We always knew how to honor fallen soldiers. They were killed for our sake, they went out on our mission. But how are we to mourn a random man killed in a terrorist attack while sitting in a cafe? How do you mourn a housewife who got on a bus and never returned?
When I first wrote 'Papa Hemingway,' there were too many people still alive, and the lawyers for Random House didn't want to OK it. But now all that's been filtered away by the passage of all these people. And having the fortune of surviving, I now feel that I am the custodian of what Ernest wanted the world to know about him and these women.
There are people who want to hear what they consider your hits. There are people who want you to experiment and explore random, rare things. And it's kind of a different; they're two different beasts.
I get random meetings, like, 'Ron Howard would like to sit down with you.' 'Really?' If 'Breaking Bad' hadn't happened, Ron Howard probably wouldn't want to sit down with me. Because he would have no idea who I was.
When I travel overseas on many occasions, I get pulled out because I may be buying a one-way ticket, I may be traveling with my sister and we have different last names. That's smart profiling. Just pulling people out one at a time when we have millions of passengers in random screenings I'm not sure is the best way to do it.
Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories, and politicians react randomly to every new crisis - leaving us bewildered and disorientated.
Events keep happening that seem inexplicable and out of control. Donald Trump, Brexit, the War in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, random bomb attacks.
Just being in the military, you're so violent. We got into fights about just random things all the time. I don't think as aggressively as I did when I was in the Marine Corps.
My earnestness at the injustices I witnessed when I was writing 'Random Family' may have been my gravest reportorial offense during the early years of reporting. When I discuss the book with students, they often ask me how I could 'stand by' in the face of so much suffering; the egregiousness wasn't my powerlessness but my surprise.
I had relatives who would go to Japan and bring back random stuff they bought at the airport or whatever - 'Ultraman' and 'Speed Racer,' stuff like that.