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Hooman Majd

“I definitely think that I’m my own critic, for sure, and not society. Although it does affect me, how society views what I do. I won’t deny that; I think that anyone who says it doesn’t is lying.

I do think about my own insignificance, sure. I can be interviewed or have somebody write an article that mentions me or whatever. And for a moment you think, ‘Wow, I’ve done something good.’… But then at the end of the day, I know it doesn’t matter. I’m not that significant. Even if I were famous, even if I were better known — either as a writer or as a celebrity — I still wouldn’t be that significant at the end of the day.

But mortality, yeah, you can’t help but think about it from time to time. You certainly think about it in terms of your family. As you get older and you start losing either friends in some cases, to unnatural deaths or disease, or family to old age; it makes you understand you’re getting closer… And it’s a little depressing, sure. It’s depressing.

But you just try to be logical about it, and say, ‘Well, do the best you can while you’re alive. (laughs) And try to enjoy it. Do the things that you enjoy, do the things that you want to do.’…

I’m not so sanguine about the nature of human beings. I’m not sure we’re an animal that’s particularly good… I’m not an anthropologist, but you see things — after so many thousands of years of advancement in culture, in technology, in thought, in theory — and you see people acting the same way they acted ten thousand years ago, before civilization. And you think maybe humans aren’t meant to live in harmony. I hate to say that. I would like to think that we could progress, that our brains could get to a point where we understand that we have to save our planet and we have to figure out how to live together without killing each other…”

Hooman Majd

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Hooman Majd, speaking at his home in Brooklyn in an interview with Paradigm Magazine.

A lighter add-on from another recent interview:

Interviewer: You’re definitely looked at as a very cool older guy that younger guys like myself would like to eventually grow up to emulate in terms of your looks and style — what tips can you give guys like me for aging gracefully and staying cool in the process?

Hooman: You’re very kind. That’s very flattering and I don’t want to sound like I accept all that praise, but if I were to accept that praise, I think I’d say be honest to yourself about what you’re comfortable with. There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself into anything — whether it’s an opinion or a political position or clothing — because you feel like that’s what you’re supposed to do. Be comfortable in your own skin. Sometimes you’ll see a guy in sweatpants and a New York Jets sweatshirt and the way he carries himself makes that cool. If I did that, it would be totally uncool because that’s not what I’m comfortable in. That’s not saying all slobs can look cool even if they’re comfortable, but there’s something about the way you carry yourself and the honesty with which you present your image to the world, and clothes and style are just a part of that.

Read on:

  • Dworkin dissects what we mean when we talk about living ‘a life of value’
  • Chomsky delves into the question ‘Is there a universal human nature?’
  • Cornel West preaches: “There must be some standard for human life that gets beyond… fleeting cultures and changing nation states and contingent civilizations and empires.”

Hooman Majd