The founding editors are slowing down. We’re not mad at anyone anymore. We think everything is great. … But amazingly at n+1, we’ve had this younger generation of angry young women kind of rise up. Something has created space for young editors to come in and be really angry… But that’s holy, that’s the thing that makes great writing: being angry.
”[Kingsley] Amis and [Philip] Larkin complain about women as often as they complain about writers, though here their troubles diverge. ‘I really do not think it likely I shall ever get into the same bed as anyone again because it is so much trouble, almost as much trouble as standing for parliament,’ writes Larkin, who was stooped, balding and myopic. Amis, who was tall and broad-shouldered, with a full head of hair, responds by regaling Larkin with tales of the multiple women he was juggling.”
- Keith Gessen introduces Lucky Jim
After a while, a young guy sitting in the corner nearest us finally asked what we’d been protesting about.
It was our big chance! One of the conceptual artists spoke at length about capitalism and the rise of student debt; Paul the anarchist spoke about the revolutions that had spread through the Arab world, and how, after the Arab Spring, it was time for an American Autumn. I could sense we were losing our audience, but couldn’t myself think of a better way to formulate our grievances. A series of laws, passed at the urging of the richest Americans, had over the years gutted the New Deal social contract, destroying job security, affordable health care, and quality public education, while a small segment of the population earned more money than anyone could know what to do with. As I formulated this in my head, Henry from the Bronx cut in.
“Police brutality,” he said quickly. “Stop-and-frisk.”
“Yeah?” said the guy in the corner.
His name was R. He was twenty-one years old. He had five thousand Facebook friends and made his living, he said, in the drug trade. He and Henry began discussing the movement. Now Thomas, who is working on a conceptual-art project dramatizing the crushing burden that student debt has become for a lot of American young people, asked how much debt R. had, and R. said that he had no debt, and thirty-five hundred dollars in the bank.
“That makes you richer than most Americans,” said Paul, the anarchist, stretching the point a little.
“Did you hear me?” said R. “I said thirty-five hundred dollars.”
“That’s right. But most Americans have debt. The fact that you have no debt means you’re rich.”
“Man,” said R. “I’m learning a lot in this jail cell.”