How It’s New York:  The Daily Show is a homegrown institution, a block away from Irish Arts Center, on eleventh Avenue.
How It’s Irish:  Michael Lewis takes a financial disaster tour, which includes Ireland.  He’s talked about the Irish financial crisis to NPR, and has written “When Irish Eyes are Crying” for Vanity Fair.

Michael Lewis, author of Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World, was on The Daily Show October 4.  He’s the author of Moneyball, so Jon Stewart asked him who would play Ben Vernanke when this one goes to the movies.

About Moneyball, now a film with Brad Pitt, Michael Lewis said, “I thought it was going to suck.  I thought I was going to have to go hide.”  “Was that your pitch?” Stewart asked.  Heh.

In the new book (on the cover a dollar bill shows George Washington with a black eye, props to the book designers),  Lewis travels to Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and the United States, each one devoted, as Stewart said, devoted to telling us why that area is F**ked.

“It’s financial disaster tourism,” Lewis explained.  And though it all started with the same cause– money left in a dark room syndrome, or the banks were willing to lend it, so why not– what people in different places wanted to do was so different.  “It was like a window into the society, they expressed deep cultural traits through how they behaved.”

Jon Stewart:  Greece was a situation where the state destroyed the banks, Iceland was sort of the opposite, the banks destroyed the states, you know the bankers, and Ireland just seemed like a situation where they expected it and now they’re just going, “I knew this would happen, and they’re sucking it up…”

Michael Lewis:  The Irish have a talent for suffering.  They were waiting for this.   Anybody who’s been in a room full of Irish people. the status goes to the person who’s had the worst thing happen to them most recently.    and so they’ve been waiting for this moment to compete with each other for how bad they have it.

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 Is he right?  What do you think?  Do you have a talent for suffering?

Watch part two of the interview here!

Gwen Orel
About the Author

The only New York journalist who writes for both the Forward and Irish Music Magazine.

One Comment

  1. Avatar
    Gerry / September 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    This palooka has obviously never been in a room full of Irish people and after inane comments like this he would be well advised to give up on such a lofty ambition

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