Daniel Winchester has been living in Washington, D.C. since 2012. He grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey and studied economics and French at Yeshiva University. Like a good millennial, Daniel manages a blog for an educational non-profit. He spends his free time reading, writing, and bloviating on Facebook, and his dream job is to write for The Onion. If you challenge him to a game of tennis or tiny-tennis (which some call “ping-pong”), he won’t be able to turn you down.
1.) Why did you agree to do this “Young Professionals Spotlight” interview with Kol HaBirah?
The only thing bigger than the illustrious launch of Kol HaBirah is my ego. It’s very important that people know things about me like, for example, what my most enlightening Buzzfeed Quiz result has been.
2.) What has been your most enlightening Buzz Feed quiz result?
I’m glad you asked. Buzzfeed has told me how old I am multiple times. Most recently I learned -- based on my favorite type of potato (baby red)–– that I am 32. I’m relieved to be liberated from the delusion that I’m 28.
3.) Which movie is next on your queue?
I’m currently on a classic movie binge, trying to conquer the American Film Institute’s top 100 movies of all time. Next up is Raging Bull.
4.) What is the most unusual argument you have had or witnessed on social media?
One time I witnessed an argument on Facebook where both parties treated each other with respect and actually learned something. That was pretty unusual.
5.) Which disappointing movie do you wish you could “un-see”?
I know I’ll get stoned for this, but La La Land. It was boring, self-indulgent, and fawning. The title was fitting though. That’s exactly where I went when I saw it: to sleep.
6.) How would you describe your personal philosophy?
Be curious but skeptical. Be funny but kind. Be smart but humble. I just made that up, but it’s a pretty dope personal philosophy wouldn’t you say?
7.) What are you an expert on?
I literally just said that humility is a cornerstone of my personal philosophy, Batya. Stop asking me “gotcha” questions.
Nobody will think you arrogant, Daniel.
Okay, I’m an expert on the discography of the Dave Matthews Band. I can sing just about every lyric of every one of their songs.
8.) It feels like springtime. What is your favorite DC spring activity?
I feel like everybody would answer “the cherry blossoms.” Well not me! I’m a big softball guy. I play centerfield for my work softball team, and I love the feeling of chilling with your teammates, drinking beer, crushing line drives, and shagging fly balls.
9.) What was your favorite class in college?
I majored in economics and minored in French, so I’ll pick one from each. I took a course called “Philosophy of Economics” where we read some of the great thinkers in economic philosophy like Adam Smith, David Hume, Karl Marx, and Joseph Schumpeter. This course really helped shape my political worldview. I also had the privilege of taking a French language course in Paris where I learned to say things like bouillabaisse and mes pamplemousses sont plus gros que les votres, Jean-Claude.
10.) Who is your favorite person to follow on social media?
These days, my favorite person to follow is Donald J. Trump. His Twitter account is an unintentionally hilarious train wreck. It’s pretty fun (and singularly 21st century) to watch someone lose his mind 140 characters at a time.
I also enjoy comedian Patton Oswalt’s Twitter feed, which is a masterclass of bite-sized comedy, and the YouTube channel The Rubin Report featuring Dave Rubin. Rubin conducts enlightening interviews with interesting guests, mostly on the topic of free speech.
11.) What qualities do you look for in a girlfriend?
Someone who can cook a mean bouillabaisse. Seriously though, kindness, sense of humor, and intelligence are paramount. And she should be a better person than me.
12.) What is your latest conspiracy theory and why should we believe you?
The lucky numbers on the back of Chinese fortunes are coded state secrets. You should believe me because if I’m wrong, the terrorists win. Also, Donald Trump is Borat.
13.) What would be the title of your future memoir?
“The Winch Who Stole Chanukah”
14.) Fill in the blank: Love means never having to __________?
Play checkers against yourself. (sobs)