Big thanks to TBWCYL, Inc. favorite and This Zine Will Change Your Life contributor William Walsh and the whole crew at the Cousins Reading Series for inviting TBWCYL, Inc. spokesperson Ben Tanzer to read on June 5th as part of the super fine Cousins Reading Series at Abe's Bar in Providence, RI. The line-up is stellar, there is mass excitement and we even have some Cousins interview action which we think you will enjoy and have excerpted here.
Can you name one person—living or dead, famous or unknown—who is unassailable? If so, who and why?
Laura Cherry: I don't think anyone is unassailable, really, but nonetheless I'll pick Leonard Cohen for his humility and passion and kickass lyrics.
Susan Scarlata: My Italian grandfather, my father’s father, comes to mind. He largely raised himself on the streets of Pittsburgh, where I am from, and worked many odd, liminally-legal “jobs,” which I am sure were as often about being scammed as doing the scamming himself. But in my own memory of him, when he was in his late seventies and eighties, when approached with anything he would rather not engage with he feigned bad hearing. His ability to hear lessened when he was attacked or even questioned, but this was clearly not due to infirmity or a weakened mind. Instead, he was sternly refusing to hear –looking up at the ceiling as if nothing had been said. Watching my grandfather as a ten-year old it was not that he, like a politician, would give you the answer he thought you wanted to hear, if he did not like it he just didn’t entertain that a question or comment had appeared at all. Re-reading this, I realize that on a macro level I could be describing China’s Communist party, which living in Hong Kong, I have had glimpses of so far, but seems to be also, largely unassailable.
Michael Stewart: The only unassailable people, I imagine, are the imagined ones. Holmes' deductive magic in Doyle's clockwork London; Daisy dressed in Fitzgerald's svelte, flattering sentences, money in her voice; Colette's Claudine; etc.
Ben Tanzer: I am very tempted to say William Walsh, though not entirely because of the potential brownie points and book sales, okay, mostly because of that, and I feel fairly obligated to say Nelson Mandela, because I suppose there isn't a better candidate, anywhere, but the first name that came to mind when I read this was Luke Skywalker, who didn't cross over to the dark side despite every opportunity to do so, which is pretty cool I think, and then maybe Johnny Cash, who sort of did cross over, but arguably made it work for him, which was also pretty cool.