Please read this ode to our beautiful, difficult country, whose Riverside County, California, is as vibrantly American as genetic research, fried chicken-donut sandwiches, and the Civil Rights Movement.
The best New Yorker article I read in months wasn’t about homeless teens or schizophrenia (actually that one was dope. Immunization genes (!!!) disproportionately influence the development of schizophrenia (!?!??) through neural structures that act as pruning shears such that certain regions of the brains of schizophrenic people are over-sheared like when my dad pruned the peach tree so aggressively it stopped bearing fruit).
It was most decidedly not the recent Gay Talese spew about a dude who bought and modified a motel in my town to spy on unwitting guests and catalog their proclivities that I cannot believe the friggin New Yorker friggin published. The sexism alone. The wholely undigested this-is-what-Talese-thinks-about-what-this-dude-thinks-about-himself, the very worst impulses of the New Journalism as if decades of feminism, gay rights, and sophisticated, elucidating long form nonfiction hadn’t happened, undigested like when the pet’s vomit looks like the pet’s food fresh out the bag plus some glistening. As if we don’t know better than to be seduced by two layers of un-self-conscious narcissistic privilege into our becoming voyeurs through an actually paid-for book excerpt whose disguise as journalism is as flimsy as the voyeur subject’s delusions of ethical social scientific research. I won’t even dignify it with a link.
Back at the ranch, Louis Menand reflects on ways our popular self-help books reflect the labor needs of our dominant economies.
Ford and Taylor maximized the efficiency of bodies laboring in factories. How to Win Friends and Influence People Taylorized the the salesman in the grey flannel suit, disciplining his personality to a mid-century service economy.
The permadelight of low-profile solo Stipe singing “I’m a dude!”
Higher profile solo Stipe forever puts Nirvana to RIP with “The Man Who Sold the World”
The younglings continue to break for Sanders, while the olds continue to hope that we can finally please oh please could we just please get a woman in the White House already what more does she need to prove to you people.
And since I’m apparently peeved about getting older, as well as increasingly anti-capitalist as those years insist on speeding past, I keep wondering why I don’t side with the people who know how to use “fleek” on electing someone unafraid to call out the Rockafellers for their depredations upon our society. (Is it a noun? An adjective? Verb? Dependent on context?)
Why am I unmoved by this apparently viable candidate whose platform consists of free college, universal health care, and prioritized mitigation of income inequality? Who’s Jewish? Why am I not only unmoved, but downright hostile to him?
Who am I?
I recently binged both the TV and book versions of The Man in the High Castle. Thatsa lotta Nazis.
I started to blog about these particular alternative histories–both the Asian-centric original and the Nazi-centric contemporary. But then I picked up a minor Philip Dick work, published 2 years after TMitHC, The Simulacra, and it was like TMitHC took acid, watched a bunch of Marx Brothers films, and foresaw a future in which Nazi evil takes the form of corporate oligarchy subduing the masses with HGTV and an ornate, comprehensive bureaucracy of citizenship.
As can happen when you pick up a Dick novel.