Quote of the day: ACTIVISM

December 11, 2018


No sane person with a life really wants to be a political activist. When activism is exciting, it tends to involve the risk of bodily harm or incarceration, and when it’s safe, it is often tedious, dry, and boring. Activism tends to put on into contact with extremely unpleasant people, whether they are media interviewers, riot cops, or, at times, your fellow activists. Not only that, it generates enormous feelings of frustration and rage, makes your throat sore from shouting, and hurts your feet. Nonetheless, at this moment in history, we are called to act as if we truly believe that the Earth is a living, conscious being that we’re part of, that human beings are interconnected and precious, and that liberty and justice for all is a desirable thing.



October 24, 2018

Watching Elaine May’s shattering performance on Broadway in Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery as a feisty West Village widow descending into dementia threw me back in time to 1983, when I spent an entire summer on her trail as an earnest young arts reporter working on a magazine profile for Esquire. It was a plum assignment. Not too many interviews with Elaine May had ever been published. Just about the only ones I could find were the couple of riotously funny self-interviews that the New York Times Arts & Leisure section talked her into doing over the years. I quickly learned why you haven’t read many stories about her: she hates doing interviews and will do anything she can to avoid them.

The story I wrote has never appeared in public before now. I call it…

“One Moment with Miss May

MEDIA: the week in magazines

October 22, 2018
I don’t know about you, but I’ve had an unusually stimulating week reading magazines.
New York magazine’s current issue focuses on “Powerful Women Talk About Power (and Powerlessness).” I learned amazing things reading about Lena Waite, the three women who founded Black Lives Matter (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opel Tometi), Samantha Bee, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Gabrielle Hamilton, Amanda “Binky” Urban, Lilly Ledbetter, Hanya Yanagihara, Jenny Holzer, Drew Gilpin Faust, and others.
Among the New York Times’s T Magazine’s half dozen profiles of Great Artists, I became engrossed reading about Alessandro Michele and Solange, but I was even more fascinated to learn from Tom Delavan’s article “An Affair to Remember” about the important romance between Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly.
I don’t really care one way or the other about Melissa McCarthy but I now avidly look forward to anything by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who profiled McCarthy for the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Brodesser-Akner has a sassy voice that you could call original if it didn’t so closely approximate what Libby Gelman-Waxner would sound like writing feature articles about movie stars rather than movie reviews.
And the New Yorker’s Money Issue drew me into one long article after another about Sinclair News (yikes!), Rent the Runway, Google’s legal battles with former star developer Anthony Levandowski, and cryptocurrency (a subject I thought I’d had enough of until Nick Paumgarten hipped me to the name Vitalik Buterin), along with critical essays on Norwegian novelist Dag Solstad and Swedish artist/mystic Hilma af Klint.
Okay, I’m going to take a little nap now…

Quote of the day: LOVE

September 25, 2018


The person who is best suited to us is not the person who shares our every taste (he or she doesn’t exist), but the person who can negotiate differences in taste intelligently — the person who is good at disagreement. Rather than some notional idea of perfect complementarity, it is the capacity to tolerate differences with generosity that is the true marker of the “not overly wrong” person. Compatibility is an achievement of love; it must not be its precondition.

–Alain de Botton, “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person”

Quote of the day: MYERS-BRIGGS

September 10, 2018


The key to the [Myers-Briggs Type Indicator’s] success is [Briggs’] insight that you can waste a lot of energy and bring on a lot of psychic pain if you think of these differences as incompatibilities that have to be ironed out. The differences are innate, and each type of personality is as “normal” as the others. There is no better way to be—logical or emotional, spontaneous or organized, party bro or brooder. These are not imperfections to be corrected. They are hardwired dispositions to be recognized and accommodated.

–Louis Menand, “Can You Type?” in the New Yorker

Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs

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