Hannah Arendt smokes throughout her hour-long interview on Zur Person, and this dates it more than almost any other aspect of the whole thing. Her interviewer smokes as well. Smoking indicates a certain discursive climate, a kind of expansive relaxation one would expect from a mid-20th century intellectual. It’s also weird to see a casual smoker on television when we’ve successfully banished them to the alleyways outside bars, but that’s another matter entirely.
She stares at her nails while answering one question and pauses for five seconds before answering another. She speaks in full paragraphs and doesn’t restrict her answers to anything quotable or viral. The camera focuses on her almost entirely -- the only cuts are to different angles. There’s no sense of forced combativeness or point-scoring -- just an attempt at an understanding.
Which is to say, watching it in 2014, it’s super weird...
Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.