Fidget Spinners of the 1980s

Good times.  .  .

This had a practical purpose, too. It’s how we used to rewind the tapes. 

Spanish Fascist

Facebook is scary. I just discovered a real Spanish fascist on my feed. Real like in he is posting love letters to Jose Antonio Primo de Rivera, the founder of Spanish fascism and, according to this Facebooker, “an innocent victim of red hordes.” 

He asked me to friend him last week and I mistook him for a colleague with a similar name and agreed. But the question is, why did he choose me? I never publish anything in Spanish on FB. I do leave likes under the posts by writer Andres Trapiello. Does this mark me as an FB Spanish fascist? 

Losing It

I got almost no sleep tonight so I decided to make some borscht to reward myself. I went to the store, bought the ingredients, and sat there staring at them for 15 minutes because I had no idea what I was supposed to do with them.

I forgot about borscht! It’s worse than forgetting my own name (which happens every once in a while.) 

Weekends in India

The Indian editor wrote me an email berating me for not responding to his previous message. That he sent on Saturday evening. The due date for the proofs is July 9, so it’s not like I’m behind on anything. Are there no weekends in India, or something? I don’t respond to non-urgent work emails on weekends because I don’t see the need. I have never in my life not honored a deadline or asked for an extension. Never, no matter what was going on in my life. So why the drama?

Book Notes: Patricia Ventura’s Neoliberal Culture

This would have been a great book. . . back in 1998. In 2012, when it was actually published, it’s quaintly outdated. The bibliography has Homi Bhabha (remember him?) but no Beck, McGuigan or Bauman. The author is convinced that the expression “welfare queen” is still constantly used on the news, Oprah’s book club still operates, and dumpster-diving as political resistance is super fresh. My guess is that it was one of those doctoral dissertations that took over a decade to be published as a book and grew old in the process. 

The introduction and the chapter on Las Vegas architecture were quite good, if not very original. But the chapters on welfare and war were so outdated and superficial that I barely got through them.

Also, this author loves to signpost. In the introduction, she says, “in chapter 3 I will discuss [copy-pasted sentence from ch. 3]”. In chapter 2, she reminds us “in chapter 3 I will discuss [the same copy-pasted sentence from ch. 3]”. When we finally get to chapter 3, she says, “in the first section of this chapter I will discuss [the same goddamn copy-pasted sentence that by now you know by heart]”.

If this is the first book you ever read in neoliberalism, it’s good enough. But if it’s not, do yourself a favor and read McGuigan instead.