“The people who run our cities don’t understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit. The people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff. Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you, it’s yours to take, rearrange and re use. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.”—
"A couple of weeks ago, while I was on vacation, my cell phone rang; it was Jorge Bolanos, the head of the Cuban Interest Section (we of course don’t have diplomatic relations with Cuba) in Washington. "I have a message for you from Fidel," he said. This made me sit up straight. "He has read your Atlantic article about Iran and Israel. He invites you to Havana on Sunday to discuss the article.” I am always eager, of course, to interact with readers of The Atlantic, so I called a friend at the Council on Foreign Relations, Julia Sweig, who is a preeminent expert on Cuba and Latin America: “Road trip,” I said.”
“I admire the achievements, the technical achievements, but the film is an abomination because of its New Age schlock and bullshit. When I see them sitting in some sort of collective meditation or yoga or collective yoga class, it just makes me cringe. I want to be somewhere else, far away from the cinema.”—
So, what I guess I’m trying to answer or say is that I don’t - being inside my head is what I have to offer you, and so that’s what I do. And it isn’t - to me, when I relate to a piece of fiction or a novel or something, it isn’t that it makes me step outside of myself. Although sometimes, there are those kind of books. But, I mean, the things that I really relate to is when I read something that is articulate, something that I felt but haven’t been able to articulate. And I find that incredibly moving. And I find an incredible sense of community in that.
And sometimes it’s over centuries, which is even more exciting to me. If I read something somebody wrote 300 years ago, and it’s me, you know, what I’m going through now in my head - I mean, it sends chills down my spine. And I feel like that’s what I want to be able to offer, that if I offer myself, that there’s a chance that somebody else will feel connected because they felt that. And even if the story is sad, you can be connected in your sadness and the sadness of being a human being.
“A generation of digital activists had hoped that the web would connect groups separated in the real world. The internet was supposed to transcend colour, social identity and national borders. But research suggests that the internet is not so radical. People are online what they are offline: divided, and slow to build bridges.”