Book Notes: Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies

Moriarty is now my favorite mommy lit author. I very highly recommend her. I usually read Moriarty as I lie on the floor next to Klara’s bed, waiting for her to fall asleep. I hold the Kindle under the bed, so the light doesn’t disturb Klara. It’s perfect.

The novel has a fantastic depiction of the psychosexual mechanisms of violent relationships. It gets a bit soppy at the end in an obligatory nod to political correctness but all the way until then it’s really honest. It’s possible nobody will be able to publish such brutally honest writing on this subject before long.

I watched a few episodes of the TV show based on the novel, and it’s cute, but everything is simplified to the point where it’s a parody of the novel. Complicated, interesting plotlines and characters of the novel are treated in a hamhanded way.

As I said, the novel could do without the last 40 or so pages, but the rest is very enjoyable. Obviously, it’s not a work of art but what kind of a freak can deal with art while lying under their toddler’s bed trying not to breathe?

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Unusual Challenge, Day 6

My unusual deed for the day was a bit pathetic: I took a caffeine pill, which is unheard of for me. But I didn’t get enough sleep and spent all day walking around in a daze. I hate this new reality in which I need to sacrifice a third of my life to stupid sleep in order to be able to function.

Why a gallbladder surgery should have caused this is a mystery.

I promise a much more exciting unusual activity tomorrow.

Magical

There was an event at the children’s museum today where farmers came to show kids how to plant seeds, water them, etc. One of the farmers was a lady with an obviously huge experience in dealing with kids. She asked Klara her name but Klara got shy and wouldn’t say.

“Oh, let me guess,” the farmer said. “Your name must be Beautiful Rainbow Unicorn Princess.”

It wasn’t much of a guess since Klara was wearing unicorn boots and a rainbow tutu. But Klara’s little face lit up with a sense of great wonder.

“Mommy,” she whispered, “how did this lady know my real name? Nobody knows it! Everybody just says Klara, Klara.”

“Well, she’s a farmer,” I said. “This means she’s magical because she knows how to grow things.”

This explanation made profound sense to Klara.

There’s absolutely nothing like seeing a child’s face light up with the recognition that real magic exists.

Narcissistic Woundedness

When I listen to the US coverage of Central America, I’m always reminded of this hilarious moment in Jean Franco’s book Cruel Modernity where she blames the extreme violence displayed by a Mexican drug cartel from Michoacán on some American novelist whose cowboy novels supposedly taught the cartel how to be violent. It’s as if the existence of any situation where Americans aren’t at the center were almost physically intolerable.

Neoliberal Subjectivity

And just one more title from the NYTimes:

How to Cure the New Senioritis? Make Yourself Your Senior Project

This is the essence of the neoliberal mentality that the paper that worships on the altar of neoliberalism tries to implant in children. I promise you that the next group exhorted to treat the self as a product on the market will be toddlers.

NYTimes: Mysterious Infection Spans Globe in a Climate of Secrecy

Here is a great article on the rise in drug-resistant infections.

I’m from a different culture, and the use of antibiotics in this country is extremely weird to me. People gulp them down like vitamins. Nobody is advised to take probiotics after or go on a two-week restorative regimen that would let the body recover from antibiotics. Antibiotics are being prescribed for ridiculously minor crap that doesn’t warrant a Tylenol, let alone something that is a major hit on the microbiome. It should be the very last thing to try and not the first response to a bit of a fever and a raspy throat.

Of course, nobody cares because a gut that’s been hit with massive doses of antibiotics is a gift to the fast food industry.

And now we are all facing not only the individual but also the collective results of this.

Marketing and Guilt

Marketing loves guilt. It uses code words to switch on the feelings of guilt and make people try to assuage them by buying ridiculous things.

Global warming! Buy fake meat!

Children in cages! Buy open borders!

Nobody really cares about climate or the children. It’s all about the cycle of activating and then assuaging the guilt. It’s like scratching an itch: painfully delightful.