Book Notes: Writing about the Crisis in Andalusia

This is a collection of short stories written by 12 Andalusian writers, and what a sad, depressing thing this collection is!

The stories lack any artistic value whatsoever. Rather than works of literature, they represent a sort of a clumsy search for catharsis. The 12 stories are nearly identical in terms of their plot: a man (it is always a man, never a woman) who is almost saintly in his goodness and dedication to his family loses his job. He suffers greatly, considers suicide, but then is miraculously saved by a stranger, his brother, a priest, a child, an angel, and even a demon.

Taken together, these sad little fantasies of magical remedies for unemployment are heartbreaking. Things must be really desperate for people to take solace in angels.

It’s also curious that even though many of these writers are women, the unemployed protagonists are invariably men. This doesn’t mean, of course, that women don’t get fired. Obviously, they do. But these are Hispanic writers, and male suffering always automatically takes precedence over female suffering.

Title: Andalucia: golpe a la crisis
Language: Spanish
Year: 2012

Violence in St Louis

Watching the local news in St Louis is like receiving reports from a war zone. A woman is shot in her car. A mother of five is shot and killed. A family of four is robbed at gunpoint.

St Louis is one of just a couple of cities where there has been a real (as opposed to imagined by scandal-monging media) spike in violent crime. I wouldn’t attribute it to any specific events because there is always a spike in crime in St Louis. The authorities are making heroic efforts to make the city more habitable but the progress is slow and uneven.

The Silence of the Dumb

I can’t wait to see what narrative all the creeps who were defending Putin’s invasion of Ukraine will come up with to explain his invasion of Syria. How will they reconcile their belief in Putin’s role as somebody who is an alternative to the “evil West” with his cheerful eagerness to exploit the conflict in the Middle East?

Poor fuckers, I almost feel bad for them.

Rauner Is Starting to Kill Off Citizens

The hapless governor of Illinois, a.k.a. Big Government Rauner, has been incapable, so far, to force the state legislature to accept his anti-family, anti-education, anti-children budget. In a fit of impotent rage, he decided to start killing citizens to blackmail the legislators into compliance. Now the state is refusing to cover health insurance claims of 146,000 people, including many elderly folks:

Citing the state budget impasse, an agency controlled by Gov. Bruce Rauner has stopped paying health-care claims for at least 146,000 state workers, retirees and their families receiving coverage through self-insured plans.

However, payments to other health-care providers will continue, for the time being, on behalf of at least 158,000 patients covered by the state’s managed-care plans.

Note the bold-typed part. Rauner is holding these 158,000 people (one of whom is me) hostage in order to wrestle out of the legislature the right to hire many more expensive lackeys who’ll make his stupid wife feel important. I congratulate all of the idiots who voted for this freak of nature because they were convinced that it is possible for a very rich fellow to look out for the interests of anybody but other very rich fellows.

Will nothing teach you to beware of billionaires, you stupid twits?

The Writing of History

The writing of history is closer to fiction than any fiction. It is always biased, tendentious, subjective, manipulative, political, and propagandistic.

There is, however, one characteristic that distinguishes the American way of writing history from everybody else’s. When I read history books published in Spain, the UK, Ukraine, Germany, Russia, or Latin America, I am likely to find any number of lies and mistakes, yet all of these books will have one thing in common: every historic moment they discuss will feature a number of players who will interact with each other in a variety of ways based on their own, often conflicting interests.

American history writing only features a single player, godlike in its omnipotence and loneliness. Each history book discusses this character’s interaction with itself. That lonely, all-powerful player is, of course,  the United States. The possibility that there might be other players on the world arena, with an agency and needs of their own never even registers.

So if you pick up, say, a history of Guatemala or World War I or the USSR or anything else written by an American, you will discover that the book isn’t really about Guatemala or World War I. It will be about the US creating and acting upon Guatemala, etc.

I’m not sure if there are any American medieval historians of note, but if they do, God, how they must suffer because of the incapacity to stick the US into every sentence.