Dearly Beloved: Millennials #VoteLikeitMatters

Dear Kids,

We all have flaws.

You could say that at least Trump loves his, at least he’s baldly honest about them. You could say that. But you could also object to a Presidential candidate of a modern world superpower publicly shoving his depraved trash talk under his shag rug and expecting all of us to go along with it.

Sorry. That may how Barron and Tiffany are being brought up, but it is not the way you were raised, kids.

Bottom Line on Banter. Brushing off vulgar and patronizing comments as mere “locker-room banter” is an affront to anyone who has ever bantered in a locker room, to everyone who cleans a locker room, to every locker-room manager — and really to everyone who gives a damn, which I hope is more and more of us all the time.

I suppose Mr. Trump can say whatever he likes in his gilded potty on the 99th floor of Trump Tower, but please let’s not allow this gauche, boorish imposter/loser/troglodyte to be our president. #VoteLikeYouMeanIt #VoteLikeItMatters

History Believe-it-or-Not. When I arrived for freshman week at college, the conversion to coeducation was recent — simultaneously awkward, exciting, and ongoing. Our hastily re-assigned women’s locker rooms still had urinals: mysterious white receptacles (for washing our bras??) mounted on the wall amid tile and grout, apparently sterile, and attached to sweating pipes that clanked in cold weather beneath thin drafty glass windows of opalescent, leaded diamond-shaped panes. I had never seen a urinal before; they were puzzling pieces of porcelain, an unprecedented sight.

Word of the day: unprecedented. You have heard the adjective “unprecedented” so much lately, we must have set a record. To remind, when somebody uses the word unprecedented that signals it’s never happened before. I worry the word has saturated its meaning. I hear it constantly, and to describe enormous global liabilities — the 2016 Presidential election, global temperature records, the extent of precipitation events and flooding, the preponderance of wildfires and drought, the brute force of hurricanes, the spread of Zika, ubiquitous violence.

What do you think? Do we live in an extraordinary epoch of unprecedentedness? Could ALL of these things truly be unprecedented, all at once?

GETTY VIA CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER. The Rose Reading Room in the New York Public Library is free, and it’s reopened after a $12 million, 2-year restoration. Good place to go.

Life Hack du Jour.

With “Writing Wednesdays,” Stephen Pressman zaps me out of a writing block or general torpor.

Today he recommends acting as if:

“Are you scared? Are you anxious? Act as if you’re not.” (Good idea!)

What about writing as if?” Pressman demands, going on to answer his own question:

“I write as if my stuff is gonna be reviewed by the NY Times, the New Yorker, the Times of London.

“I write as if the Nobel Prize committee will check every comma.

“I write as if Steven Spielberg will be personally eyeballing an advance reading copy.

“I write as if people will be reading my work five hundred years from now (assuming of course that planet Earth is still habitable by humans at that time.)” Sign up here.

More soon.



Originally published at on October 12, 2016.