Book Notes: The Wife Between Us

This is so weird. This novel is identical to the one I just finished and wrote about in the previous book notes. Both books are co-authored by two women (two different pairs of women, that is) and the plot is exactly the same. And I don’t mean it’s the same in the sense that nobody can invent a really new plot anymore. I mean it’s identical.

A very rich man marries a wide-eyed ingenue who soon discovers he is controlling and abusive. She goes out of her head with boredom in her luxurious and isolated mansion in the suburbs and concocts a plan to make the husband leave her by finding another woman for him to marry instead. But the replacement bride the wife finds turns out to have a secret plan of her own.

I didn’t buy the books on recommendation from an Amazon algorithm or anything like that, so it’s got to be just a coincidence. But it’s still weird. And quite tiresome.

The Most Popular

I have finally found a way to enjoy The New York Times. The paper has turned into such a pathetic propaganda outlet recently that it’s impossible to read.

But I found a way to enjoy the paper still. In my app, I go straight to the “Most Popular” articles. This is what people really read, and the unhinged political blethering is at a minimum there. The articles that the readers prefer are on parenting, travel, health, science, cooking, shopping, exercise, productivity – everything that constitutes a normal life. The disconnect between the most popular articles and the front page or opinion page is enormous.

Dr Phil and the Dogma

There was a show on Dr Phil last week featuring a black girl who is extremely and viciously racist. She has decided that she is white and wants to join the KKK. The family is understandably devastated. It soon became clear that the girl is traumatized by the death of her Dad and the racist persona is a reaction to her grief.

But the funny thing was how nobody on the show dared to tell the girl that race isn’t something you can choose. The poor Dr Phil was contorting himself into all sorts of bizarre shapes with his meek and confused, “Of course, you can choose to be white because everybody has the right to choose their identity but. . . erm. . . but. . . uhm. . .”

It’s not OK to contradict the Dogma. And the Dogma is that biology doesn’t exist and anybody can choose their sex or race or ethnicity, and anybody who contradicts this is the bigotedest bigot of the most bigoted bigots. All this progressive blethering did was confuse the poor unwell child even further but the Dogma is more important than that, obviously.

Sudden Literalists

It’s really silly for people to shriek “but it’s not in the Constitution!” at this point in time. Abortion and gay marriage are not in the Constitution, and it took some very inventive arguing to pretend that they are and that the Founding Fathers wouldn’t have died of horror when presented with either concept.

But it’s still a fantastic thing that these inventive arguments were made and we now have these really wonderful things as a result. We are the side that’s all about “oh, it’s ok to see in the Constitution what’s clearly not there because it’s a living breathing document that should change in the direction that the times demand.” What were the chances that nobody else would want to adopt this argument the moment it was convenient?

I missed all the news yesterday and then woke up to a bunch of scandalized, prissy voices in my feed that have suddenly discovered a profound respect for the literal interpretation of the Constitution.