Monday, November 29, 2010
Fran Lebowitz in Public Speaking: Catch If You Can
Over the weekend I watched Martin Scorsese's documentary Public Speaking on HBO. It's about author and magazine writer Fran Lebowitz, and I highly recommend it. She's smart (no duh!) and funny. Oh, wait. Maybe I mean "witty." I especially appreciated her commentary on race, gender, America's current disdain for intellectuals, and how much she procrastinates.
Of interest to people down here, Lebowitz says she once gave a lecture in New Orleans, and her curly hair went wild in our humidity. During the question-answer period, some smart-mouthed college frat boy (had to be from Tulane) asked her "Who does your hair?" She quipped, "Why? Do you want to meet him?" or something like that. The boy was later ostracized, according to his mother. Mortified, she wrote Lebowitz, blaming the writer for her son becoming depressed and dropping out of school.
Yikes! Now that's what I call hunting to place blame.
I also enjoyed the clips with Toni Morrison and others, such as James Baldwin debating William F. Buckley. Apparently Scorsese orchestrated having Morrison interview Lebowitz. In addition, Lebowitz tells a great story about sitting at the children's table when Toni Morrison received her Nobel Prize and being chided for standing up while the king was sitting. The woman's a great storyteller.
She appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week. Here's a clip.
Her remarks about her ignorance of Twitter and digital technology in general further amused me. She lives at a slower pace than the rest of us and says if someone told her you can send texts with a microwave, she'd believe them.
Lebowitz is one of those people I'd like to have lunch with but more than likely, she would find me incredibly boring.