“I think part of maturing as an artist is figuring out that the things that may have felt like a lack or an inadequacy can be strengths if you just double or triple down on them. Go all the way into the peculiarity and particularity of one’s own thinking.”
Sometimes, when I’m stuck in traffic or lying in bed, scenes from Mad Men’s fifty-sixth episode, “Mystery Date,” play in my head like a home movie on mute.
Today, I explain, they are to be investigative reporters; their assignment is to find how girls and women appear in this museum.
“I think that I have always resisted the idea of objective cultural criticism in a vacuum. The subject lends itself to drawing connections to yourself — when I look at someone like Britney Spears, it isn’t just at the level of public scrutiny.”
“Humor helps the heart to open. And heartfelt laughter leads us towards greater connection with those around us. If you can find a way to share humor with others, then there’s an openness towards greater listening and compassion. With the serious topics I write about […] there’s a way such stories can calcify the heart if one isn’t careful. I noticed this in my teaching—if I’m just giving my students the disturbing facts about humanity without humor, it can lead to depression, discouragement, and a deeper political/social apathy. So, humor seems to restore our humanity to us—it allows us to deal with suffering with a more open heart.”