An essay on understanding our character, worth, and limits.
Joan Didion versus the boys on the bus:
American reporters “like” covering a presidential campaign (it gets them out on the road, it has balloons, it has music, it is viewed as a big story, one that leads to the respect of one’s peers, to the Sunday shows, to lecture fees and often to Washington), which is one reason why there has developed among those who do it so arresting an enthusiasm for overlooking the contradictions inherent in reporting that which occurs only in order to be reported.
On Lucille Miller, who in San Bernadino in 1964 was convicted of burning her husband to death in his Volkswagen.
I can’t ask anything. Once in a while if I’m forced into it I will conduct an interview, but it’s usually pro forma, just to establish my credentials as somebody who’s allowed to hang around for a while. It doesn’t matter to me what people say to me in the interview because I don’t trust it.
“I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”
Reviewing Newt Gingrich as historian and intellectual.
On Terri Schiavo, “persistent vegetative state,” and life or death decisions:
Imagine it. You are in your early twenties. You are watching a movie, say on Lifetime, in which someone has a feeding tube. You pick up the empty chip bowl. “No tubes for me,” you say as you get up to fill it. What are the chances you have given this even a passing thought?