Saturday, December 3, 2016
Sitting between my children on the couch was the diminutive, cherubic García Márquez, his feet not touching the carpet.
Castro moved on to conversation with me. He was very interested, or at least said so, in my trips to Iraq. He spoke very specifically to what I had written in the San Francisco Chronicle. “What we can say about Saddam Hussein is that he’s a brave man,” Castro said. “But he has oppressed his people too much. He has not learned to let the steam off the kettle.” The contrast with himself was left implicit. Perhaps his attribution of the word “brave” to Hussein was meant diplomatically? Whatever the case, I thought, yes, courage came easily to Hussein’s madness.
This is a long piece. I didn't finish. You won't be surprised to learn that Sean Penn has a wonderful life, gallivanting around with the likes of Fidel Castro and Garcia Marquez. His 14-year old daughter has friends who are "already openly gay" and she told Castro a thing or two. Read this for your sins. It will make you want to throw up. You may have enough of that in your life already and if so, I won't blame you for skipping it. But consider this--Sean Penn is an actor and I hate to say it, an almost preternaturally fine one. He is utterly convincing as a person other than himself. This is a skill that some people have that seems to have no correlation whatever with any other talent and strangely does with a lot of vices, not least of them the illusion that what they have to say is insightful or even notable just because they can pretend to be other people. Penn could play a brilliant brain surgeon in a movie, but you wouldn't want to trust him to trim your fingernails. Someday, soon I hope, his job will be done by computers and that day can't come soon enough. We're going through a strange, transitional time of outsized media influence, I hope.