Last week I went on a much-needed vacation. When I tweeted as much, I was bombarded with a number of apoplectic and judgmental queries, wondering why, exactly, I needed a break. It seems as though because I get to hang out with Michael Waltrip at NASCAR races, flit about the networks in high heels feigning outrage, speak to college students (read: drink with college students) and pen horrifically self-indulgent diary entries about, well, nothing of any consequence, that my job isn’t the kind of thing one needs an occasional respite from. I assure you, this is all very hard work.
Speaking of vacation…I got a bit of a sunburn, which prompted me to wonder if the urge to peel sunburnt skin off someone’s back qualified as a psychological disorder. Regardless of the answer, if flaying is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Vacation also gave me some time to catch up on non-essential beach reading—like Christopher Hitchens’s latest book, and the New York Times. But I also read a gripping story in New York Magazine about the suicide of a Dalton junior named Teddy Graubard. It examined whether or not the school’s notably cerebral response—which was also a surgically corporate one—was meant to avoid culpability or a sincere attempt not to glamorize suicide. It was a terribly tragic story, but I couldn’t help but think that putting Teddy’s picture on the cover of New York magazine with the headline “A Suicide at Dalton” was the ultimate celebritization of this poor kid’s demise, and worse than anything Dalton did or didn’t do.
I also read the latest issue of Scientific American, which made me want to build a bunker in the remote North Dakota wilderness. The cover story is “12 Events That Will Change Everything,” and they will scare the pants off you. From the cloning of a human (“The process is extremely difficult, but it also seems inevitable”) to machine self-awareness (“What happens when robots start to call the shots?”) it’s like all the scariest parts of Total Recall and The Terminator had a baby. And then that baby shot you in the face. Good read though.
Upon returning, it was back to work. I did “Imus in the Morning” (which is to say, I did Imus’s morning show, and not an act you might find a requisite in Dante’s seventh circle of hell.) And as usual it was just lovely. Here’s a hilarious recap of our exchange. If I weren’t absolutely terrified of him (and if I could actually understand what he was saying) we might be able to enjoy a beautiful friendship. I like to imagine us watching re-runs of “Silver Spoons” on TV Land, over a pint of Cherry Garcia. We’d occasionally stop to kill a live horse and play with its entrails. We’d end the evening performing an acoustic version of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity,” on the castanets for my stuffed teddy bears, Junior Johnson and Thin Lizzy. Until that glorious day, I’ll just have to settle for being the adorable little Vanna to his Pat Sajak on the show.
That same day I trotted over to tape a live segment for “The 700 Club” to talk about “Losing Our Religion” in the same studio I once did a segment for Alhurra, an Arabic-language television network serving the Middle East. I had the host in one ear via satellite, and his translator in the other, asking me questions about the importance of Muslim Americans in the 2008 presidential election. It was like I was at the UN, except I didn’t feel soiled afterward.
Speaking of the book, the strangest conspiracy theory to come out of it is that I’m just pretending to be an atheist. To sell a book defending Christianity. To Christians. Makes no sense to me as a business strategy, but Bill Maher and numerous others have decided that an atheist simply couldn’t have anything pleasant (or objective) to say about Christianity. Some in the blogosphere are cutely calling me a “fakiest,” which I kind of love. But no one said it better than this gentleman, who wrote to my website:
“I question your authenticity. No doubt you’re sharp, but you’re playing a role. The ‘Atheist Republican’, or maybe what would be more appropriate is the ‘Uncle Tom Atheist’. However, your good looks and high performance brain are disarming. America has scrubbed Thomas Jefferson from history. Thomas Paine isn’t even taught anymore. George Washington will become an ‘enemy of the State’ in due time. America is quickly becoming a Christian-run nation. I call it ‘Saudia America’. You’re the equivalent of the token gay Republican. Or a ‘Clarence Thomas’. And the worst part about it is that I’d still love a hot night with you. At least I’m an open book.”
Man, I love this job.
S.E. Cupp is author of the brand-spanking-new book “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.” She is also co-author of “Why You’re Wrong About The Right,” and a columnist for the New York Daily News and a regular guest on “Hannity,” “Larry King Live,” “Fox & Friends,” “Geraldo,” “Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld,” and others.