DEBATE

  
When I first got to New York I thought people really wanted to argue, I really thought New York was like it was in movies and when you read things about the Partisan Review gang, that people actually liked to argue and dispute. And what I learned was, no, the moment you disagreed or contradicted somebody they fell silent. They would just absent themselves, like we had nothing more to say to each other. It was sort of absurd. It would be on the most minor -- like on a minor Robert Altman movie. I knew someone who got furious because she was just raving over how great Keanu Reeves was, and I said, "I really donít think heís very good. Why do you think heís good?" And the person turned ashen. It was Keanu Reeves! In the old days it would have been arguing about early versus late Fassbinder.

-- James Wolcott, interviewed in New York Press