A couple random thoughts drifting around my brain for the blog today:
1) Boy the identity politics currently playing out on Ivy League campuses feels serious and scary. I consider myself pretty apolitical but it’s tough for me not to take a side on this and although I empathize with the students, it’s not the side you’d think. First, the colleges are private institutions. Second, of their own volition, they decided to admit minorities disproportionately to the US population. Third, they decided to fully fund many of the disadvantaged via aid.
And now, after having been let in to receive a world class education and paid for, these same students are turning around to demand that they be made to feel safe or comfortable. That’s a tough ask – what can the institution do beyond making sure students are generally equally treated by their rules, regulations and procedures? In some ways, feeling safe or comfortable is not something someone else can provide to you like shelter or food – it starts with you.
I know how it feels to be a poor minority surrounded by rich white kids – it definitely made me feel insecure at times. But that wasn’t a situation I could blame my college for – I CHOSE to come to this specific college, to be in this environment. And I could have chosen to be in environments where my race would have been the overwhelming majority on campus.
Combined with the Tea Party on the right and the reality TV-esque presidential campaign unfolding, it’s the re-radicalization of American politics.
2) I’ve been watching some quality TV lately. 2 recent favorites: Master of None with Aziz Ansari and The F Word with Gordon Ramsey. I’ve really started to like and follow Aziz. His comedy is hilarious, he doesn’t resort to gimmicks (racial or otherwise) or cursing to make it funny and he also makes interesting observations (particularly in regards to dating) relevant to twenty- or thirty-somethings. What Louis CK is to 40 year olds, Aziz is to 30 year olds. And his show is sort of the Louie for 30 year olds as well, but with a more uplifting, positive vibe.
I liked his riffs on immigrant families (essentially contrasting the amazing odds immigrants overcome to the sedentary lifestyles of their first generation children). The immigrant experience portrayed in the 2nd episode of Master of None actually managed to factually repeat some of my own family’s! For example, my dad also had pet chickens that he would eventually have to kill for dinner. And also, like the first generation character on the show, I also found out in my 20s that my dad had spent a lot of time working a really shitty job (to my surprise because he’d never talked about it while I was growing up). On the show, one of the immigrant parents had spent 2 years working in a zipper factory. My dad worked for like 7 years on a railroad. Wow – seven years of your life on a railroad.
More generally, what’s interesting about Master of None is that it posits that interesting, fulfilling experiences can result from being more socially aware and open to the world around you. Whether it’s really learning who your parents are, or spending time hearing stories from grandparents… taking girls on more interesting dates or being sensitive to the female experience or being more racially aware (which I’m starting to become a little) and more.. There was another interesting episode that I wanted to comment on but I can’t quite recall it now.
3) I got a trendy haircut known as the undercut. I really like the way it looks, how neat my hair is after cutting it so short and finally how long I think this haircut will last before I need another one.
4) I was trying to remember the name of a couple of restaurants I had been to during my time at McKinsey and unfortunately, I realized I had forgotten them. And having forgotten them, it’s like I was never there at all? (Social media would have you thinking so… but I was actually not that stressed). Luckily I was able to look them up! And I kinda thought it would be cool to have some kind of record of the restaurants I’d been to. Maybe Instagram does make sense after all.
Anyway, here’s an incomplete list of some places I remember:
NYC: Maialino, DBGB, Nippon Restaurant, Levain Bakery
Dallas: Nobu, Steel, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Morton’s
Chicago: Girl and the Goat, NEXT, Gibson’s, The Gage, Lulu Cafe, Owen and Engine, Joe’s Stone Crab, Wildberry Cafe