Jennifer Michael Hecht.

I listened to Jennifer Michael Hecht today (on (you’ll need the Real player to listen)) speak about life, love, and the universe and I was immediately taken. Her new book, The Happiness Myth, appears to fully attempt to debunk the tropes upon which we base most of our lives in the West. On the show, she essentially collapsed the difference between opium and Prozac, explaining that these two drugs are different sides of the same coin. Prozac, however, allows us to drive our cars and be productive citizens while being happy. She also talked about the relatonship between faith and certainty, doubt and discovery, and lefty culture.
I enjoyed listening to her: her New Yorkish accent, her overeducated brand of commentary, her youngish sense of possibility (and within that, a sharp capacity for critique and reason), and her aptitude for telling it straight. Ms. Hecht seems like someone I should have known when I lived in Brooklyn; she could have saved me from many of my consumerist and theoretical yearnings. I’ll read her book instead. Books are the last resort of the rascal.