tv Casey Gerald There Will Be No Miracles CSPAN July 29, 2018 3:34pm-4:01pm EDT
who feel like i don't want my today read stories that are sad, gushing, downbeat. that's like not a totally illegitimate thing to say. i want to choose as a parent when my kid understanding sufficient that might bring thin grief but there's also a certain point, well, there's 14 now. when are you going to introduce them to the idea that not everything is perfect outside of your all-white suburb. so all of those factors swirl together to create the perfect dumpster fire of mast censorson of books. >> our guest on "in depth" fiction edition on sunday, august 5th, noon eastern, discussing his book "walk away." he wrote down and out, little brother, and 14 other november veils. interact with corey boy phone, twitter or facebook. the special seize, "in depth
fiction edition" on sunday, august 5th, live from noon to 3:00 p.m. eastern on booktv on c-span chops. >> now on book tv we want 0 intro you to casey jerald, the name of the book there will be no miracles here, enemy hero. where this e did the title come from. >> guest: comes from an art installation, an artist from scotland, and it was just a big light sign that said "there will be in miracles here" and i thought it was beautiful but wanted to know the story. it's a story from a village in medieval france where the peasants -- a feudal village the's started experiencing miracles, a mass hit hysteria.
the put down their plows and the people in charge tried to convince the peasants to get back to work. we need you for the survival of our society but the can't work. so ultimately the feudal lord goes to the king of france for help, and the king of france's solution was to have signs placed throughout the village that said, there will be no miracles here, by order of the king. and so this book, which is on the surface memoir but is actually for me an intervention, is saying not at the surface level there will be no miracles here do it yourself, be depressed, but actually something more important and more prevalent for our times, which is that this system for those's sans, a feudal system. for us it is the world we have inherited, it's not working and in a lot of ways it's killing
us. the first thing to do is put down our plows and stop the stuff that's killing us and the powers that me may say there will be no miracles here by order of the king but the king don't rule that way and the miracles are still here and the kings are gone so that gives me hope. >> host: when you call it an intervention, is that personal or see sital intervention. >> guest: both a permanent and a societal intervention. this is i think the power of memoir, that with the eye you can get to the we. and so i started the book because i lived myself into a dead end. i had achieved about everything a kid is supposed to achieve in this society. gone from oak cliff, texas, almost orphaned after my parent left my sister and i to live like the box car children and then out of the blue recruited to play football at yale. and went on from there to wall street and washington and the
early days of the obama administration, harvard business school, wound up on the top of the magazine. ted, george bush's table. did all the things you're supposed to do and in my late 20s i was cracked up. won't say i had a nervous breakdown but not too far off from one. a lot of my friends were cracked up, and obviously the world was cracked up, too, when i started the book in 2015-2016. so i set tout trace -- set out to trachethe cracks and try to save myself and figure out what was wrong with me and wrong perhaps with the world, and while i was doing that, one of those friends was committed suicide. >> elijah. >> guest: elijah. and a few months into that, he after that, he came to me in a dream, and he was sitting in a diner and i was standing over him, and he looked at me and said, you know, we did a lot of things that we wouldn't advise someone we love to do.
and i woke up. and i knew exactly what he meant. so my job with this book became to make plain what those things were to kind of explosion the dark side of the american dream, this here horatio algier story i stood in for and what so many young people are convinced, pick yourself up by your boot straps but the reality is if you look at ilit from the right angle, a boy picking himself up from his bootstraps looks like a decide decide. there's a cost of the journeys we send kids on, journey of success. so it was not just what is wrong with you and how can you heal but it was for my friend, elijah and a lot of kids like us, how can we live in a better way that's actually life and not death. >> oo were you supposed to feel grateful you had been lifted up by your bootstraps?
>> guest: i guess so. that's a great question. are you supposed to be grateful? i think the -- less about how you're supposed to feel is what you're supposed to do. i write in the book that my silence held the world together. that the silence of people would have gone on this journey, that sort of rags to riches american dream journey, that our silence holds the world together. that we don't tell the limitations of that quote-unquote american dream, that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can be anything and be anybody. there's sort on an empty promise. we also don't fess up to the cost when it does work. you can't -- the cost of burying yourself, the cost of trying to pretend to be somebody else just
to fit in, the cost of pretending even more so that all those things you have been through are not still with you, because all the stuff we ran from, comes running after us, and so the silence, more than the feeling, the action of silence, is the more pernicious thing that i hope to counteract by writing, by telling it, and not telling a glory story but casey gerald but telling the truth i'm as screwed up as anybody else. if you tell that truly truth, liberation is an understand offering the truth so powerful there's no turning back from it. so hopefully the book does some of that. >> how did being gay affect your life up to when you wrote this book?
>> guest: i think more important than sexuality part of it, is the idea of being qur. of being at odds with the world, i write about a video that came out when i was 13, i by deangelo, titled -- untitled video which is sort of this kind of strange he eraticca kind of thing. >> host: a musician. >> guest: a musician, absolutely. an incredible artist but i write about it not just from the standpoint of the carnal, physical attraction to this person, but if you actually listen to him talk about the song and even the video, where he is practically naked, just before they start shooting the
video, he was talking about the holy spirit, talking about being in church and transcending the physical plain, and i think at best, that is what artists are supposed to do. so, i write in the become i've never known a single faggot who survived without finding another world, real or imagined to call home. and i use that word intentionally, not as a slur but because here we are as a queer in a so sit that invalidates your humanity and if you're determined to live you have to really figure some shit out. look at the data and the facts you're given and figure out a way to do something differently with it. and so over and over throughout this book, i couldn't have written this book without being a person who has moved through the world, moved through a
society, that at base is designed to destroy me or designed to invalidate me, and so to find joy in that, to find some sense of life in that, some sense of possibility in that, and the language even, a new way of looking at language i think is most important. truth about myself and set of experiences i've had, the most important thing i've get. >> host: the church of your youth, yale, wall street, harvard, were they set out to destroy you in your view? >> guest: that's probably bit too strong. sounds a bit too strong to say they were set out to destroy me. but i went to jerusalem last
year, on a pilgrimage, and some ways to find jesus, which sounds ridiculous when i say it but which is kind of true, bus over my life i found i had to let go of the god i was given to find the god i needed. so many of my friend have had that same experience of growing up in a certain understanding of god, certain understanding of church, a certain understanding of love, a certain understanding of -- and reaching a point where it just didn't work anymore. and so much of my adult life has been finding that for myself, and so i went to jerusalem, because i didn't want to throw the ben out with the barth water issue said this jesus christ thing has ahold of me but i have to find it on my own, and jerusalem was actually a very heartbreaking thing.
guy to calgary and the garden on getting september me -- fethsemane and i went to the juice market and i'm very skip tick cal of this guy people are coming and saying, i'm depressed and i need help there was a woman there, who -- an elderly woman who rushed up to him and said, my husband has dementia, and i don't know what else to do. i need you to help me. it and was clear this thing was wracking her life with despair the juice healer said bring in the a walnut and he take the walnut and shows it to the ready and said, seven of these a day, whatever looks like the brain, helps the brain. give your husband seven of these a day and everything will be all right. and i'm standing there in the
book of the room like, are you kidding me? the most ridiculous thing i've ever seen. but this woman felt this deep sense of calm and she said, give me three pounds of them. i'll take it. and it was so moving for me and such an education for me, because while i knew that there was nothing in those walnuts that was going cure this terminal illness her husband had, i also knew that this thing, this myth, this palliative, had actually brought her some real comfort, and i think when you talk about the god we were given, when you talk but the path to success we were given, talk about the ways my generation were trained, it's not so much they were set tout destroy us. it's more so that they're like those walnut. they're very topical solution, that may bring comfort but don't
actually bring any long-term relief or cure, and so that is what i hope this -- when i talk about intervention, not to destroy or attack or vilify. it's to say i understand the role these things play. let's consider them the walnut, not the cure. >> host: ten thing is hate about jail and knew haven. >> guest: -- new haven. >> guest: i believe i was the most miserable freshman in the history of yale college. when i got there this is the early days of facebook, and i wrote a facebook post called "ten thing is hate about yale and new haven," and funny enough, the toughest thing for me when i got to yale was not necessarily the wealth gap, although it what's first time realized i was poor. and it wasn't actually the race gap.
i mean, you know, i grew up in an all-black neighborhood in texas where we spent two extra years in slavery. so we were always told that america was racist, white people are racist, and that's the way it is, for 400 years, always been 400 years, by the way, even 30 years later, still 400 years. the tough thing when i got yale was this difference in black people. this diversity in black people, which i never really experienced, which was very hard for me but important, for me to urn learn some ways and nations about blackness and be clear about some things. there was, i think my sophomore year, spray painting on a residential college that said nigger school and not long after, obviously the campus was in an uproar. we had no idea who did this but this was unacceptable and people
wanted to post these protests, and i never forget the sign that was the most iconic sign for the protest was i don't spend 50,000 a year to be called a nigger, i and i thought that was very peculiar because it spoke to a deeper issue that i think we have to unlearn, which was that there was something that you could do to make you deserve not being a nigger. that just because you pay $50,000 you should just be treated differently. you should be treated as an elite. you should be treated as a yale man, not as a black man. and so-so much of what i'm trying to say with the book actually is that we're talkingout white supremacy, about structural racism. we'll have to work on that for a long time, and i'm not convinced
necessarily that in our lifetime, america and white people are going to just out of the blue not be antiblack, but i do know that we can do a lot of work to say that all of us are either going to have to be nigges or none are out have to be niggs for us to be free. can't be invest inside he difference between, i'm not a nigger, i'm black. i'm not a fagot, i'm married. this different -- this idea that i have earned the right to be treated better than somebody else because of the school i went to or the car i drive or the money i have or how i dress or the clothes wear. we have to unlearn that because that is empirining all of us. >> host: now aficionados might
not who casey gerald us but might know rod gerald home is one. >> guest: considered to be one of greatest high school football players, my dad in texas ever seen. a quarterback, in the '70s. went on to be a second black quarterback in history of ohio state, played for the legendary woody hayes, and i write in the book that him being a legend was a pain in my ass, that every -- a great man is an inconvenience as father because every boys wants to be his own man and it's hard to do that everybody calls you the son of somebody. my dad became a legend he when he was 20 at ohio state in his sophomore year, and had broken his back in the season, and a game against purdue. the season went on, ohio state made the orange bowl, going to play against in the university of colorado, and a week or so
before that, woody hayes says, listen, we need you to play. his back still wasn't healed. but my dad -- this is was his identity and woody hack become a father figure to him so he tried to do it. he shows up and before the game a gay says to him you want me to give you something that will help you play like a champion today? my dad said, sure. the man hands him an envelope and inside the envelope is cocaine. and he takes cocaine nor first time and goes on to be orange bowl mvp. and a serious legend in the anales of college football and also was the start of a drug addiction for him that by the time i was born, had gone on to crack and gone on to heroin, gone on to the beginnings of the destruction of my family, and so
when i'm 11, i go in the school and there's my teacher hand me the dallas morning news and on the front page is my father, once the pride of texas, throw e star, his life sacked by drug. the whole stir received was here's this boy who drew away his life, threw away his talent for drugs and he is an addict and has issues, and it wasn't until i wrote this book i thoughting well, wait a minute, the store is more complicated than that. the thing that made him a legend, this game that so many young men in this country, including myself, were told, that is your path to salvation, that was the thing that in his moment of great success, actually started his moment of destruction as well, his destruction, and he sacrificed his body nor game of fast ball but nobody tells that story. so much of what i was trying to
do with this book was kind of muddy the waters of villains and heroes, because i had been told the story that my dad is an addict and he has get issues and could have been a great star but it was his fault. so the other side of this, hey, casey gerald is awe some and horatio algier and if every kid is like casey gerald we have a heroing my and also have to -- the myth of here is this kid who made all the wrong decisions and screwed it up and threw his life away. it's more complicated we're all happening to and happening on other people and we're operating in a system which are designed to lead kids like my dad act 20 years old, into poor decisions and up safe choices and environments, and then blames it on them. so, i think there's a lot of blame to go around and we have
to account for it if we're going heal from time to time. >> host: casey gerald's book, there will be no miracles here, a memoir. is available in october. this is booktv on c-span2. >> tonight, i season spicer discusses his book "the briefing: politics the president ands the president" interviewed by former republican national chairman, michael steele. >> and ronald reagan and donald trump are 180 degrees apart from each other, and yet here we are in this space. how did you navigate that? we're both reagan conservatives in that regard. so -- >> that's right. >> a little but of a dance every once in a while honor how did you do it. >> with respect to to president himself, there's no question he is not traditional in terms of how he speaks, but also connects to people in a way that most
politicians never have, he talks very bluntly in his own style. but i don't think that he would have won the presidency, wouldn't have won the nomination if it wasn't for that style and there's this balance with elected officials, which is they say all they right things but don't necessarily get anything done and in case of trump there's a lot of, getting all these things done and people are saying i just didn't like this tweet or how he interacted. i'm a results oriented person and look how the country is doing, peep making more money, this country safe center i think net-net, i am -- i would think most people would general live agree that if we can get the right things fun for the country, then that is a better place than someone just talking about the right things to get done. >> watch "after words" tonight at 9:00 eastern on book tv.
>> book tv recently visit capitol hill ask members of congress what they're reading this summer. >> i'm a great fan of detective/mystery stories, and i sort of tend to find an awe their really like and then make my way through almost all of their books, sort of in a sequence of time, and which is especially possible with being able to download on to my ipad. so right now i had a tend me about an italian author who was writing about an inspector on the island of sicily, and so i downloaded the first book and they are such fun. find all these mystery detective novels that take place the different countries so it's not just the story but also the place and people that are part of it. this particular author, camilari, has so much -- it's very italian. the people that are in the book, the inspector himself, is very
volume ubel and tremendous mood swings and has loyal police group and always solves the case. enjoy it as much for him and the place. so knew i think i making my way into the fifth book there are 20 or cycle know i won't do all of them but i've done that with many other detective/mystery writers from across the globe. but i sprinkle it if with more serious literature, recently i read a book that a friend told me about, wonderful, wonderful book about a man who is under house arrest in the mid-1920s and his life in this lovely, beautiful, old world hotel in moscow, and then a book called "the door," which i think is in hungary, takes place in hungary, recently translated and just an experience that a neighbor has with an elderly woman and sort
of the unfolding friendship and tragedy of their lives together. so try to find ways to sprinkle in more serious literature with things that are just a little more entertaining and allow me to think about other things than all that is at stalk for our country. >> booktv wants to know what your reading. send us your reading list on booktv, twitter, i instagram or facebook. [inaudible conversations] good evening. a long time civil libertarian and author of 37 books, alan dershowitz has been called one of most prominent and consistent defenders of civil
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