I’ve probably mentioned before here that I am a big fan of the newspaper comedy The Paper. Part of the story involves a feckless New York City parking official named Sandusky, who is tormented by one of the columnists at the titular institution. He eventually has a violent breakdown, waving a gun in the columnist’s face and demanding: “Why me? Why you have to pick on me?” To which the columnist gives an answer with a great deal of political and journalistic wisdom in it: “You work for the city, Sandusky. It was your turn.”
Here I am in the Sandusky Register talking about The Smallest Minority, my new book on how social media poisons political discourse:
If the 100 most important American novelists, poets, and playwrights were to suddenly be raptured up to Heaven tomorrow, the event would be of much more actuarial and religious than literary interest. The Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2018 was awarded to a gay novelist about to turn 50 who wrote a novel about a gay novelist about to turn 50. The intelligence and creativity of our time mostly are being consumed by business enterprises, technology, and science. And that isn’t the worst use of human ability, I suppose.
That being said, if you put me at the switch in some grand trolley-car dilemma, I’d probably spare the writers and crash the train into the Capitol.
It was your turn, Sandusky.