I just read the sentence “I remember talking to other comics about how we couldn’t do any George W. Bush jokes anymore.” (Judy Gold said this in an interview about comedy after 9/11.) One thing I think younger people might not know, because how would they, is that George W. Bush was the absolute laughingstock of America.
There was nothing America loved more than to come together and mock George W. as a robust team, roasting him mightily. USA!!! What a great thing for us.
For you??? -->
“My Week in New York” is a brief newsletter with a different host each week. It arrives on Saturdays when you least expect it and kicks up some things to enjoy or despise or sample from the week. I’m hosting this Saturday; sign up now! I will not be writing about 9/11 I guess because what is there to say!
OK back to Bushes.
“He was never bothered by it,” claimed two former White House social secretaries.
Oh. Yeah all that mockery, all that japing and clowning … yes, you know who did not care is the … president. You know how when you write something down it suddenly sounds obvious???
Apparently George H. W. Bush, his father, and I know this makes me sound stupid, but I really have a hard time with remembering which Bush was which, I’m just really good at some things but NOT good with others, was a laugh riot. Perhaps a corny laugh riot. And so the Bushes just LOVE to laugh!!!
We know it’s true because George W. once told Jimmy Kimmel: "I love humor.” What kind of funny person wouldn’t say that.
So he was going to get laughed at for a whole term but then 9/11 so who’s dumb now?
Here is something interesting to read on the subject of the Bushes: have you been keeping up with Jenna Bush’s book club? I bet you have not. “For Jenna, and those who #ReadwithJenna, literature is not a doorway to doubt or decadence, a castle in the sky or a secret language, but a space for forgiveness and rehabilitation.” I see.
By the way if you ever need to remember which president is which, here’s a handy Maureen Dowd mnemonic:
If the Clintons are the careless Tom and Daisy Buchanan and Barack Obama is a Camus-like figure of existential estrangement and Donald Trump is a flimflam man out of “Huckleberry Finn,’’ H.W. was Bertie Wooster, an airy WASP propelled to the top by the old boys’ network.
Now you know.
Anyway no one should dunk on anyone because it makes them feel bad, like definitely you shouldn’t ever talk badly about people taking ivermectin, a very powerful and deliciously appley drug that cures scabies.
Do U Have Hot Office Goss For Me???
This is why I originally started typing this email a few days ago but I got busy and it’s not like Substack parked a dumptruck of money in front of my Scrooge McDuck bank vault so I don’t owe you ANYTHING.
But still: I’ve been talking to people about their office-type or formerly office-housed workplaces recently. If you have any intriguing stories or tales to tell of work/life, I would love to hear from you— provided you don’t work in the MEDIA, which honestly is a wacky and isolated island in terms of workplaces with its own concerns and terrible issues and while I would love to be its Jeff Probst (or honestly its Tony Vlachos) it’s … not real. Anyway: I’m particularly interested in talking to middle managers and people managers of the company sort of any age about what working is like “these days.”
I’m on choire dot sicha at voxmedia dot com if you have questions or think you might want to tell me about what things are like!
Speaking of the office!
I’ve never felt more seen (as they say) than when I read this paragraph in a study of Sri Lankan tech workers, nimbly titled “Does person-family fit matter to the relationship between psychological contract and retention of knowledge workers?”
Whew that just saved me years of therapy! People leave jobs because they feel an agreement was betrayed. Perhaps the agreement was unspoken even! That happens quietly all the time to all kinds of people, and not everyone knows, and maybe without even the employee being able to put that into worlds. Do you feel betrayed? Then you may be in trouble. Or you may be about to win a secret sweepstakes!!! Congratulations in advance.
I did not really proofread or factcheck this newsletter before sending! Thoughts and prayers! Hope there’s nothing terribly offensive or badly wrong in it! Fare thee well!