Fran Lebowitz, as those familiar with the writer and speaker might expect, has a lot of instantly memorable things to say about this specific moment in time. Thanks to a recent interview with The New Yorker’s Michael Schulman, a bunch of those thoughts are now on record, providing us with a wealth of quotes on topics like living in quarantine, the 2020 elections, and how the hell Andrew Cuomo is managing to still get his hair cut.
Here are a few of the best quotes from the piece.
On how it feels to be in New York City right now:
“On the one hand, you’re happy you don’t have a million people slamming into you while they’re looking at their phones. On the other hand, it’s like a meadow without the good features of a meadow. Meadows—not my favorite thing. There are no restaurants in a meadow. But there are flowers, there are trees. This is like a meadow with no trees.”
On whether she can predict which “everyday parts of life ... might change” going forward:
“I don’t know. Here’s what I do know: anything that anyone thinks will be happening when this is over, everyone will be wrong. Including me, who up until the election of Donald Trump had a firm belief that I was always right.”
On replacing introductory handshakes with hugs:
“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.”
On refusing to adopt new 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.”
On visiting friends during quarantine:
“The only thing that makes this bearable for me, frankly, is at least I’m alone. A couple of people invited me to their houses in the country ... and I thought, You know, Fran, you could go away and you could be in a very beautiful place with a cook, but then you’d have to be a good guest. I would much rather stay here and be a bad guest. And, believe me, I am being a bad guest.”
On how she thinks Donald Trump has handled leadership under a pandemic:
“When people say he’s not showing enough empathy—he doesn’t know what it means. Whenever he uses the word “love,” which he does occasionally, I think of the word “algebra,” because I don’t know what algebra is. I took Algebra 1 four times, because I failed it four times, and I still don’t know what algebra even means. I know the symbols. And that is what love means to Donald Trump.”
On Trump’s laziness:
“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.”
On why she dislikes Bernie Sanders, despite agreeing with his political outlook:
“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 ... 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.”
On Andrew Cuomo:
“... My main question is: Where did he get that haircut? I watched him yesterday, I watched him today. Between these two times, he got his hair cut. Is there some secret haircutting place where you’re allowed to go? Because, if so, I also need a haircut.”
On how she’s been spending her “time in self-isolation:”
“It depends how much you count the time you spend sulking. Let me put it this way: when they compile a list of the heroes of this era, I will not be on it ... 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.”
To read the rest of the interview, click on over here.
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