to work on. Billy Collins demonstrated a bit of frustration about how the only question people want to ask about angels is how many can dance on the head of a pin.  
There are a lot of questions out there. In Stephen King’s book, “On Writing”, he says the two things an aspiring writer needs to do is to read a lot and write a lot.  The same may be used for aspiring questioners in getting the perfect question.  
Being that you have asked 9 questions, three of which I will never answer–because “Legor?” is not a question; “Really?” is not a question, and if it were, I would answer, “yes”; and the third being “Why don’t you write books?“, which has the faulty assumption that I do not write books–you seem to be practicing Mr. King’s advice on asking a lot. Now you need to go back to the first step: read a lot of questions.
Here are some questions that the questioners thought were very important.  Some were pretty frivolous:
Matthew Arnold, a writer and poet, said the important question that remains is what you think. [Democracy, 1861]
In John Keats’ poem “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, the Grecian urn says, “‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty.’–that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” So you could ask on beauty or truth, seeing as how that is all ye need know.
William Abbott and Louis Francis Cristillo–better known as Abbott and Costello–asked the timeless questions, “Who’s on first? What’s on second?”
In the opening chapter of her book, The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan said the question weighing on the minds of American women is, “Is this all?”
In a letter to his wife, John Adams said the greatest question ever debated in America was whether “these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” [July 3, 1776]
A question I have found the answer to yet have refused to disclose is: “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”
The Bard’s timeless question, “To be, or not to be[?]” [Hamlet, III, i, 56]
But all joking aside, I really enjoy dumb questions, deep questions, questions that have no answer (like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first), and I especially love questions about relationships.  Those are fun. 
Keep ’em coming.

  1. dear josh, you say you love questions about relationships, so here goes:why are all the confident guys douchebags and the nice guys ridden with self-esteem issues? this is a lose-lose for the ladies.

  2. Dear Josh,Is there anything you don’t know, and if so, what is it?

  3. I am delighted that you quote Billy Collins. And Christopher would be delighted that you quote King’s “On Writing,” a book which he often references in casual conversation. You asked me if I had any book recommendations for you. But it looks like you’re pretty well-read yourself. Which books do YOU most highly recommend? I’ll read them.

  4. Josh I’m really tired during the day but I get a full 8 hours of sleep. Is it something im eating? Do I need a new workout plan? If so what would be the best workout plan?

  5. I know the answer to the tootsie pop question too. But I have two numbers because I counted until I got to the tootsie roll and then continued unitl the tootsie roll was gone. Is the center the tootsie roll or the stick?

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