A lot of people ask me why I am studying Journalism, which some might argue is a “lost cause” (THANKS A LOT, CNN). After three years of taking classes and twenty years of never closing my mouth, I think I finally have an answer. Being a journalist is just a good excuse for talking to people who I never normally would approach. And though it takes a great listener (and a good Moleskine) to be a journalist and writer, I will manage to find a way to talk about myself. Then if no one cares to listen, I resort to Twitter, where RT’s and Favorites are basically applause. Thanks to Mindy Kaling, I think I can finally steer every conversation towards me.
I have no doubt that conversation is an art. And not “my 3-year-old kid can do that” type of art. My dad gave me a book in high school called The Art of Conversation, when I probably needed a book called, How To Stop Talking Because There Are Other People, You Selfish B*tch. I have encountered “foot in mouth” syndrome along the way, but I’ve learned to add more to the list of conversational taboo.
SoulCycle: Move over, Scientology. The culty, trendy bikers at SoulCycle are taking the lead in controversy. It’s the church where “Sunday’s best” means LuluLemon, and wine is replaced with SmartWater and the instructor’s sweat. I have compared my best friend to a Mormon missionary working for the gods of SoulCycle, while I am simply the one who goes on Easter and Christmas. Months ago after taking my first class and self-indulgently posting about it on Facebook, one of my “friends” immediately makes a New Yorker-worthy status cynically shooting down SoulCycle. In a victorious turn of events, I got more “likes.” Then somehow, SoulCycle has managed to find itself in the middle of a conversation again, which is no surprise in Brooklyn. I was speaking with someone whose friend had just quit teaching at The New School to be a SoulCycle Instructor. I tread lightly on the subject, unsure where my conversational partner stood on the issue, realizing the polarization between cyclists and bikers and everyone else. But at least they can just brush off haters with their killer calves.
Flashdance: Late Friday night, I was in the middle of a conversation I never thought I would have. Three others, who were in their late 20’s and early 30’s, started talking about Flashdance. I am a person who only watches political debates in the event one candidate makes a pop culture reference. Here I am, too young to be having a conversation about a movie that came out in 1983, ten years before I was born? This can’t be happening. I made a comment about banana clips, just after googling what they were. Some people have not watched Flashdance, therefore should not be mentioned in a conversation. This can also be applied to Star Wars: Return of the Jedi— yes, another movie I have yet to watch.
Journalism with a capital J: Tom Wolfe would be rolling in his grave if he read the tweets of The Huffington Post. Oh, he’s still alive? Then send him a link to my blog. I was attending an event for High School Journalism students when the MC asked the audience for a joke– I think I was a bit too loud when I responded with, “Ha! Journalism.” If CNN now has to keep reminding the audience (and itself) that “This is CNN,” then maybe we may be losing the point of being The Fourth Estate. As naive as it may sound, I still believe that the next Woodward & Bernstein are somewhere out there…but they’re probably too busy updating their blog and Tumblr.
P.S. What’s on your list of conversational taboo?