February 22, 2004

Metropolitan Life and Social Studies
Fran Lebowitz

New York, New York -- I started reading these essays for pure pleasure and finished reading almost as an act of solidarity. I couldn't shake my thoughts and memories of September 11, a time when a number of writers penned a number of eulogies: "We've Lost Our Innocence," "We'll Never Laugh Again," "This Is The End Of Irony," and so on. Though shallow, cliched and untrue, many of those early obituaries assumed lives of their own and quickly gained a measure of popular cache as post-attack gospel among the talking-head crowd. But the truth is -- and the truth is evident throughout these two collections -- we have never been innocent (just hypocritically pious, thank you), and we will always be able to laugh (laughter, after all, and not rational thought is what really separates us from other animals). Moreover, irony has been alive and well and living in New York for sometime (and oh, by the way, is not likely to start packing anytime soon). As Lebowitz shows through dry complaints and sly observations, metropolitan life has been, is and always will be well worth living.


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