How to write for spoiled college brats

The generation gap? Or a new virulent form of pampered armchair liberalism?

Jack Engelhard

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צילום: מתוך האתר האישי

 
About 20 of them were helping out on some filming we were doing around Greenwich Village. Ivy League kids, most of them.
 
The Tulip Generation, I called them.
 
“The worst part of it all,” I told them, “is that you are all so serious. No sense of humor. Lighten up.”
 
Actually, we got along well. But miles apart on what’s going on in the world, especially on campus. One of them was BDS.
 
“So does that make me an anti-Semite?” He called himself Roger.
 
“Yes, Roger,” I said. “That makes you an anti-Semite. We can take this outside if you like.”
 
Now everybody got into the act – and it got heated. We were taking a coffee break at some spot on Bleecker.
 
Most of them claimed to read everything I wrote…books…movies…Arutz Sheva. I doubted this.
 

He quoted Justin Trudeau’s latest knee-slapper – “If you kill your enemies, they win.”
So they started quoting me. Okay!
 
One line from this book they all knew by heart – “How can you call it a cycle of violence when only one side does all the stabbing and suicide bombing?”
 
The girl named Pam said something that floored me: “What makes people like you so dangerous is that you write so well.”
 
I’ll forever try to figure out if that’s a compliment or what.
 
Then: “What about the Israelis and what they’re doing?”
 
I explained: “The Israelis are defending themselves against a confederacy of murderers just like the rest of the world. Only the Israelis were the first.”
 
So here we go. Janice said, “That kind of talk makes me uncomfortable.”
 
The typical Liberal retreat if something is not to their liking.
 
“Outside there in the real world, Christians your age are being raped, beheaded, caged and dunked till they drown – how’s that for uncomfortable?”
 
I continued, “There are no SAFE SPACES for 8-year-old girls forced to marry 45-year-old ayatollahs.”
 
“You don’t know how lucky you are,” I added. “Lucky, pampered and spoiled.”
 
They knew about that and even read about all that in my books and columns and sometimes even agree, except that I tend to come on too strong.
 
Better if I thought like Mark Zuckerberg whose whopper runs like this: “Love will defeat ISIS.” Did I hear about this?
 
“Yes, and I’m still laughing.”
 
From Clara: “What does it take to write a novel?”
 
“Blood, sweat and tears – and you haven’t even typed page one.”
 
She says she loved “Indecent Proposal,” the novel far better than the movie.
 
“So why,” she asked, “don’t you keep writing high literature? Why so much about Israel?”
 
“Because,” I said, “Israel is a great love story…the romance of a land and its people.”
 
“The Jewish people?”
 
“Totally.”
 
Melanie sighed: “Can’t you consider the Palestinians and their side? It’s far more complicated.”
 
“No,” I said. “Do you side with Daniel Pearl who was decapitated in Pakistan for being Jewish? Or do you side with the cannibals who did this?”
 
“That’s your choice,” I said, “and it’s not complicated.”
 
“Does it bother you as a novelist,” asked Karen, “to be repeatedly compared to Hemingway at a time when Hemingway is in decline for being so macho?”
 
Not at all, I replied. Writing is prayer. Hemingway prayed his way. I pray my way. (To the students on writing, I recommended this.)
 
Good kids, really. Simply, I suppose, the generation gap.
 
The Canadian kid mellowed when we shared the heartbreak of the once glorious Montreal Canadiens, and how they fell apart this season.
 
“I suppose,” he said, “you don’t like Trudeau.”
 
He quoted Justin Trudeau’s latest knee-slapper – “If you kill your enemies, they win.”
 
Oh come on! Really? Stupidity like that is dangerous.
 
I learned during this session that Obama can do no wrong. They can’t stand Hillary but would vote for her anyway. They love Bernie. They hate Trump. We need to be more tolerant of Islam. We need more migrants. Back to Trump, what do I think of Megyn Kelly and the dispute between them?
 
I said that I liked Megyn Kelly, “But hell hath no fury like Megyn Kelly scorned.” They were unhappy that in my columns I wrote so favorably for Trump.
 
The girl Tammy asked, “Do you mean everything you write?”
 
“Every single word.”
 
“How can you be sure you write the truth?”
 
“Because I write what’s given to me.”
 
Amazingly, they understood. They understood that in writing, something deeper happens.
 
One of them said I’ll need to keep up with them, the generation that’s coming. I’ll need to adjust.
 
It’s got nothing to do with the generation that is coming or going, I explained. What’s true is true whenever.
 
But for sure this is the generation that is coming, and coming soon to run our country and our world.
 
I’m worried.
 
New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes a regular column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the international classic “Indecent Proposal” now followed by the prophetic newsroom thriller “The Bathsheba Deadline.” Engelhard is the recipient of the Ben Hecht Award for Literary Excellence. Website: www.jackengelhard.com



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