I’m surprised no one mentioned shared AirTags in the report card. sixcolors.com/post/2024…
Finished reading: A Morning at the Office by Edgar Mittelhölzer 📚
The novel’s accessibility masks its complexity. I found the novel stylistically reminiscent of some of Henry Green’s later work. Mittelhölzer’s depiction of the characters' inner thoughts and feelings drives the narrative, but the work intentionally documents the social and racial hierarchies of post-war, pre-independence Trinidad.
Currently reading: The Great Derangement by Amitav Ghosh 📚
Currently reading: The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard 📚
Finished reading: Fate is the Hunter by Ernest K. Gann 📚 This was a really interesting, ironic memoir of the early days of passenger flight, before the adoption of jet engines. I can see why it is an aviation classic.
Sad to hear that Al Jaffe died. He did make a dent in the universe, though. www.progressiveruin.com
📺 Wrapping up S1 of Avenue 5 on the HBO+. Not sure how I feel about it. There’s a lot to like, but I also find myself frustrated with some of the plot and character logic.
Just finished the second and last season of Detroiters on the Paramount+ 📺
I know Seth Meyers was intending to be complimentary when he called it “stupid” (well, “brilliantly stupid”), but it is also a very sweet and sentimental show, particularly towards the city in which it is set.
Currently reading: The Demi-Sexes by Jane De La Vaudere 📚
A completely chilling move made by heartless actors: Texas attorney general’s office sought state data on transgender Texans 🏳️🌈
I bought a four-pack of these on discount at Aldi, and I’ve kept them in case I needed an emergency caffeine boost. The moment arrived. The flavor is like a coffee-flavored hard candy without the sweetness. I can’t recommend it, but the drink is not as gross as I feared. ☕️
Over the past year, I’ve added this podcast to my regular listening. I admire the analysis Leah Litman, Kate Shaw, and Melissa Murray provide each week. Their guest for this episode, Rebecca Nagle, helpfully explains the importance of ICWA for the tribes and for the rest of America.
I have been spending time revisiting Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 satire, It Can’t Happen Here, which I read for the first time this summer. When it first appeared, it was an extremely popular bestseller (selling 320,000 copies domestically in its first year), and its title has become part of the American idiom. I find it interesting that, when scholars discuss it, they go out of their way to note that either that they believe or that the consensus is that the novel isn’t very good. It probably doesn’t help that Lewis privately called it “a bad book,” according to Mark Schorer’s critical biography, Sinclair Lewis: An American Life (1961). Schorer also seems of two minds about then novel, calling it “a tour de force,” but then providing this disparaging comparison:
Considered as a whole work, It Can’t Happen Here differs from other examples of its genre in having neither the intellectual coherence of Aldous Huxley nor the persuasive vision of a nightmare future of George Orwell. (610)
I’m not sure Huxley, as much as I appreciate his work, is the coherent intellect the above suggests and, no, Lewis doesn’t set his novel in the future.
I also don’t think this is a bad book. Lewis was never one to utilize a particular kind of literary prose–neither was Huxley for that matter. But in terms of plot, pacing, and depiction, It Can’t Happen works pretty well.
On his visit to Cape Finisterre, the avuncular minister administered his signature for a sinister petitioner, a swindler parishioner, causing a mini stir.