On the ride home, Joey Kurtzman says he used to drive an ambulance and was "trained in the art of defensive driving."
Joey: "I chose the Journalistic Ethics class for the purest of reasons. It was just a lovely coincidence [that Danielle Berrin gave it]. A lovely young woman."
Luke: "Tall, slender, blonde, gracious. Beautiful manners. A real credit to the Jews. It makes me proud to be a Jew."
Joey: "She’s a sterotype-buster. She’s lovely and well-spoken and she had a confident-assertiveness about her."
Luke: "And she did a good job. I was totally ready to rip her if she didn’t do a good job. I’d say she’s all looks but she’s shallow but I couldn’t say that tonight."
Joey: "She’s kinda ballsy. She opened by discussing this unpleasant sexual thingy with the director [Brett Ratner]. When she starts with that, you’re thinking, oh we’re in LA and the first thing we hear is about how a director hit on her, but as she ended up relating it, it was an important issue and she handled it with sophistication."
Luke: "It’s her best piece of writing. It was funny, brave, ballsy. And most important of all, it was compelling to read. And it was a compelling way to bring up this topic of hard-hitting Jewish journalism. Danielle Berrin is not this hyper-accomplished 55 year old fat man who’d just come from Afghanistan…"
"I want to know what was the horrible thing that Brett Ratner did that she didn’t expose."
Joey: "She said he talked about the kind of things he’d like to do with her."
Luke: "I wonder if they were purely intellectual."
We go over Coldwater Canyon.
Luke: "The light is green. We can go."
Joey: "Luke is an anxious passenger…"
Luke: "I had this girlfriend I’d bully when she drove. She was passive. We almost got into a lot of accidents because her nerves would be shot from my bullying. Now I get into other people’s cars and I’ve got all these bullying habits ingrained in me."
Joey: "You can feel free to do that with me. I won’t get rattled."
Luke: "My favorite type of women are masculine women. I don’t like beards and excessive muscles, I like socially-adjusted accomplished women, women who are different from me. Hard strong tough women. Not tortured artist blogger types. Now I find myself bullying chicks ten times as tough as I am and it is silly and futile."
Joey: "You’re attracted to those you can learn from. If that’s who they are, they’ll tell you what’s up."
Luke: "They’re just kinda amused."
"Have you ever had people who were so desperate to be in your life that they let you bully them? When people let me bully them, I bully them."
"I remember there was this chubby chick who liked me in fifth grade. I kicked her until she cried. And she said, ‘I love you. One day you will find out what it is like to love someone and have them kick you.’
"I would leave tacks on her chair with the pointy end up.
"I’d go left here."
Luke: "I’d leave tacks on her chair so she’d sit on them with her fat little tush. Tears would spring to her eyes. I kicked her and I left tacks on her desk because she liked me."
Joey: "That’s women. The more the guy is emotionall unavailable, the more desperately they want him. The women I find most enchanting are the women who are often emotionally unavailable. I hope you don’t beat yourself up over that. Attraction is messy. It is a typical human thing. People take the liberties they can."
Luke: "I remember confessing things like this in therapy and I’d blush and be all wrecked and ashamed and she’d say, ‘Luke, you were eleven years old.’ Oh, OK.
"But I am still ashamed and I still carry it with me."
Joey: "Why? You’re ashamed in the present?"
Luke: "I see Danielle Berrin and I know I’ve written cruelly about her at times and I feel like the guy who thumbtacks on a girl’s desk and kicked her and how I bullied a past girlfriend and then I think I may have bullied [Danielle and Esther Kustanowitz and Amy Klein etc] on my website and I feel ashamed. [It’s all connected.] On the other hand, I don’t regret anything I’ve written. I think it was true and accurate, but it feels emotionally like bullying. It’s like picking on a defenseless kid. Danielle Berrin is not going to be writing anything vicious."
Joey: "She’s a strong woman who knows how to look after her own business."
"I had this inflated sense of my own emotional power over other people. I had to get over it. Joey, they’ve got a whole universe and you’re just a tiny part of it. It’s not an excuse to be a jerk but I had to learn humility. I had to get over my own terror of hurting someone."
"The tragedy of very nice guys is that they end up thinking all women are whores because they don’t want to sleep with them. They end up the most embittered. ‘I was a nice guy. I didn’t do anything but try to anticipate what she wanted and throw it at her. And she went off and f—ed someone else. What a whore.’"
We’re at Wilshire on Rexford.
Luke: "I’d go straight."
"You don’t recall a whole bunch of rejections from attractive women that continue to haunt your psyche?"
Joey: "It’s possible I’m in denial."
"Even men who don’t harbor feelings of revenge can find pornography quite enticing."
Luke: "We were talking to a guy tonight who was doing his PhD in pornography and he claimed he’s never looked at pornography. I don’t understand. I think every guy has to have some fetish…that will send him over the edge. Maybe he hasn’t been exposed to it and lucky for him."