The thing about me is that I don’t care that Anthony Weiner is in the news again for sexting. Sorry, but I fail to see how him taking a photo of his dick near his kid and then separating from his wife is a series of events I’m supposed to care about. It’s not that I don’t care about this story per se. It’s just that so much of politics is just, entertainment, you know? These days I can barely tell the difference between CNN and MTV. Maybe it’s because I’ve always sort of thought I would be happier living in Europe.
Personally, I’m always just way more drawn to stories about international relations or really get my hands dirty with policy than the latest news about politics. Oh, remind me to tell you about this crazy longform piece I read in the LARB—that’s the Los Angeles Review of Books, sorry, I’m such a nerd. I love longform.
I don’t know what it is about me, but I’ve always just been really interested in the world beyond our borders, you know? My parents say I’ve always been this way—just kind of, older than my years. Even in high school, I wanted to know more about the rich history of Kabuki theater, or the Chilean elections than whether Hillary Clinton makes good cookies or not. My favorite books are the classics, you know what I mean? I guess that makes me pretty weird, huh?
I don’t know. I guess I’m just different from the rest of my generation. Sometimes I’ll be at a party and everyone will be talking about the latest thing Donald Trump said, and I’ll think to myself, It’s like these people have no idea about the collapse of Haiti’s handicrafts economy.
It can sometimes feel like a pretty lonely road. But Aaron Sorkin has this quote—I’m a pretty big Sorkin fan—that I try to remember every time I think I’m the only person in this bar who can talk knowledgeably about the stakes for the Everglades, and is, actually ok with that: “Don’t ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Haha. You’re looking at me like I’m crazy. I guess people just don’t get it. The way I see things, Anthony Weiner might as well be Kim Kardashian for all he has to do with the difficulty of life for teens growing up in the Parisian banlieu. The day I see a tweet about that I’ll stop complaining, I promise! I just wouldn’t count on it. What was I saying? Oh yeah, the media—which, actually, did you know should really be pluralized, and comes from the Latin medius, meaning in the middle of?—are so desperate for clicks, you know? It’s nothing but clickbait out there. That’s why I pretty much only follow the international news. I’m truly a Der Spiegel addict.
People think I’m crazy for not caring about the outcome of the presidential election, but I can barely see the difference between the two parties anymore. Did you know that in England, the most conservative party is more liberal than the Democrats. That’s what I think is crazy. The Greeks thought called the center of town the agora and it wasn’t just the center of town—it was the center of thought. That’s what the American media should be. The media are so obsessed with what the latest Snapchat filters are that we forget that democracy is for those who show up. That’s another Sorkin quote, I think.
I guess what I’m saying—and I didn’t mean to interrupt you—is that I don’t know why we expect our politicians to behave like anything other than celebrities when that’s how the media treat them. Anyway, yeah, so you were saying you’re a journalist?