Things I Believe Would Be True Of Me This Week If I Had Watched The Entire Series Run Of The West Wing Instead Of Just The Pilot On Three Separate, Non-Consecutive Occasions

  • I would not have wilted so thoroughly under the heat dome that I snuck away from a convention speech to the bathrooms to see if I had pissed myself for no reason only to realize my thighs had started seeping sweat so thoroughly it only felt as if I, a nominally healthy adult woman, had pissed myself for no reason
  • I would never look up to find that I had wasted an entire morning just being “vaguely online,” clicking deeper and deeper into the heart of the Internet, where Marlon Brando lives and whispers. I would log on with a purpose, learn or produce something, then log off. There would be a distinction between my activities based on the time of a day. I would “do things,” specifically. I would have a daily schedule. I would have chosen a clip from The Island of Dr. Moreau for that last link, and not Apocalypse Now, as that would have been less expected and therefore funnier.
  • I would have had the opportunity, and the desire, to call someone — or be called myself — a “neoliberal shill.”
  • Revived the Brady Act single-handedly through the strategic deployment of Latin quotations
  • Good Latin quotations too, not just the stuff that pops up on Wikipedia’s List of Latin Words and Phrases
  • Allison Janney would have personally braided my hair every morning of the convention and other, better-dressed women, would have whispered egregia cum laude as I passed in quiet appreciation
  • I would regularly begin phone conversations with “Yeah, I’m glad we got the chance to connect…” before ducking into an empty meeting room, at my open-plan office where no one, not even the CEO, has an office with a door on it, but there is roughly one meeting room for every four employees, which means that over time members of upper management slowly but surely take over certain meeting rooms––not offices, just meeting rooms, anyone can use them, just move all my stuff out onto the coffee table outside the door and throw it back in when you’re done, don’t worry about it––
  • I would have also seen The Americans, and have an opinion about the wigs the actors wear on the show, and I would know what the TPP is, and I would casually use the word “TPP” in conversation, as in “The TPP is bad,” or “The TPP is good,” or “The thing about the TPP that seems to elide people is that it’s well beyond simple categories like ‘good’ or bad.’” I would sometimes use the word “elide” when I meant “elude” but I would never do so in conversation with someone who knew the difference, so it wouldn’t matter
  • Bill Kristol and I would regularly text one another bitchy things about Maureen Dowd’s columns, and Maureen and I would do the same about Bill; once a month we would all text very enthusiastically about getting together for brunch (“it has been TOO LONG, you guys”), but it would never happen.