Fran Lebowitz was trending yesterday on Twitter because of her new interview with The New Yorker and a lot of us really needed this – it’s the read of the week, especially if you know her voice enough to be able to hear how she would have delivered her answers. Fran is, always, a quote machine.
Obviously she’s in New York, where else would she be? Few people are as dedicated to New York as Fran Lebowitz, it’s one of the things she’s famous for. I started screaming the moment writer Michael Schulman revealed that she was talking to him from her “land line, naturally”, because while I may not have anything in common with Fran, I too am dedicated to a home land line. Duana likes to make fun of this, like it makes me some kind of antique. Please. Your cell phone will let you down at least once a day. A land line, meanwhile, is what will always be there for you. Fran knows.
Here’s something else I have in common with Fran: we both think there is too much f-cking hugging, especially in Los Angeles. Did you read that article in the New York Times back in February about the hugging epidemic that’s taken over LA? In LA, they hug you even when they’re just being introduced to you – and the hug can last over a minute! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS? Fran doesn’t get it either:
“I was so shocked when hugging started. I thought, Are you out of your mind? I would put my hand out and people would go in for a hug. This is when someone’s introducing you to someone. I think it would be great if hugging stopped. Hugging apparently is less virus-producing than shaking hands, but hugging is its own kind of contagion.”
This came out of a question about whether or not COVID-19 will kill the handshake. I prefer the Far East way of doing things: bowing. It’s respectful and nobody has to touch me. I would love to get Fran’s take on this.
Anyway, like I said, the whole interview with her is like a storm of quotes. Every response is insightful and hilarious. I’ve read it three times now and I’ll go back to it several times this weekend for the lift. I’ll never not laugh when I think about how she connects the word “algebra” with the word “love” while describing Donald Trump. And this:
“First of all, Trump is very lazy. I can tell you, the same way basketball players say “game recognizes game,” sloth recognizes sloth.”
That, of course, is about how lazy Fran is – she’s a writer, one of the best, but she never writes anything because, as she just told you, she’s lazy AF. The reason she can say she’s lazy and not be embarrassed by her lack of output is because there’s never been anyone who thinks that Fran is intellectually lazy. It’s not possible for Fran to stop thinking, learning, and also, most importantly, unlearning and rethinking again. Although maybe, lately, she’s not rethinking as much, because the only person who made her rethink anything was Toni Morrison. That’s where the conversation ends, with how much she misses Toni Morrison. Many people have said many beautiful things about Toni Morrison and they’re all wonderful anecdotes because Toni Morrison was practically an angel. When Fran describes Toni, however, I mean she’s still an angel, but she also becomes… a BFF, tangible and solid, of the earth, so real. Who was Toni Morrison for Fran Lebovitz? The person who talks on the phone with you for hours while watching television. I want someone to write a movie about their friendship, just based on how they used to call each other every single day.
If you haven’t already, read more from Fran at The New Yorker.
Wishing you a safe and healthy Easter and Passover.