Tony Kushner’s Day
"I wish I was an octopus," says Roy Cohn in Angels in America, " a f--king octopus." These days Tony Kushner, the man who wrote that line, is a f--king octopus. With life more chaotic than usual-good news and bad news coming at us faster and from more directions than we can handle-what part of it escapes his tentacles?
Consider: Kushner was a socialist long before the financial collapse led this magazine to declare that we are all socialists now. The administration has renewed its efforts to address the Middle East crisis, a subject that Kushner has been writing, speaking and generally making himself obnoxious about for years. He is a leading advocate for gay marriage at a time when the issue zooms toward public acceptance (he and his husband, the journalist Mark Harris, share the distinction of being the first same-sex couple to be featured in the Vows column in The New York Times). And just as a bookish lawyer from Illinois settles into the White House, he’s writing a Major Motion Picture about Abraham Lincoln that Steven Spielberg will direct. Of the many strange things about American life, one of the strangest is that a 52-year-old gay Jewish Southern playwright finds himself-economically, politically, socially, culturally-so near the heart of the action.