Nov 1, 2016
Fran Lebowitz is too busy being awesome and has no time to write you a book
There are few things I long for more than for Fran Lebowitz to actually finish the book she has supposedly been writing since before some of you were born. She is an impressive 29 YEARS LATE in getting it to her publisher. Apparently when you are the classic urbane sophisticate, you can get away with a lot of shit.
As a child in the decidedly not cosmopolitan exurbs of Minneapolis, I imagined her lounging about her apartment all day, cigarette in hand, jotting witty bon mots down when they occurred to her, which was pretty much always.
Turns out she pretty much looked exactly that cool, though I don’t ever recall seeing her apartment.
And the books! The books were the bestest books ever. The number of times you have read both Metropolitan Life and Social Studies (now handily collected for you in one volume, The Fran Lebowitz Reader), should exceed ten. YES I SAID TEN. It is almost impossible for me to even figure out what my favorite parts are to quote at you, but I think that her publisher likely frowns on me cutting and pasting the entire book here.
Fran Lebowitz on manners:
All God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable. The most common error made in matters of appearance is the belief that one should disdain the superficial and let the true beauty of one’s soul shine through. If there are places on your body where this is a possibility, you are not attractive—you are leaking.
I get moderately paid to be funny on the internet and I will never, ever write anything that funny. Neither will you unless your name is Fran Lebowitz and you decide to finally finish your fucking book.
Fran Lebowitz on children. Pro:
Children do not sit next to one in restaurants and discuss their preposterous hopes for the future in loud tones of voice.
Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. One can only assume that this has something to do with not smoking enough.
Fran Lebowitz taught me everything I need to know about why most conversations suck:
Looking genuinely attentive is like sawing a girl in half and then putting her back together. It is seldom achieved without the use of mirrors.
The opposite of talking isn’t listening. The opposite of talking is waiting.
Listen, people. She once called a person “audibly tan”. Do you know how many times I’ve stolen that phrase? Somewhere north of infinity.
While Fran Lebowitz is busy wrecking my life by not finishing her book, she’s also enhancing it by having talked herself into a recurring part as a judge on Law & Order. You should really read the whole Vulture interview, but the short version is that she bullied her way on set, did a terrible job auditioning for the trial judge part, and happily settled for the arraignment judge part because she need never stand up or go to her chambers. I submit to you that there is nothing simultaneously as lazy and awesome as that.
She also made a film, Public Speaking, about herself and her general irascible wonderfulness that was directed by Martin Scorsese. She probably did this to avoid writing her book and to break my goddamn heart into a million pieces by failing to do so.
Really, her main job by now is simply to show up at Things, and having her show up at your Thing probably makes it worlds better and certainly more handsome:
I would like Fran Lebowitz to show up where I am sometime, but that would only be a fleeting joy. The real prize would be for her to finish her book because we’re getting to the point where she might die or I might die, and I don’t want to exit this world having not read another Lebowitz book.
[final photo by PR Photos]