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Leon Neyfakh

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I'm Okay, You're Okay

Megan Hustud
Observer writer Leon Neyfakh is starting to make us uncomfortable for him. Back in his November profile of "nice" Vintage publicist turned author Sloane Crosely, he made reference to those who enter into conversations at parties and are "immediately consumed with anxiety about how [they're] going to get out of it." Today, he revisits this affliction again, writing about Megan Hustad, a Vintage editorial assistant in her twenties who has written a self-help book for "the young men and women of the creative class" and other such books for "creative-minded sophisticates." "They are the ones panicking, after all," Neyfakh writes of this demographic—
…reeling and trembling as they realize that they are not good at their jobs, that they have not read anything and that they are not fun to talk to. Sending e-mail makes them nervous, and when they go to parties, they have conversations with people and spend the whole time thinking about how to get out of them. Instead of showing up with their wits and one-liners intact and ready to go, an entire generation seems to be on the verge of panic.
(Emphasis ours) Okay, so (1) Neyfakh is not making himself sound like the greatest conversationalist here and (2) Really? An entire generation socially paralyzed in this manner?