Drunk On Kerry

Kerry Howley Video Channel

Reason Magazine Video Channel

After coming home late from glamorous Hollywood premieres, I’ve been staying up all hours to edit and upload my photos. While doing this arduous work, I’ve watched numerous editions of the Fox News show "Red Eye" hosted by Greg Gutfeld.

It’s my favorite TV show. And on my favorite TV show, my favorite character is Reason magazine Senior Editor Kerry Howley. She’s hot and smart and funny.

I’ve been drunk on Kerry for two months now.

A couple of weeks ago at the LA Press Club, I was stumbling around Matt Welch’s goodbye party muttering "Who’s this Kerry Howley bird? I’d really like to interview her. I’ve got some questions for this philosopher. Yeah, I’ve got some questions. Matt, what is Kerry Howley really like? Gawd, she’s so hot. Emmanuelle, tell me about Kerry. Just one insight. It’d be like nectar from the gods. Do you think she’ll really last with Will Wilkinson or will that cad break her heart? If so, who will be there to comfort her? Being libertarian can be lonely. Who will she run to? Who’s going to drive her home?"

"How’s Will’s surge working with Kerry? Is it all shock and awe or is he faster than a Democrat to withdraw?"

At this point, I was transported into a vision of talking to Kerry Howley: "I can see you. Your brown skin shinin’ in the sun. I see you walkin’ real slow and you’re smilin’ at everyone. I can tell you my love for you will still be strong. After the boys of summer have gone."

After sobering up, I sent off this email: "Hi Kerry, I’ve been reading your work and I’d love to interview you about your writing career for my blog Lukeford.net. I write a lot about the media, economics, immigration, etc and have had the privilege of interviewing Nick Gillespie and Ronald Bailey among other writers…"

Kerry responded: "Hi Luke! So sorry it’s taken me this long to get back to you.I thought your interview with Nick was pretty hilarious, though–not being Nick — I’m not sure I want to submit myself to the same succession of bizarre and hostile questions. That said, I like talking about myself, so I’m tempted."

I responded:

> Hi Kerry,
>
> I promise not to ask you any hostile questions. I knew Nick so that was
> different… If you look at my interviews, 98% of them are hostility free…
>
> I anticipate something along the lines of this:
>
> http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/profiles/jill_stewart.htm
>
> http://www.lukeford.net/profiles/profiles/alana_newhouse.htm
>
> I’ll treat you like a flower!

Kerry replied: "Like what kind of flower?"

Luke: "Like a red red rose."

Wednesday morning, I finally nailed the interview.

I call Kerry at 8 a.m. PST. Audio Audio

Luke: It’s great to have a place like ‘Red Eye’ where ideas can be discussed in depth.

Kerry: "Right. That’s what I like about it — the guarantee that nothing will be discussed intelligently or in depth."

Luke: "How did you get on the show in the first place?"

Kerry: "I’m not really sure. They just kinda emailed me and asked me to come on. It’s been downhill from there. I’m on once every other week, which is quite enough."

Luke: "You always have something funny to say. How do you do it? Do they give you the questions ahead of time?"

Kerry: "No. They send an email describing some of the stories they might come up with me but there’s always something unexpected. You never know what kind of bizarre question Greg is going to ask. You have to roll with it."

Luke: "Any highlights or lowlights come to mind when you think about your career on Red Eye?"

Kerry: No. "I like that it is on at 3 a.m. I don’t like that people occasionally capture footage and post it on YouTube because then I can’t forget about it."

Luke: "Wait. Don’t you capture the footage and put it on YouTube?"

Kerry: No.

Luke: "But it’s someone from Reason who’s done it."

Kerry: "Occasionally someone from Reason has done it. They’ll take the worst moments from the show and broadcast them."

Luke: "Who is that masked man?"

Kerry: "Someone in media who I need to talk to…"

Luke: "You don’t even know the person’s identity?"

Kerry: "I know who he is but there’s no reason to talk about him."

Luke: "How has it affected your life being on Red Eye?"

Kerry: "It’s not really that big a part of my life. I really enjoy it. Greg Gutfeld is a friend. I think he’s very funny. He doesn’t take anything too seriously. He’s the least sanctimonious person I’ve encountered… It’s a bunch of people bulls—-ing with each other for an hour. That’s what it amounts to me. It no more defines my life than hanging out with friends after work."

Luke: "Wait a second… Ten to twenty times as many people will see you on Red Eye than read you in Reason magazine. So surely that has some effect on your life."

Kerry: "I guess so. It’s a broader reach but a different reach. I’m not that interested in pursuing a TV career. I’m not sure that I see it as that vital."

Luke: "Do the people you interact with and interview primarily see you as the senior editor at Reason magazine or as that girl on Red Eye?"

Kerry: "I hope they see me as the senior editor at Reason. It’s not like I’m getting recognized on the street."

Luke: "You don’t get recognized on the street from Red Eye?"

Kerry: "Absolutely not."

Luke: "What a crazy mixed-up world we live in."

Kerry: "Yeah. Maybe after this interview I’ll be a household name."

Luke: "What about fellow intellectuals who say you are dumbing down your craft?"

Kerry: "There’s some of that. There’s a sense that this isn’t something that women are allowed to do. As a woman, you are either one or the other. You either have to commit to being an intellectual or to talking about penises on Red Eye. I’m not quite sure how to navigate that."

Luke: "No snooty put-downs at parties?"

Kerry: "Not yet. I don’t know what people are saying behind my back but at the end of the day, I don’t really care. I’m mostly defined by what I write at Reason and I hope people can see that I can have a good time on Red Eye as well."

Luke: "Do you have heroes?"

Kerry: "I’m not much of a hero person. There are a lot of writers I respect but choosing from among all of humanity a few people who would really define me I’m not generally comfortable with. I’m not a hero-worshiper. And I don’t like the ideology that comes with being a hero-worshiper."

Luke: "What is the ideology that comes with being a hero-worshiper?"

Kerry: "You see this in D.C. a lot. You see people attaching themselves completely to personalities and following them wherever that path leads. That’s deeply unattractive in other people."

Luke: "Why is it unattractive?"

Kerry: "It’s not something that encourages a separate identity or a strong sense of self. I think that’s quite obvious."

Luke: "Would you feel the same way about role models?"

Kerry: "No. We all model ourselves after other people."

Luke: "Who have been some of your role models?"

Kerry: "The first that comes to mind is Virginia Moncrieff. She’s a well-known journalist in Australia. She lived with me in Burma for a couple of years. She was working at the same newspaper I was (Myanmar Times). She was a role model in that she dedicated herself completely to living an interesting life. I think she might be in Pakistan right now. She was a true journalist. She was out there on her own talking to people, getting a real sense of people’s motivation, from the source, rather than just repeating the conventional wisdom."

Luke: "Any other role models?"

Kerry: "None that come to mind. I’m not really a role model person."

I was hoping she’d say something Red Eye-like such as "I learned under Nick Gillespie how to be a lady." Or, "Jacob Sullum taught me to inhale and say yes. It was for my own good." But no such luck.

Luke: "When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?"

Kerry: "I always wanted to be a writer. I conceived of that as being a novelist. Someone squirreled away somewhere far away living a vivid internal life. I didn’t conceive of it as being an opinion writer, which means always sparring with other people. It’s very external."

Kerry’s dad is a systems analyst. "I don’t know what that means. It’s not very profitable." Her mom is a respiratory therapist.

"I am my mother’s oldest child and my father’s second, but I think I took on the traits of the oldest because I didn’t see my older brother all that often."

Luke: "Where were you in the social ranking?"

Kerry: "I was fat and sullen and hated my parents. Basically the same as now except I’m no longer fat. It was a dark crowd. Not quite goth but striving for that. That sense of nihilism. Hating the cheerleaders crowd."

"I went to an all-girls school in Connecticut. I’m very pro single-sex high schools for women. It was superficially Catholic but it was run by lesbians."

Kerry graduated high school in 1999.

Luke: "Were you raised Catholic?"

Kerry: "I was raised very very Catholic. It  was something I rejected by the time I was six. I was the worst village atheist you could imagine at ten. I rejected it wholesale and vociferously and vocally. I’m sure it was very obnoxious."

Luke: "Are you still an atheist?"

Kerry: "I’m not a passionate atheist, but I don’t see any strong compelling reason to believe in God, so I don’t. I don’t think it is something that needs to be proselytized."

"Hello?"

Luke: "I’m sorry. I was thinking."

Kerry: "You were so silent, I thought I had bored you to tears and you had left."

Luke: "No. I actually listen to what people say."

Kerry was a good student. "I connected with school. It was something I was capable of doing and felt some control over."

Luke: "How fat were you?"

Kerry: "Please promise me that you’re not going to search for high school pictures. I was chubby. Fat enough to be defined by my fatness."

Luke: "When did you become slim?"

Kerry: "My senior year of high school."

"It was a lesson in how people decide how to treat you based on what you look like. My relationship to the world changed in a stark way through no real effort of my own. I just grew into my body."

Luke: "You didn’t go on a big special diet or exercise program?"

Kerry: "No."

She stands 5’4".

Kerry: "My engagement to the world became more positive. I didn’t like being a teenager. I like having control over my life."

Luke: "What was the happiest time of your life?"

Kerry: "The years I spent living in a military dictatorship (working on the Myanmar Times). Myanmar (Burma) is probably the saddest country I’ve ever seen. I loved Myanmar. It’s the place I always return to when I think about a happy time in my life. It was a defining experience."

Luke: "It defined you how?"

Kerry: "I figured out what I wanted to do. I figured out what made me happy — traveling and having bizarre experiences and being totally thrown out of my comfort zone. One of the things I loved about living in Burma was that by 11 every morning, I would’ve had a completely bizarre experience. That sort of thing makes you feel in the moment. It makes you pay attention."

Luke: "How did you realize that your vocation was journalism?"

Kerry: "I was interning for the Charlie Rose Show in New York. He would have guests. One of them was Joseph Lelyveld who isn’t a particularly interesting character in himself but just talking for an hour with Charlie Rose he related chapters of an interesting life. He had spent time in Burma. He wrote a book about South Africa. The idea of a life like that was appealing.

"Also while interning for Charlie Rose, I came across Reason, which I loved immediately. I then applied for the Reason internship, which I got my senior year. I moved to LA (for three months in the summer of 2003).

"I was living in a UCLA co-op. It was the dirtiest place. I loved LA. Georgetown, where I went to school, is a stuff, self-serious place. LA is self-serious in a different way, in its artistic pretension."

Luke: "Did you go to any of the LA Press Club parties?"

I remember Reason always having a bunch of attractive female interns.

Kerry: "I think I might’ve gone to one with Matt but I don’t remember well. It’s all a blur. I was probably drunk."

"After that, I was out of college. I had nothing to do. I had nowhere to go. I didn’t know what I wanted. It was anxiety-producing but thrilling as well. I was trolling the internet for jobs. I was on journalismjobs.com when I came across an ad for a report in Rangoon, the capitol of Burma. I looked at it and laughed and forwarded it to my parents and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if I had a job in war-torn AIDS-ridden Burma?’

"I sent in some clips. An email came back very quickly saying, ‘We like your clips. Could you be here in three weeks? We’ll pay for your shots.’

"Having nowhere else to go and wanting adventure, I left."

Luke: "How did you come to form your political philosophy?"

Kerry: "I’m not sure I have much of one. I’ve always had a streak of individualism. That’s what the six-year-old atheism was about. I really knew nothing about libertarianism before I saw Reason. I think of Reason as a magazine that brands libertarianism as creating space for identity creation. It’s a broad view of autonomy that I found attractive. Since I’ve come to Reason, I’ve been influenced by a lot of the brilliant people who work here. I’ve let the literature take me where it goes."

Luke: "What was weird about interning for the Charlie Rose show?"

Kerry: "It’s not clear why you’re there. There wasn’t anything for us to do. One  of my  jobs was to stand in the Bloomberg building where the show is shot, holding Charlie Rose’s make-up bag.  I was there for 40 minutes waiting for him to appear to grab the make-up bag from me and disappear into the green room.  You’re just a prop.

"There were four of us. Most of them were trust-fund kids spending their summer at what was conceived of as a prestigious internship. It wasn’t enjoyable. It’s never fun just hanging around other people doing their jobs."

Kerry writes a lot about misogyny.

Luke: "Have you experienced misogyny?"

Kerry: "Yeah. It’s hard to define what moments are misogynistic. Women have to work a lot harder for their bylines to convey authority… In the political realm, strong women are either going to be portrayed as cold and competent or warm and incompetent. It’s hard to be both likable and authoritative as a woman."

Luke: "While as for a man, it’s a snap."

Kerry: "Those two things — likability and authority — go together for men. The kind of misogyny that I’m talking about is incredibly subtle. It’s not something you can necessarily legislate against although legislation has a place and can help. They are changing norms and I’m waiting for them to change further."

Luke: "Tell me about the misogyny that you’ve faced and face."

Kerry: "I’m not sure that I can point to a specific experience of hitting a glass ceiling. I really think that it is much more subtle than that. It’s having people talk over you or having to prove yourself capable in a more emphatic way whereas the competence of men is just assumed. It’s little social things that will eventually dissipate."

"Reason is the most feminist place I’ve ever worked. The people here are incredibly conscious of the misogyny around us and eager not to participate in it."

"The newspaper I worked in at Burma, the guy who ran it could not be described as a feminist. He seemed very invested in the way that women in the newsroom looked in a way that wasn’t pleasant. The Burmese staff encountered this more than I did. I’m not going to go further into it. It’s something that happens a lot when Western men go abroad and suddenly you’re the big fish in a small pond and you lose yourself. You’re a celebrity."

"We were all celebrities in Burma because to be a white person was very strange and denoted huge wealth."

Luke: "How would your life be easier if you were a man?"

Kerry: "I’m not sure. There are advantages to being a woman."

Luke: "Such as?"

Kerry: "I don’t want to define myself in that collective. There are a lot of ways where I diverge from the average woman. They are all gradients."

"What advantages do you think you have as a man?"

Luke: "I’m a traditionalist. I’m comfortable with male roles and female roles. I like distinctions between the sexes. I like women in dresses and I don’t like men who dress like women. I’m an Orthodox Jew. We pray separately from women. Women don’t count in a minyan. I believe in holding certain rituals exclusively for men because male identity is more fragile."

Kerry: "A large number of the emails I receive from people who’ve read my work are addressed to Mr. Howley, the assumption being that because I’m tackling big issues, ‘Kerry’ must refer to a male. If people had thought that these thoughts were coming from a woman, would they have taken me less seriously?"

Luke: "Have you often felt like you weren’t being taken seriously?"

Kerry: "No. It’s not an anxiety that I’ve had."

Luke: "Yet that is what came to mind in what you just said. You just said, ‘Would they have taken me less seriously if they had known I was a woman?’"

Kerry: "I think that is the obvious implication when you are talking about misogyny within the realm of journalism."

Luke: "What advantages and what disadvantages do you think female journalist have vis-a-vis their male colleagues because of their gender?"

Kerry: "None of the major political magazines are in any sense dominated by women. In political journalism, women are a rarity… Why are so few women seeking to convey strong opinions in the public realm? Part of that is that women are discouraged from engaging in competitive behavior. They’re not interested in opinion writing because the norms are guiding women to be peacemakers instead of combative… You have to be combative to share political opinions publicly."

Luke: "What do you think are the most important inherent biological differences between men and women? If any?"

Kerry: "A lot of differences which were assumed to be biological in the past were found not to be. So I’d be very careful about assuming anything, very cautious before constructing these Darwinian just-so stories, well, girls like pink because of X and Y. So much of that has proven to be just a rationalization for treating women as other and inferior."

Luke: "How do you feel about Hillary Clinton?"

Kerry: "I feel that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be transformative in ways that a lot of people aren’t acknowledging. Having a woman prsident is incredibly important in a symbolic way just as having a black president would be."

Luke: "How so?"

Kerry: "All of those subtle acts of misogyny we were talking about earlier, the only way to combat something like that is by providing lots of data points, lots of female leaders, lots of people who humanize the idea of a female leader. On a policy level, I disagree with most of her platform, but I’m not sure that policy is the most important thing."

Luke: "What matters is that she has a vagina."

Kerry: "Having a woman leader would be beneficial in ways that policy could not be. All of the candidates seem loathsome to me. If there’s something outside of policy that could make a difference, that sort of thing gets me excited… There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘I will vote for this person because she’s a woman.’ ‘I will vote for this man because he’s black.’ That’s a perfectly good reason to vote for somebody."

Luke: "Why?"

Kerry: "This is something that could change society for the better by example that might have implications well beyond anything policy could achieve."

Luke: "I don’t understand how it could be transformative."

Kerry: "Social psychologists have found that women are placed in different categories. They’re either cold and competent or warm and incompetent. This produces a vicious feedback wherein women do not necessarily want to become leaders because to be a leader is to become something culturally unattractive. The only way to confront that is to put women in highly visible positions. The presidency is the most high status visible position in the United States."

Luke: "A woman president would help break the social psychological dynamic…"

Kerry: "It’s a start."

Luke: "Your hopes for transforming society. There have been a lot of woman leaders from Benazir Bhutto to Margaret Thatcher. How were those societies transformed by having a female leader?"

Kerry: "I’m not sure that they were. These are always going to be marginal differences… Are all girls in Burma in slightly higher status because the country elected a woman leader (she never got to come to power)? It is relevant. It matters. I couldn’t quantify the difference for you."

Luke: "Is there any society where you can point to specific changes because it’s been led by a woman?"

Kerry: "No. How would you ever know the causal factors behind a society becoming less misogynistic? It happens gradually through a million data points in a kid’s life."

Luke: "How would we quantify misogyny? How would we measure it?"

Kerry: "I don’t think you could. It’s very subtle."

Luke: "It could be so subtle that it’s not even there and it’s something you’re imagining?"

Kerry laughs.

Luke: "If something is so subtle that you can’t quantify it, you’re talking about something that might not even be there."

Kerry: "I’m sure a lot of men would argue that it’s not there. I’m not sure what the question is.

"You’re not treating me like a flower, by the way."

We laugh.

Kerry: "Lies!"

Luke: "Men lie!"

"Let’s move on."

Kerry: "I think the misogyny conversation is over."

We talk about what makes for a good interviewer.

Kerry: "Being an interviewer is…about anticipating the next question, finding a certain connection, making the person you’re speaking with more comfortable, and I wouldn’t want to gender any of those particular qualities."

I start laughing when Kerry talks about making the subject feel comfortable.

Kerry: "Those are qualities you learn over time or don’t learn ever."

We laugh.

Luke: "What do you think are you strengths and weaknesses as a journalist?"

Kerry: "I’m really interested in people’s motivations. I just did a piece on guestworkers. I went to Singapore and spoke to guestworkers. I hope I conveyed their motiations honestly. I am very interested in the autonomy of the people’s lives I’m describing. Weaknesses? As a writer, I have this horrible habit of trying to stuff too many ideas into a piece. I’m too concise. I don’t expand on my ideas for long enough to be absorbed. I’m so driven by the forest instead of the trees that in my effort to get all my big ideas in there I can lose the force of the message."

Luke: "Do you think human nature is basically good or bad?"

Kerry: "I don’t think it’s either. The job of morality is to help people find ways to cooperate beneficially to the good of everyone’s fulfillment."

Luke: "How do you figure out what is right and wrong?"

Kerry: "You strive to find ways of cooperating that are mutually beneficial."

Luke: "How does that apply to abortion, for instance?"

Kerry: "Abortion is an autonomy issue and it’s necessarily a line-drawing exercise. I’m not sure anyone has a good answer for defining the morality of abortion. I certainly don’t."

Luke: "How do you go about it?"

Kerry: "I’m not sure what you are asking."

Luke: "Do you want me to answer my own question?"

Kerry: "Go ahead."

Luke: "I’m an Orthodox Jew. I would go to my religion. The Book of Exodus says that if two men are fighting and one strikes a woman so that she dispells her fetus, he must pay a fine while if you murder someone, the punishment on the books is capitol punishment. Therefore, from my religion’s perspective, abortion is bad but it is not murder. The fetus is a life but not a full human life. I have a tradition to which I can refer on these issues. That’s where I go to figure out right from wrong. You don’t subscribe to a religious tradition. Therefore, I’m curious how you go about figuring out the morality of something like abortion."

Kerry: "I’m not quite. That’s an issue I rarely write about. At the end of the day, given that I have no book to consult, and there’s not necessarily a tradition I feel bound to, the questions I look to answer are, ‘Who is harmed if we prohibit this? Who is benefitted if we do not?’

"It comes down to line-drawing. At what point do you consider the fetus a human being? I don’t have a better answer than anyone else."

Luke: "Do you think that’s a weakness in your life?"

Kerry: "That I struggle with moral questions? No, I don’t think that’s a weakness. I don’t long for easy answers."

Luke: "Do you think it is a weakness that you don’t have a moral tradition to guide you in these things?"

Kerry: "No, I don’t."

"Do you think it is a weakness of mine? Clearly you do."

Luke: "Yeah, I do."

Kerry: "All right."

Luke: "Do you think it is a strength of yours that you do not have a moral tradition that guides you in these questions?"

Kerry: "In the simplest way, I would hope that people would seek answers openly but I’m not criticizing anyone who has done so and decided that faith is the best guidance."

Luke: "Could you give me an example of an issue whose morality you struggle with, and preferably not something esoteric like stem-cell research… You know the ways people are gratuituously cruel to each other. You’ve lived for 23 years…"

Kerry: "I’m 26."

"Something that I struggled with in Burma and eventually became firm about… A lot of people will tell you that you shouldn’t be there. You are complicit for going into a country with a military dictatorship… We were producing a newspaper and a lot of people thought we were legitimizing a brutal regime. To work for a newspaper in Burma, you have to agree to be censored, which is morally complicated. I struggled with that so much that I considered coming home. But at the end of the day, when you are providing an alternative to this awful sludge of a newspaper, this grotesque propaganda machine, that’s important. People ask these questions because they don’t see journalism as vital as health care."

"I left Burma because there was a coup. A bunch of armed military came into our office, sat down in our desk, and started eating lunch and placed their guns against their desk. Our Burmese editor was thrown in jail where he still is. Our newspaper was shut down for a few days. Nick [Gillespire] offered me a job and I came to work for Reason."

Luke: "Do you think that Red Eye is a cruel show?"

Kerry: "No. Why would you get that impression?"

Luke: "I love that show but of course it is cruel. It is really vicious."

Kerry: "I never think of it that way. I love Red Eye because it doesn’t take itself seriously. i don’t think anything can come across that viciously if the people delivering the insults aren’t serious about themselves."

Luke: "How would you like to be on the receiving end of any of the typical insults? I love the show but think it cruel and callous. They take video or a picture from someone’s worst moments…"

Kerry: "At that point, I’d be very grateful that the show airs at 3 a.m. I don’t see it as fundamentally a vicious show. I see it as fundamentally ridiculous."

Luke: "Would you call it harmless fun?"

Kerry: "Yeah."

Luke: "Do you have any concern that the show inculcates a callousness towards others?"

Kerry: "No. You seem to think there’s a thread of nihilism running through it, which isn’t something I’ve sensed. Greg is a serious conservative. I don’t think he sees himself as being value-less and harmful and callous."

Luke: "How do you think the show affects people?"

Kerry: "I hope that it doesn’t. I don’t think Red Eye is an important cultural touchstone."

Luke: "When you said that you hope it doesn’t affect people, you are implicitly saying that if it does affect people, it would be in a negative way."

Kerry: "What? I would hope that the show isn’t the focal point for any of the viewer’s lives. I hope that no one takes it any more seriously than the hosts take it. It’s diversion. It’s entertainment."

Luke: "Many of the philosophers you studied in college would tell you that how a society entertains itself will affect it."

Kerry: "I don’t think anyone is pursuing the philosophy of Red Eye with seriousness. No one on Red Eye is currently exploring the deep meaning of Red Eye."

Luke: "Do you think there is a deep meaning to Red Eye?"

Kerry: "No. What do you think the deep meaning to Red Eye is, given that you’re clearly driving at something?"

Luke: "I love the show. It’s a guilty pleasure because I think it is cruel and promotes callousness towards others. I love it but feel guilty about it."

Kerry: "I’m sorry that we’re bringing you this self-loathing."

Luke: "Do you think that movies and television affect us?"

Kerry: "Of course."

Luke: "In what ways?"

Kerry: "Our choice of entertainment says something about us. You’re asking how does art affect us? I don’t buy that it helps people sublimate their desires. Nor do I buy that it drives people to go out and rape. Pop culture is something you engage with and how you engage with it is going to depend on the individual."

Yeah, well, after I watched Red Eye last night, I got so excited that I went out and raped somebody. But I was safe. I wore a ski mask, a mouthguard, and a condom.

Luke: "How do you feel about marriage?"

I left the following sentiment unstated: "You and I, right now. Screw Will."

Kerry: "I’m not sure how I feel about marriage. I’m very happy in a partnership. I’m not sure how that partnership would change if it turned into a marriage."

It sounds like they’re accountants.

Kerry: "As a kid, I was very anti-marriage. I don’t need anyone to tell me that this partnership is valid. I’m still not sure but I suspect there is benefit in external validation."

Luke: "Do you think America would be a better, worse or unchanged place if a higher-percentage of people living together got married?"

Kerry: "Unchanged. I’d be perfectly happy in a world of longterm partnerships that weren’t cemented with marriage. I’m naturally monogamous. The difference between a longterm partnership and marriage to me is still unclear."

"I’ve been in five-year relationships… I’m not sure how my life would change… I’ve had friends who’ve gotten married and they say it’s different but they could never quite articulate how it’s different."

Luke: "Do you want to have children?"

Kerry: "No."

Luke: "How do you feel about pornography?"

Kerry: "I like pornography. I have chiefly positive feelings about it. It’s something people engage with, mostly positively. There’s a lot of social anxiety about it that I don’t quite understand. I don’t find the existence of pornography degrading to me as a human being. I like sex. I don’t understand why our culture’s engagement with sex has to demean women."

Luke: "How do you feel about prostitution?"

Kerry: "Women ought to be free to do what they want with their bodies."

"I’m not sure what you gain by making prostitution illegal. If the hypothesis is that the existence of the family depends on forcibly keeping men from prostitutes by using legal enforcement, first, it is not going to work, and second, it is just implausible and not true. In societies where prostitution is legal, families still exist. Partnerships still thrive."

Luke: "Do you think they exist as in as a high percentage and as intactly as societies that stigmatize and criminalize prostitution?"

Kerry: "I’m not sure. I do think that stigmatizing prostitution is not helpful to anyone, especially prostitutes."

Luke: "OK, cool, I really appreciate your time."

Kerry laughs. "Sorry, if that’s not what you wanted."

Luke: "I just wanted to get your point of view."

Kerry: "Well, thanks for your interest, I guess."

Luke: "So I treated you like a flower, right?"

Kerry: "Yeah, right."

 

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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