Daniel Handler ’92: “I’m Not Afraid of Patchouli”

“I was puzzled by people’s puzzlement over it, because it seems pretty simple to me.”

Last month Lemony “Daniel Handler” Snicket ’92 joined the laundry list of WesCelebs weighing in on the Occupy Wall Street movement, publishing on the Occupy Writers site a characteristically titled list of “Thirteen Observations made by Lemony Snicket while watching Occupy Wall Street from a Discreet Distance.” The list, which Rachel Maddow describes as “at the same time somehow heartbreakingly earnest and the opposite of earnest,” contains such smartly phrased capsules of timely wisdom as this: “If you work hard, and become successful, it does not necessarily mean you are successful because you worked hard, just as if you are tall with long hair it doesn’t mean you would be a midget if you were bald.”

This week, Handler appears on the Rachel Maddow show, discussing the list’s genesis while swimming laps at a community pool alongside a wealthy donor who refused to share a lap. On the OWS movement, Handler explains: “It seemed pretty simple to me. [ . . . ] It seemed to me like maybe if I said it in the form with many examples using cake, then maybe people would get more relaxed about it.” Handler also gets a bit WeSpecific in the interview, namedropping Wes sociology professor Rob Rosenthal and giving Wesleyan partial credit for his ease with the Occupy movement: “I grew up in San Francisco and then I attended a snooty liberal arts college, so I’m not afraid of patchouli and people holding signs at all. That’s just been part of my whole life.”

No word on when Handler will make the pilgrimage back to the school of patchouli and people-holding-signs (it’s been almost exactly four years), but in the meantime, here’s the full interview:

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2 thoughts on “Daniel Handler ’92: “I’m Not Afraid of Patchouli”

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