Are you watching the Martin Scorsese doc on his friend, Fran Lebowitz, Pretend It’s a City? It’s a joy.
Her thoughts on NYC include a myriad of subjects; slow-walkers, subways, sidewalks, sexism, books, buildings and annoying people. On this new platform she can air her many grievances. And there are MANY.
The doc made #7 on The Wow Report countdown this week. You can watch/listen here. (Btw, James St. James has issues with her…)
Needless to say, Lebowitz does not have a smart phone or laptop and HATES social media, but her one-liners are perfectly suited for the style of shareable humor the internet loves.
So, here you go…
Fran on the lounge chairs former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had installed in Times Square;
“What did that cost? $40 million, taxpayer money. It wasn’t Bloomberg’s treat, either. $40 million, taxpayer money. $40 million for that. Okay? Because so many New Yorkers have said,
‘You know what I hate about New York? There’s not enough places to lie down in Times Square.”
“The surprising thing to me is how many people who are in their 20s now come up to me on the street and say, ‘
Oh Fran, I really wish I lived in New York in the ’70s. It seems like it was so much fun.’
Now there’s one thing I know for fact, that when I was in my 20s, I wasn’t going up to people my age and saying,
‘Ugh, I wish I lived in New York in the ’30s.’ I never thought that!”
“‘I can’t make a cake for a gay couple, because the cake is my art.’ Aside from the political aspect of that, which is reprehensible, there’s also the aspect—I have news for you, Mr. Baker. If you can eat it, it’s not art. Okay? If you can say,
‘I’ll have that, and a cup of coffee, that’s not art! That’s a snack!”
“One of the reasons people our age came to New York, if you were gay, was because you were gay. Now, you can be gay anywhere. We came here because you couldn’t live in those places. That created a density of angry homosexuals. Which is always good for a city.
There’s nothing better for a city than a dense population of angry homosexuals.”
“I’m always surprised, when I’ve been on people’s private planes, that I’m on it. Because I always think, ‘If this was my plane, you wouldn’t be on it!’ What’s the point of having a private plane if other people are on it?
People say, ‘Wouldn’t you want your friends on it?’ No! I would not!”
“As far as wanting to go places, I can’t believe people do it for fun. When I’m in airports, and I see people going on vacations, I think,
‘How horrible could your life be? How bad is your regular life, that you think, you know what would be fun?
Let’s get the kids, go to the airport, with thousands of pieces of luggage, stand in these lines, be yelled at by a bunch of morons, leave late, be squished all together—and this is better than our actual life.’”
“We weren’t even allowed to stay in the house. And that was not peculiar to my household.
‘Get out.’ Just, ‘Get out.’
It wasn’t because they thought we should have fresh air. It’s they thought,
‘We don’t want to see you, get out of the house. We don’t want to deal with you. We’re not interested. Get out of the house.’
And so we went out of the house, and we like, ran around.”
“People want to challenge themselves. This is a big thing that people say all the time:
‘I want to challenge myself.’
These challenges are fake! Climbing a mountain is a fake challenge. You don’t have to climb a mountain. There are many things that people have to do and should do, that they don’t do, because they’re scared to do or because they’re bad at it—those are challenges. A challenge is something you have to do. Not something you make up. […]
I find real life challenging enough. If I get to the dry cleaners without having a huge fight, that’s challenging enough.”
“I can’t believe it’s legal. I cannot believe that it is legal to watch human beings beat each other up as a sport.
I know that people love it! But you know what’s illegal? Cock-fighting. It’s two chickens fighting each other! We eat chickens! At least, I eat chickens, I know there’s some people who don’t.
But so we eat chickens, but they can’t fight with each other, because it’s too brutal.”
Fran in conversation with friend, author Toni Morison says,
“You want to include the reader, invite them in… I don’t want to invite the reader in. I’m not a hostess, I’m a prosecutor.”
(Photos, screen grabs; via Decider)