Friday, April 10, 2020

Fran Lebowitz Has Always Hated Trump and Giuliani, As Every New Yorker Should

Fran Lebowitz, interviewed by Michael Schulman for The New Yorker.

On Self-Isolation
Mostly I've been reading. ... And I've spent a lot of time thinking about how to think about this, because it is a very startling thing to be my age—I'm sixty-nine—and to have something happen that doesn't remind you of anything else. ... One thing I've absolutely noticed about myself, and which should be true as you get older: it's not that you want to die, but you are less attached to life. You're less panicked. I'm not very panicked by this, and I have friends who are. They're in a state of terror.
On Technology
The daughter of a friend of mine called me this morning and said, "I can bring an iPhone. I can explain to you how to use it." And I said, "Not having these things is not an accident." I know they exist. It's like not having children: it was no accident. The only thing that makes this bearable for me, frankly, is at least I'm alone.
On productivity [Shakespeare Wrote King Lear While Under Quarantine For The Bubonic Plague (Maybe)]
I've already read and heard this thing about Shakespeare fifty times. I've heard it from writers, and I've had to point out to them, "You are not Shakespeare." I am very lazy, and you might think it is very good for lazy people. But it's enforced, and, if there's one thing I have always hated, it's being told what to do.
On Donald Trump
Every single thing that could be wrong with a human being is wrong with him. But the single most dangerous thing about Donald Trump is how unbelievably stupid he is. It's not the most dangerous thing in someone who has no responsibilities, but in a President it's the most dangerous thing. His absolute belief in himself, that is something that is not going to ever change. And he doesn't care. When people say he's not showing enough empathy—he doesn't know what it means. ... Trump is very lazy. I can tell you, the same way basketball players say "game recognizes game," sloth recognizes sloth. This is a lazy guy. I actually know this.
On Elizabeth Warren
I was quite an ardent supporter of Elizabeth Warren. It's very unusual to have such a good candidate. I realized that she's a woman and that was going to be a bad thing for her, as it is for all of us. Also, that she was the smartest, and that has always been something that Americans cannot stand. So a smart woman, I thought, doesn't really have much of a chance.
On Bernie Sanders
I am a person who loathes Bernie Sanders. Yes, I'd rather have had him be the President than Trump. There's no one I wouldn't rather have be the President than Donald Trump. ... Medicare for All—which used to be called socialized medicine—is something that, of course, can be done. ... [I]t's an absurd idea that hospitals should be businesses. People say, "If you love your health insurance"—who is that? Who loves their health insurance? No one really wants health insurance. People want health care. It's, like, no one wants car insurance. They want a car. ... Also, I've always thought, What kind of person leaves New York when they're eighteen*? People should come to New York when they're eighteen. ... He's seventy-eight, right? That's the age you should go to Vermont. New York's a very hard place to live, and I understand if, by the time people are seventy-eight, they can't take it anymore. Go to Vermont, and, when you get there, take an eighteen-year-old and put them on a bus and send them to New York.

[*: Sanders was 19 when he went to college in Chicago. He returned to New York and moved to rural Vermont in 1968, at age 26 or 27.]
On Joe Biden
I have always really disliked Joe Biden, mainly because of the Anita Hill hearings, which I did not have to be reminded of during the Kavanaugh hearings. I remembered it very well and I was appalled. And because he turned Delaware into a cesspool of usury. But I was so happy when he started winning. And that to me was sad. I thought, This is what it's come to. You're happy that Joe Biden is winning.
On Rudy Giuliani
I don't think he was always this crazy, but it was always a sham. This idea that Giuliani was some sort of great mayor is absurd. Giuliani was the first person I remember who started this kind of poisonous politics of nostalgia, which is really just racism, at its core. When Giuliani was running for mayor for the first time, I kept saying to people, "Are you watching these ads of Giuliani's, which are basically saying, 'Vote for me and it'll be 1950 again'?" I hated him as a mayor.

1 comment:

laura k said...

Thanks for posting this. She is the consummate New Yorker! Fantastic interview.