An Interview With Noam Chomsky
If a true democratic society were allowed to function, it’s extremely unlikely that the things now called “inevitable results of the market” would ever be tolerated. These results certainly concentrate wealth and power and harm the vast majority. There’s no reason for people to tolerate that. These so-called inevitabilities are really public-policy decisions designed to lead to a certain kind of highly inegalitarian society. Talk about the inevitable processes of the market is almost entirely nonsensical, in my opinion. And if we did have a functioning democracy, we would solve the problem as Aristotle suggested: by reducing poverty and making sure that almost everyone had “moderate and sufficient property.”
My lover is fat. It upsets some people to hear me state this so baldly. “Doesn’t it hurt her feelings?” they ask, as if the polite thing were to act as if I hadn’t noticed that my lover weighs nearly three hundred pounds. Perhaps they think she hasn’t noticed, either — that, upon reading what I have written, she will realize for the very first time that she is fat.
This is my summer of zero tolerance — for weeds, that is. Each time a dandelion dares pop its bushy yellow head above the lawn, I’m out the door with my wife’s Old-Timer, a small, curved, bone-handled knife that’s perfect for following the rubbery stems down below the soil and gently loosening the roots.
What I remember most about Sarah Collins is her face pressed up against the back window of the El Camino as the car sped down our street. A big hand was reaching over her forehead, trying to pry her from the glass. On the middle finger was a silver ring that caught a ray of sunlight. I squinted from the glare, and the car was gone.
When she finished saying she was sorry, I hung up without a word and stood before the phone, blushing. The wooden earrings my mother had given me a few years before burned in my earlobes. Hadn’t I just spoken to her the night before? No, the week before. But she and my father were still there, in California, and they were all right. I trusted them to be there always, like gravity, or paychecks.