The Area Code Conundrum

Drake Bennett of the Boston Globe has just published an group profile of emerging conservative thinkers for the Ideas section, and he covers yours truly alongside Luigi Zingales, Brad Wilcox, and Megan McArdle. I’ve know and admired Megan for some time now, and not just because she’s engaged to Peter, and I’m a huge fan of Zingales and Wilcox. Suffice it to say, I’m very flattered to be in such company.

Rather amusingly, Bennett noted the following from our interview.

According to those who have worked with him, Salam blends conservative political belief with a voracious embrace of contemporary pop culture in all its forms – in conversation, before the references to Russell Kirk and John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Predator State,” he opens with a semi-profane line from the hip-hop artist Ludacris.

These days, a Ludacris reference marks you as an old fogey. To provide context, the conversation went something like this —

[REIHAN] Oh yeah, I always pick up calls from strange area codes, as I have ‘hoes’ in many area codes. And by ‘hoes,’ I mean ‘friendly acquaintances.’

Or something like that. Rest assured, I don’t refer to people as hoes as a matter of course.

I’m in Berlin and very, very excited to be here.