More Toilet Musings 

I was standing in my hotel room bathroom a minute ago, laughing my head off. I mean, I’d had two uncharacteristic cocktails earlier, so that’s part of it. But also, being in the town where I’d spent 4 years as a hard-partying graduate student and now suddenly realizing I’m very middle-aged, with a bottle of prescription medication, a blood sugar measuring device, and even dentures on my bathroom counter. OK, it’s not real dentures but that mouthguard thingy but it’s the same thing. 

I so wish somebody could have told me back when I was living here how this story was going to end. I was deeply unhappy here, and if I could have gotten a tiny little glimpse of myself 14 years later, with my family, my books, my nice clothes, my driver’s license, my savings account, and even my dentures, it would have made things much easier. 

It might seem that I spend all of my time in New Haven visiting toilets but I promise to reverse this trend in the coming days. 

On the Way to No-Heaven

Once I got to NYC, I bought a bag of kale chips because I always wondered what they were and wanted to feel like a real chi-chi fru-fru East Coaster. 

And now I’m on the highway, flying past all those white plank houses that I detested so much when I was living back here. It made me feel like a total failure at life to be surrounded by such defeated, ugly landscapes at such an advanced age. 

Even a Rancid Mother

Richard Russo’s mother was a total rancid stank-ass bitch who fucked him up proper and good. But he became a famous writer, at least, because she did one thing right. She always told him that he could become anything he wanted and she believed it. That’s an enormous gift. Which doesn’t excuse the rest of the rancid shit she did to him but it’s better than nothing. 

As the great psychoanalyst of childhood Winnicott said, even a horrible parent is better than no parent. 

Hate the New Yorker 

I hate The New Yorker. It’s so poorly organized. Instead of placing a few photos of West Virginia in the article on heroin epidemic in the state, the magazine put some dumb, entirely unrelated (and frankly offensive in this context) cartoons. 

“This woman’s young daughter died of a heroin overdose. Oh, by the way, here’s a funny cartoon about pastry chefs. So, about those drug addicts. Oh, and before I forget, here is a cartoon on reality TV. OK, back to those addicts.”

The image of the perfect reader they promote is a smug, consumerist scatterbrain who sees West Virginia addicts as entertainment. 

The New Yorker Piece on Heroin Epidemic 

I finally read “The Addicts Next Door” by Margaret Talbot. It’s a New Yorker piece, so it’s deeply flawed. (The author is very full of herself, she isn’t very interested in addicts and prefers to talk about wealthy people who are shocked by addicts, she is obsessed with listing the material possessions owed by the wealthy people shocked by addicts, she can’t resist the temptation to hint at how progressive and sophisticated she is in comparison to the inescapably racist redneck addicts she describes).

But it’s an important subject and any coverage is better than none. So I do recommend. I even bought the magazine even though it’s one I always avoid. 


I hate this essay by Rebecca Solnit as much as I did all of her previous writing. Solnit is a total anti-me. She has this lisping, cutesy, puckered up writing persona that is all about touchy-feely nebulous shit she takes out of her ass and treats as real. 

In case you don’t know, Solnit made herself famous by claiming that men condescend to her. I forced myself to read 70% of the linked essay and I wonder what she expects when she writes such inane stuff in such a childish voice. 

And by the way, I’m stunned that somebody can pose as a famous feminist while producing such a bizarrely bad reading of Pushkin. Solnit’s feminism is all about forcing everybody to treat the platitudes she offers with respect. It doesn’t go beyond her narcissistic woundedness. 

Why Nationalists Lose

The Scottish National Party lost a ton of seats. Let’s hope people figured out that nationalist fantasies are not the solution to liquid capital’s triumph over the nation-state. 

Please note how determined nationalist politicians are not to mention any of the stuff about the nation-state we’ve been discussing here. They exploit the anxieties that liquefaction of previously solid institutions creates but they never name its source.