See You, I Mean, Interact with You in the Morning

Goldberg and Orlean

See You, I Mean, Interact with You in the Morning

Goldberg and Orlean

See You, I Mean, Interact with You in the Morning
An email conversation about the news of the day.
Jan. 26 1999 6:19 PM

Goldberg and Orlean

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I always think flowers are nice. Plus a web site. And maybe a We Are the World sort of recorded tribute; I just know Kim would have loved it. By the way, do you think her breasts are real? Just wondering.

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Ruth's Chris' Steak's House's food's name is a bafflement. First of all, who the hell is Ruth? And what is she doing with Chris' steakhouse? And does Chris' have an "s" when it's possessive or is the ' sufficient? Plus, try saying that name sometime. It's absurd.

Here's my theory about black actors: There is a patronizing, infantalizing streak in television and movies that requires all rich, fatuous TV and movie people to write parts for black (or gay or Latino) characters that show them to be emotionally superior to white people, by way of saying 1) black people are simpler and more earthy than white people are, and therefore have deeper feelings--because they have no brains! and 2) black people were put on earth to be emotionally nurturing mammy figures to uptight, overachieving, brainy white people--because they (the mammy figures) have no brains--but they have huge soulful hearts! It drives me crazy, crazy, crazy. There's a soulful Negro in almost every movie/TV show you see--theoretically a flattering characterization, except it is utterly patronizing, compensatory, and based on the deeply-held belief that black people ... have no brains!

Whew. That exhausted me.

In case you were wondering, Big Baby Jesus' nom de rap was Ol' Dirty Bastard until recently, when he embraced his Bigness, his Babyishness, and his Jesusness. And once again, for the record, I'm not, I don't think, and never have been, I don't think, the Anti-Christ. To raise this to a new plateau of discourse, may I just point out that you protest awful much? Which is to say, the only wisdom I came away with from Camp Cardinal for girls was: He who smelt it dealt it.

Now I really am exhausted. See you in the morning. I mean, not "see you" because I don't "see" you, but I mean, I'll interact with you in the morning. Well, not "interact" exactly, but... nevermind. I think I hear Sidney calling.

Kimishly yours,

S

Jeffrey Goldberg is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and Slate. Susan Orlean is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of The Orchid Thief, which was published this month.