It’s been a month from hell for many Canadians — watching truckers clog the Ambassador Bridge and destroy normal life in the national capital for thousands more living in the city center. Not to mention an arson attempt — including locking shut the building’s front doors — on an Ottawa apartment building.
For those readers here who are not Canadian, this thuggish bullying behavior (still felt by First Nations and Inuit) has come as a tremendous shock to the system, in a country where we are socialized heavily to be polite, civil, calm. To discuss issues, not block millions of dollars of global trade because you feel like it.
It has really struck at the heart of what Canadians, at best, like to think of themselves — and I was born there and lived there ages five to 30. We are generally well-educated, thanks to much more affordable university than the U.S., and with a stronger system of public education. We are proud of being less aggressive and violent, not shooting one another daily, our children not subjected to “active shooter drills” in school.
So persistent aggression is simply…not what we’re used to.
The pandemic and Trump and the GOP and reams of disinformation and misinformation and about zero media literacy have added up to a new and toxic form of “freedom” — spitting and coughing viral load onto others for amusement; punching flight attendants in the face for daring to insist every passenger wear a mask; screaming abuse at retail clerks for asking shoppers to wear a mask. (Data point — the Canadian Olympic women’s hockey team at Beijing 2022 beat the Russians wearing masks.)
Freedom has become weaponized into others’ fantasy we owe them deference, obedience, admiration, when all they’re doing is having the sort of public tantrum any weary parent hopes will fade after toddlerhood.
I am also really fed up watching fellow journalists — often trying to do a TV stand-up out in public — being shoved, shouted at and insulted for doing their job.
It’s incredibly selfish for anyone refusing vaccination to suck up ICU and ER and OR skills when others are getting sicker and sicker or dying for lack of access to the care they need.
People who were mature enough to care for themselves and their neighbors.
There are very few book of more than 500 pages anyone wants to tackle!
Let alone one that focuses on an international source of death…
No, not COVID, but AIDS.
I found this book on the shelf at my father’s house on our visit to Ontario in September and had been wanting to read it for many years but hadn’t sought it out.
Then, there, I had time to sit in the fall sunshine and read for hours.
Despite the grim topic and the fact it all happened more than 30 years ago it is a tremendous read — powerful real characters, from death-denying politicians, AIDS activists, researchers in Washington and Paris competing for prestige and power as they sought a vaccine, the individual men and women affected and their families and friends…
It is an astonishing piece of reporting, of history — and so sadly, powerfully prescient of what we’re all enduring with COVID. Of course its author, Randy Shilts, also later died of the disease.
I remember a lot of this because it was also my time.
I was a young and ambitious daily newspaper reporter in the mid 1980s, and so AIDS became part of the work I did for The Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette. I lost two dear friends — both gay men — to this disease because, then, it just killed everyone, and they died terrible deaths.
I still remember the names of some of those incredibly dedicated and frustrated doctors doing their best against, then, an implacable enemy.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was one of them.
For millions of closeted gay men, it also meant suddenly coming out to their families — some of whom rejected them, leaving them to die alone in ever-more-crowded hospital wards.
It affected women and children through shared needles, through blood tranfusions, through unprotected sex with men who were infected, whether they knew it or not.
We were horrified by it, scared of it, despairing when someone we loved called to tell us it was now their turn.
I know most of you won’t even consider reading it, and I get it!
But it is an important and powerful testament to all the issues we’re fighting today….still!
Vicious battles between those who recognize(d) the science and those who refused.
Demonization of victims.
Demonization of the health-care workers caring for them.
Fear that caring for AIDS patients could kill someone.
Insufficient funding to help victims.
Insufficient government action — sooner — to mitigate the disease’s spread.
If you’re still hoping to find a partner, it can feel like an exhausting and overwhelming search.
I spent my 20s dating a lot of men, but not wanting a long-term commitment from anyone, certainly not marriage. I didn’t want children and I wanted, long-term, to get to New York, a difficult thing for most Canadians.
So after I moved to Montreal, I fell in love with an American medical student from New Jersey. I was able to obtain a “green card” allowing me to live and work permanently in the U.S.
We spent seven years together, but should never have married.
I experienced repeated collisions of misaligned values and discovered personality traits I wanted to avoid. Dates that caused me to be versions of myself I didn’t like and cost me time that I could have spent on my couch: just me, a Vicodin and a book about sadness.
To break this cycle, I decided to track it all. Make sense of the patterns and change them.
Cue the Trello board. As of today, the board has six stages and eight traits. It’s similar to the business development process of a salesperson, with each stage representing a step toward a successful deal and each trait representing a characteristic that is more likely to lead to success.
The stages are: To Vet, Vetting, Vetted, Scheduling, Scheduled and Dating. Each person is represented by a Trello card — a kind of digital sticky note.
Before I go on a date with anyone, his card progresses from left to right, passing through these stages until we’re dating. If we never get that far, I archive his card, in which case an archived card is all he will ever be.
I evaluate my potential dates based on eight traits. Five of those traits I try to learn about before the date. The remaining three I think about after the date.
Before the first date, I try to determine the following: Does he make me laugh via text? Does he live in L.A.? Does he like his job? Is he down to go backpacking? Will he get on the phone?
Years ago, after my miserable two-year marriage — he walked out barely two years to the date of our marriage, and remarried a colleague within the year — I found the acronym PEPSI, and used it think more seriously about compatibility with potential partners.
I stayed divorced and single for six years.
I had a few marriage proposals, one very serious.
But I didn’t want them, from those people, one from a man I had had a huge crush on in my 20s after I profiled him for a Toronto magazine. Oddly, later, we dated seriously for about six months, but there was a large age difference — that didn’t bother me at 24 but did at 39.
I did want to re-marry, even though my first husband was unfaithful, which broke my heart.
I have spent a lot of my life alone and, while I’m pretty independent, I much prefer having someone loyal and loving to share my life with.
I knew a few women like me who kept striking out and finally made a list of what they most wanted in a partner.
Everyone thinks: cute, smart, rich.
After a few decades in the trenches it’s a lot more like: funny, smart, kind, flexible, accomplished.
I wanted a unicorn — someone virtually impossible to find in New York City — a man who was both highly accomplished but also modest about it.
Someone able to be deeply serious and responsible about the matters of adult life (bills, savings, health issues) but able to laugh a lot.
Someone generous emotionally, able to easily express affection, something I struggle with.
I found Jose online while writing about online dating for a women’s magazine.
We would never have met otherwise — even though we had people who knew us both.
This was then part of my thinking if I met a man who seemed interesting.
So, how compatible, really, were we?
P for Professional
E for Emotional
P for Physical Attraction
S for Spiritual
I for Intellectual
There were some serious doubts on both parts.
P met the bill, both of them.
E…well, two very stubborn people!
He felt I wasn’t nearly spiritual enough for him, a devout Buddhist. I told him that seemed mighty judgmental.
I feared he wasn’t intellectual enough.
Yet here are, 21 years later!
Some of the qualities I think essential in a life partner include a phenomenal work ethic, a spirit of generosity for himself and others, awareness of the world and how it works (and doesn’t), a commitment to making others happier.
Resilience is huge. We’ve been through a lot of stuff — deep family conflicts, his turning full-time freelance, his diabetes diagnosis, my breast cancer. I wanted someone with a spine and a heart!
We each arrive to the quest with our own specific deficits and needs, our strengths and weaknesses.
But knowing who we are and what we value most is a good start.
Traditional con men do their work one person at a time. It’s a laborious process, earning trust and the benefit of the doubt before ultimately ripping someone off.
Toward the end of my dad’s life, shameless/shameful phone salespeople did just this and stole his trust, his time and his money.
Like most things, industrialists want to do it faster and bigger.
Scammy direct mail used to be obvious even at a distance. The labels, the stamps, the typography–it all signaled that this wasn’t personal.
And the occasional phone salesperson, calling from a boiler room–we could tell.
Now, as data acquisition continues to scale and become ever more granular, the hustle is getting more personal.
It’s in an uncanny valley–almost real, but not quite. And of course, the distance keeps getting shorter.
So the mail merge, the phone spam, the faux intimacy of a stranger. They continue to blur the lines between personal and personalized.
The end result is going to be a shrinking of our previously-widening circle of trust.
The benefit of the doubt is priceless. I have no patience for people who want to take it away from us.
I think about trust a lot.
I grew up in a family much more comfortable expressing anger, verbally, or not discussing feelings at all. I spent my childhood between boarding school and summer camp, surrounded by strangers, some of who were horrible, some of whom became dear friends.
When you’ve seen that people don’t want to listen to you, or misuse and twist what you’ve shared with them, trust isn’t something you later just quickly hand over to everyone!
I’ve learned this the hard way.
So it’s left me very wary.
In my 20s, I made the fatal error of telling a few coworkers II thought were friends something potentially damaging to me personally who, of course, used it against me. I left Toronto and never went back.
In my late 30s, divorced and lonely and my self-confidence at a very low ebb, I met a charming, handsome man through a personals ad — remember those?!
He said he was a lawyer and had a business card and personal stationery that seemed legit and spent a lot of time on the phone arguing with his “partner.”
He was just a con man who had already rooked a bunch of women in Chicago, done time for his crimes, and was now picking off fresh prey in New York and a few other states at once.
It became the most frightening experience of my life because the police laughed at me when I realized what a victim I’d become and the district attorney laughed because “no harm was done.”
The breast cancer diagnosis I got in June 2018 (early stage, no chemo) finally broke me open. I had to trust a whole new medical team to be kind and gentle and skilled — from the tiny black dot tattoos they put on your skin to guide the radiation machine to the techs who lay me face down there daily for 20 days.
Journalism is an odd business — because my role is to win trust fast from total strangers.
But I’ve learned how to do that and I’m good at it. Mostly it requires empathy. Really listening carefully without judgment.
There’s also now a very deep and widespread mistrust of journalists, which really upsets me. The monster who screamed FAKE NEWS at us for four years made sure of that.
So we’re really at a crisis point when it comes to trust.
Readers in England know what this post refers to — the recent horrific and shocking kidnap and murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who walked home alone from a friend’s house but was waylaid, of all people, by a Met policeman, now allegedly her killer.
A public vigil held in in her honor became a site of rage and chaos as London police handcuffed women protestors and dragged them away.
Not exactly what anyone wanted.
Apparently, the constant fear and hyper-vigilance that women of all ages simply take for granted, is breaking news to some men.
We spend/waste so much of our lives making sure we are safe — we hope — by choosing a well-lit street or populated subway car, checking our car back seat before we get in.
Parking lots at night? No thanks!
Underground parking garages with no one around? No thanks!
Going for a run or a walk through woods or a forest or at dawn or dusk? No thanks!
Wearing headphones while out in public, just walking? No thanks!
Refusing the attentions, always unwanted, of some random man — Smile, sweetheart! –– can lead to a barrage of shouted filth, sometimes even a vicious physical attack.
almost one in three women in the UK will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime and women are far more likely to be killed by a partner than a stranger – so it’s not like keeping men in the house after 6pm would make women safe….
We’re used to women’s freedoms and women’s bodies being up for debate, you see. We’re used to women being told to modify our behaviour as a reaction to male violence. Women may not be under a formal curfew but you only need to look at the disgusting victim-blaming that went on with Sarah Everard to see that we’re under an informal one. Why was she out at 9.30 at night? Why did she walk home instead of taking a cab? What did she expect? Our freedom of movement after dark may not be restricted by the government, but we often don’t have the freedom to fully relax. We regulate our behaviour automatically; we keep our keys in our hands, we stay on high alert, we pay extra to take a cab because we’re worried about walking home. Street harassment is so common we brush it off as “nothing”; after all, it’s not like there’s anything that we can do we about it anyway. As a recent letter to the Guardian pointed out, “you can be fined for dropping litter in the UK, but not for harassing a woman or girl in public”.
The only time I was attacked was, bizarrely, in my own apartment, in downtown Toronto, never (thank God) on the street. I was not badly hurt, just scared enough to move within a few weeks.
However quaint the notion, most Western women now believe in two words to define how we want to, intend to, spend our lives — autonomy and agency.
But, funny thing, lived in homes and on streets and using public transit and public spaces overwhelmingly designed for the comfort and safety of men.
When we met, I was then six years divorced from my first husband, a psychiatrist I’d met in Montreal when I was a newspaper reporter and he was finishing med school at McGill. Our two-year marriage was miserable and he’d simply walked out.
I was lonely and isolated in the suburbs of New York, where all people do is work and raise kids.
I’d had a few boyfriends, one who broke my heart (after making me laugh harder for our six months together than anyone ever had), one a ship’s engineer, one a tech whiz, one an architect. It had not been dull.
Then, thanks to writing a magazine story about online dating, (he saw and answered my profile, which read “Catch Me If You Can”) Jose and I met for dinner at Le Madeleine, a midtown Manhattan French bistro, in early March. We had emailed and spoken by phone. He looked great. I wore a turtleneck and a blazer, typical WASP wear.
He ended the evening with a flourish — taking off his red silk Buddhist prayer shawl, scented with 1881, (a gorgeous cologne), wrapping me in it and sending me home on the commuter train.
His move-in day to my apartment was….9/11. He arrived a week later, (and the Pulitzer prize the Times won for photo editing [that he worked on]) that day is a lovely part of our home.
We finally married in September 2011 in a historic church on Centre island in Toronto’s harbor.
Here are 21 reasons we’re still together, laughing, hoping for 21 more:
He’s funny as hell. You wouldn’t think so, from a former New York Times photographer and photo editor, working in a fairly stuffy stiff environment. We laugh almost daily.
He smells good.That cologne! I’ve since kept him in other classic fragrances like his favorite Grey Flannel, Dior’s Eau Sauvage and Hermes Rocabar.
I love his style. Classic. I did get him out of pleats. My father is a super-elegant guy who cleans up well. So does Jose.
He somehow tolerates my weird family. It’s just not a Hallmark card, that’s for sure. His patience with them far exceeds mine.
But he has also stood up for me against them, when necessary.
He’s seen me through five surgeries. Not fun! Always calm.
He’s seen me through (early stage) breast cancer. There was a lot of crying until we learned it was contained and gone.
He has good ideas about how better to do my writing work.
He has good ideas about his photography and photo editing work.
His work ethic is insane.
He hugs a lot.
He says I love you often.
I see the world differently through the eyes of an American who is Hispanic. This has taught me a lot.
He had a loving, calm childhood, which informs our marriage. Mine was not often that.
We plan our next meal before we’re done with the current one. We do love great food!
He brings me breakfast in bed.
His Buddhism, and basic personality, keeps him calm and generally very un-flappable.
He still surprises me, in good ways.
We’ve both had to do plenty of apologizing and forgiving. That’s new for me, coming from a family that didn’t do much of it, at all.
We love to travel together, near and far — so far to Mexico, Paris, Canada, his native New Mexico, Ireland, Arizona, D.C.
What’s nice is that I could probably double the length of this list.
We did have a very tough few years at first — we were, when we met, two very stubborn, driven mid-career journalists; both long divorced; in some ways very very different personalities (he’s the detail guy. Me, not so much.)
We initially fought a lot and we both have tempers and a stock of harsh words.
John Lewis — the first of the Freedom Riders, head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, youngest speaker at the March on Washington, leader of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Member of Congress representing the people of this state and this district for 33 years, mentor to young people, including me at the time, until his final day on this Earth — he not only embraced that responsibility, but he made it his life’s work.
Which isn’t bad for a boy from Troy. John was born into modest means — that means he was poor — in the heart of the Jim Crow South to parents who picked somebody else’s cotton. Apparently, he didn’t take to farm work — on days when he was supposed to help his brothers and sisters with their labor, he’d hide under the porch and make a break for the school bus when it showed up.
Ordinary people with extraordinary vision can redeem the soul of America by getting in what I call good trouble, necessary trouble. Voting and participating in the democratic process are key. The vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent you have in a democratic society. You must use it because it is not guaranteed. You can lose it.
You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time. People on every continent have stood in your shoes, through decades and centuries before you. The truth does not change, and that is why the answers worked out long ago can help you find solutions to the challenges of our time. Continue to build union between movements stretching across the globe because we must put away our willingness to profit from the exploitation of others.
Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe. In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.
Her latest, First Cow, is set in the muddy woods of 1820s Oregon, where a weary cook working for a whiny band of trappers meets an on-the-lam Chinese man who murdered a Russian after they killed one of his friends.
It’s not the elegant Jane Austen 1820s of England, with lush green lawns and sprawling estates — but the messy, struggling, brawling world of men trying to establish some sort of life in still-new-to-them America. There are native characters and even un-subtitled dialogue in a native tongue. You feel absolutely in the era.
The contrast between most residents’ mud-floored shacks and the beautifully painted house of the area’s wealthiest man are something — he holds a tea party, yammering on about the latest fashions in Paris and London — while everyone else slips and slides in filthy, ragged clothes.
It’s full of quirky and unexpected moments, like when the wealthy man’s wife, in ruffled burgundy silk, speaks in native tongue and admires the ornate wampum necklace of a visiting chief’s wife.
The film centers on the friendship of the two men, Otis “Cookie” Figowitz and King-Lu, who both really need a break. They have no family or education or money but King-Lu, who has already traveled the world, is filled with ambition. So when the area’s first dairy cow arrives, by boat, their scheme is hatched — they’ll milk her at night and hope no one sees them.
The authorities had been tracking Ms. Maxwell’s movements and had recently learned about her relocation to the New Hampshire home, an F.B.I. official said.
The indictment charged Ms. Maxwell with six counts, including transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. She also faces perjury charges for statements she made during a deposition in 2016 about her role in Mr. Epstein’s alleged sex trafficking operation.
“Maxwell enticed minor girls, got them to trust her, then delivered them into the trap that she and Epstein had set for them,” Audrey Strauss, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, said at a news conference on Thursday.
I was never — thank heaven — sexually groomed and victimized.
But I absolutely understand how it happens, and have written here before about this, so I won’t get back into all the grim details.
In 1998, I was a lonely, worried, isolated new divorcee, with no children, living in the suburbs of New York — an affluent place full of people with kids. This was back when we had and read weekly alternative newspapers, whose personal ads were still a thing, when the Internet was newer as a way to meet potential partners.
I answered an ad placed, it said, by a lawyer who liked to play tennis. “Integrity and honesty paramount,” it said.
But of course it did — placed by a convicted con man who had already victimized many people in Chicago, done time and moved to New York to start again.
He was, oddly, extremely kind and apparently generous, bringing me a pot of home-made soup when I was ill, “paying” for a plane ticket to Australia after I missed my flight (part of his set-up since he made me late), quickly cooing at me (which I found creepy and weird) how much he loved me.
It took me four long crazy months, and hiring a former NYPD detective turned private investigator to finally smoke the guy out, to realize what I had allowed to enter my life and terrorize me.
By then, he’d committed at least six more felonies, including opening my mail, activating a credit card in my name, using that card and forging my signature — in front of me.
And the police and district attorney laughed it all off, because it was “only” fraud.
Predators choose their victims carefully.
Maxwell, allegedly, did her grooming very skilfully — finding young, vulnerable women who found her attention thrilling, at first.
What I learned very painfully, as an adult in 1998, is that being vulnerable and alone can leave one very easy pickings for people with nefarious purposes.
Nice isn’t always that at all.
After I recovered from my own experience, I joined a church, shored up my friendships and took a long time to trust again.
It is a brilliant analysis of all the many powerful ways girls and women are socialized to be delighted by attention and what appears to be affection.
To let a kindly stranger “help” us when we’re lonely and broke and scared.
Being vulnerable means being too open, too trusting, too quick to set aside our intuition that it’s time to flee.
From Wikipedia, and from the book, his useful warning signs that someone is grooming you:
Forced Teaming. This is when a person implies that they have something in common with their chosen victim, acting as if they have a shared predicament when that isn’t really true. Speaking in “we” terms is a mark of this, i.e. “We don’t need to talk outside… Let’s go in.”
Charm and Niceness. This is being polite and friendly to a chosen victim in order to manipulate him or her by disarming their mistrust.
Too many details. If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.
Typecasting. An insult is used to get a chosen victim who would otherwise ignore one to engage in conversation to counteract the insult. For example: “Oh, I bet you’re too stuck-up to talk to a guy like me.” The tendency is for the chosen victim to want to prove the insult untrue.
Loan Sharking. Giving unsolicited help to the chosen victim and anticipating they’ll feel obliged to extend some reciprocal openness in return.
The Unsolicited Promise. A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, “I promise I’ll leave you alone after this,” usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited “I promise I won’t hurt you” usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim.
Discounting the Word “No”. Refusing to accept rejection.
As someone with a green card, I can’t vote — so my enthusiasm for how New York’s governor Andrew Cuomo is handling this crisis will carry no political weight.
But every morning now, at 11:30 a.m. EDT on weekdays and noon on weekends, we watch his 30-minute press conferences, live, and listen to another 30 minutes of questions from reporters and his replies.
Jose , (my husband), spent eight years in the White House Press Corps as a New York Times photographer, covering Presidents Reagan, GW Bush, Clinton. He’s heard plenty of political spin and is not easily impressed, but is a huge fan of Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis — and New York City is the hardest-hit city in the United States.
Unlike the joke in the White House, Cuomo — another born-and-bred New Yorker — doesn’t bullshit or blather on about how great he is.
Nor does he insult the press corps, whose job it is to question every elected official and keep them accountable, as 45 does, most recently telling two veteran reporters: “Don’t be a cutie pie” and “Be nice. Don’t be threatening.”
During the conferences, Cuomo’s team also shows viewers clean, clear graphics with the numbers of infected, where, in the hospital, recovered — and dead. He explains who is most likely to die from the disease and why.
We live in a small suburban town, so density and crowding are less pressing for us than in the five boroughs of New York City.
Yet the state’s patient zero lives in a suburban town on the other side of our county. He went to synagogue (infecting many), traveled into the city by commuter train (more) and went about his business there (more again.) He’s alive and out of the hospital.
In the past few days, the National Guard equipped the enormous Javits Convention Center on the western edge of Manhattan as a hospital with 3,000 beds.
The Javits Center is an amazing facility,” said Semonite, [Gen. Todd Semonite, the head of the Army Corps of Engineers.] “Every 10 feet there’s a great big steel door in the floor, you open it up in there is all the electrical; there’s cold water, there’s hot water and there’s a place for sewers, so you can actually do things like sinks, right in the middle of a convention center to be able to make that happen.”
The hospital will be staffed by 350 medical personnel from FEMA and 600 medical personnel serving with the two Army hospitals.
Non-COVID-19 patients will be transported from hospitals in the New York City area to the convention center, just as they will be at the 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship the USNS Comfort when it is operational in New York Harbor on Tuesday.
Here’s a New York Times piece about Cuomo:
To the surprise of many who did not associate the name “Andrew Cuomo” with the word “empathy,” the governor has become a sort of national shrink, talking us through our fear, our loss and our growing stir-craziness.
“This is going be a long day, and it’s going to be a hard day, and it’s going to be an ugly day, and it’s going to be a sad day,” he told officers from the New York National Guard on Friday, charging them to fight this “invisible” and “insidious” beast and “kick coronavirus’s ass.”
Because New York is at the epicenter of the epidemic in the United States, with 519 deaths and 44,635 confirmed cases, as of noon Friday, Americans have their eyes on the state. Cuomo knows this. “New York is the canary in the coal mine,” he said during one of his passionate televised pleas for the president to provide more ventilators.
It is more than passing strange that in this horror-movie moment, with 13 people dying on Tuesday at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and a refrigerated truck parked outside to collect the bodies, the nation’s two most prominent leaders are both Queens scions. Both men grew up in the shadows of their fathers, the hard-working sons of European immigrants.
The Trump family is a model of bad nepotism — noblesse oblige in reverse. Such is their reputation as scammers that congressional Democrats felt the need to put a provision in the coronavirus rescue bill to try to prevent Trump-and-Kushner Inc. from carving out a treat of their own.
“Government, presidential elections, it was tweets, it was all one-liners, it was all personality, character, celebrity. That’s what politics had become. And all of a sudden you have changed the lens,” he said while an aide brought him a large Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. “Government is about real capacity and real consequences and really knowing what you’re doing and real leadership. Elect the people who know what they’re doing, because you elect somebody because they are a celebrity, or because they have a great slogan, and then you ask them to perform. What do they say?’ ‘I never told you I could perform. I told you I was good looking. I told you I tweeted a lot. I told you I had a great slogan. I never told you I was competent.’ And by the way, it’s really serious. It’s not about celebrity and slogans. That is a stark shift. This is government at wartime.”
And, in a lighter vein, this from Michelle Collins, in Marie Claire magazine:
But the one thing I do have to look forward to every day like clockwork has been New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily press briefings at 11 a.m. (Sometimes he’s late, and starts them at 11:30. I’ve started referring to this waiting time as “Cuomo FOMO.”) Like a velveteen gravity blanket for my soul, the second I see this man’s perfectly weathered face and tousled curls, the moment his Pacino-like accent fills my living room with its mafia-like authority, my blood pressure drops, my breasts seem to perk up on their own, and a tingly feeling of optimism washes over my imprisoned body as I think to myself… I think we’re gonna be okay.
Also: I think I’m in love with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.