(This letter is an excerpt from the new memoir Public Apology, out today!)
Sorry for choosing Hannah and Her Sisters when you asked me to go out and rent some movies for our family to watch to get our minds off the fact that Dad had been diagnosed with cancer.
You remember, I'm sure, that this was just a couple weeks before I graduated from high school. It must have been a weekend, because we were all at home in the afternoon. Dad walked in to the TV room with his friend David Landy. You could tell that David Landy had been crying.
"The doctor just hit me [...]
"Today, we also live in an age when our reputation is at the mercy of people we barely know, just as it was back in high school, for the simple reason that we lead much more public, interconnected lives. The prospect of sudden humiliation once again trails us, now in the form of unflattering photographs of ourselves or unwanted gossip, virally reproduced. The whole world has become a box of interacting strangers. Maybe, perversely, we should be grateful that high school prepares us for this life. The isolation, the shame, the aggression from those years—all of it readies us to cope. But one also has to wonder whether high [...]
With a gay couple named prom king and queen in Sanford, Maine, and an alleged lesbian-gay male prom king and queen pair at a charter school in Hialeah, FL, and a trans prom queen and gay male prom king in Davie, Florida, one must ask: are the kids actually alright? Well, probably. The downside is that, allegedly according to alleged students in Florida, their prom queen is allegedly kind of a gossipy meanie. But hey, that's the very definition of equality, when mean girls can come in any stripe and connive their way to the most important and meaningful social position in high school! Don't worry, [...]
Since at least the 1980s, Evanston Township High School—the only (and extremely large) high school serving the suburb directly north of Chicago—has been both incredibly diverse and incredibly two-tracked. There was a lunch cafeteria for white people and a lunch cafeteria for black people—also, to its credit, an (at least somewhat) more integrated cafeteria for the freaks. That is where the smoking courtyard used to be, today's young people may be astounded to hear! Likewise, in classes there's a track for white people and some other non-black people and then a track for pretty much everyone else. Summer school classes, for instance? Nearly entirely black. Now, the school's [...]
Dear woman who lived up on the hill near the lighthouse,
Sorry for stealing the head of that Greek statue from your lawn.
A Gizmodo-explained exploit of a long-dormant text-message command for the microblogging service Twitter that resulted in celebrities being potentially, gasp, forced to follow regular old folks resulted in, among other things, every user's follower/following count being reset to zero temporarily while the Twitter honchos figured out how to close the loophole. (I was actually wondering how many people used Twitter's SMS functionality — which was the original reason behind the service's 140-character-per-message-constraint, and which was the culprit behind this forced-following epidemic — just the other day! It would seem the answer is "not many, especially among employees of the company's beta-testing department.") Anyway, all is back to [...]
Dear owner of the white house at the corner of Northvale and Southvale Avenues in Little Silver, New Jersey,
I'm sorry for throwing rocks at your house.