I went outside and met a large red fox who was holding a dead bird in her teeth. She stopped and stared me down.

Plantation Overseers

On a serious note, García Martínez’s analysis of the situation in the Silicon Valley strikes me as very naive. He sees Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and other CEOs as victims of their woke employees, unable to put an end to leftist lunacy in the workplace. Poor Google, for example, is “limping from crisis to crisis forever,” García Martínez exclaims. Yes, poor, miserable Google. Such a tiny, insignificant, powerless company.

Leftist lunatics in the workplace are the equivalent of BLM goons in the streets. They are brought there on purpose, egged on, and deployed to serve as disciplinarians. They are the plantation overseer, got it? They make sure you work hard for Massa and live in fear. Massa is not their victim. There is no “good Tsar” duped and controlled by his evil ministers.

So let’s stop asking “why is NYTimes allowing 20-year-olds to bully seasoned journalists.” And “why is Google letting a few unhinged harpies terrorize serious people who bring actual value to the company.” This is all done by design.

Suggestion for Silicon Valley

Antonio García Martínez writes in the wake of his firing from Apple over some woke hysteria:

In those confessionals of Silicon Valley life—private Signal groups where everyone is sworn to a secrecy enforced by the mutually-assured destruction of impolitic candor—venture capitalists and CEOs confide that every company is now agonizing over which way to break on the issue: Coinbase-style defiance and voluntary severance? Or Google-like caving to a small but burning-hot swarm of employees? They’re also debating strategies to avoid the woke trap altogether: How do we hire employees who won’t start internal woke crusades and waste everyone’s time? I just want to make this go away: what do I do? Can you just look at this shit? (Slack screenshot attached.)

(My suggestion: Hire mostly immigrants, who still entertain the quaint notion that getting a job means actually showing up and doing it, rather than mounting Slack crusades to fill the spiritual hole at the core of their lives.)

I can refine this suggestion: hire Russian-speaking immigrants. Has anybody seen a woke Russian speaker anywhere? OK, Masha Gessen but that’s it. Russians can write code and can’t take anything ideological seriously.

Even a Broken Clock

The language is tortured and immensely obnoxious. I experience a strong desire to vomit when I read these pathetic, miserable sentences. But the author is not wrong. This is a very big, important issue.

“Latino” isn’t a look. It isn’t a race. It isn’t an ethnicity. There are millions of black Latinos, and it’s deeply annoying that many people in the US don’t even realize that.

I watch a lot of Mexican telenovelas, and it’s ridiculous that everybody is extremely white in them. “I thought you were watching a Mexican soapie,” N says, glancing at the screen. “But where are Mexicans?”

If anybody a little bit more tanned appears in a telenovela, it’s always as a servant and dressed in the traditional indigenous attire. Which is extremely stupid.

This Lin-Manuel Miranda fellow milked eager US progressives out of tons of money. You got to be stinky rich to see Hamilton. And now that they have a legitimate complaint against him, I think he should listen.

Book Notes: Santiago Alba Rico’s Spain

Spain is a 300-page beautiful, rambling essay about Spain’s national identity.

Alba Rico, a profoundly erudite professor of literature in Tunisia, never read Cervantes or Galdós (the Spanish Dickens) because he was so leftist that he couldn’t abide the thought of doing something as patriotic as reading these national authors. When leftism became too virulent and stupid for Alba Rico to abide, he finally read these authors and realized what an incredible moron he had been to avoid them and to despise the idea of homeland and national culture.

This realization led him to write this book and explore the subject of national identity and the reasons why the left has abandoned the concepts of nation and patriotism. I can’t say I agree with Alba Rico in everything. Many of his beliefs I don’t share. But the book is great. And it’s great to see even lifelong leftists realize that they’ve been duped into believing some rabidly stupid stuff.

Book Notes: Margaryta Yakovenko’s Out of Place

This is the Ukrainian writer from Spain that I mentioned recently, and Desencajada (Out of Place) is her first novel.

Yakovenko is a great admirer of Hemingway, and her prose is very unadorned, clean, and whatever is the opposite of fussy. If you teach Hispanic literature, I highly recommend this book for your students. It’s really easy to read. It’s short, it’s cheap on Kindle, and you really can’t go wrong with this one as a teacher.

Out of Place is an autobiographical novel. Yakovenko’s parents became illegal immigrants in Spain in 1999, almost exactly when I became a legal immigrant to Canada. She was 7 years old, and her novel describes the tragedy that migration is to a child who didn’t choose it and can’t make peace with it. People aren’t suitcases. You can’t move them around without damaging them. The protagonist of Yakovenko’s novel is a traumatized, confused woman who can’t find a way to make peace with what happened to her. This book isn’t a work of genius like Fernanda Melchor’s The Tempest Season but it’s a strong novel that tells an important story in a beautiful way.

I also want to mention that I don’t share the author’s political beliefs. Her take on the war in Ukraine is imbecilic. And her cheerleading for open borders is even more so, given that her own art belies it. But none of that matters. It’s a good novel that should be read.

Trump Obsession

I subscribed to a Twitter feed called “food inspiration.” It immediately regaled me with a tweet “Trump is nuts.” It’s kind of sad that Democrats are still so obsessed with Trump. It’s also sad that every topic one subscribes is overrun with the Left’s Trump fantasies. I already had to unsubscribe from the topic “books.” It was never about books.

Wish I Were There

I want to be in Spain right now on an almost physiological level. I can’t explain what it does to me to be there. I have no other explanation for these feelings than that my ancestors were Spanish Jews expelled in 1492.

I also have very intense feelings for the south-east of Germany.

I’ve been to what? 16-17 countries, and these are the only places that have this effect on me.