Falling Asleep

Can anybody explain to me why I always want to sleep here in Ft Walton? There’s literally no time in the day where I don’t feel ready to conk out. N says it’s because of the fresh air but we’ve got air back home. Plus, all the air seems to have no effect on Klara in terms of her sleeping patterns.

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Useless

I wanted to find out more about school segregation but it seems like only total nutcases want to write about the subject. I just read one guy who observed kids in poor neighborhoods arrive at kindergarten at the age of 5 without knowing even a couple of colors or shapes or knowing that words on a page go from left to right. The author concludes that kids from well-to-do families know their colors and shapes because… they go to preschool. They learn how to hold a pencil or what a book looks like not from their parents but from preschool teachers. That’s the whole solution: more pre-school teachers! Throw money at it and it will all go away.

This is so intensely delusional that I can’t keep reading. And it’s all like that. Why people in possession of a working brain aren’t writing on this clearly important subject is a mystery. No problem will ever get solved by a bunch of crazy do-gooders who don’t even try to understand the subject they are discussing.

Apartheid Schooling

Folks, did you know that the most segregated states in the country are California and New York? In these states, they have what is known as “apartheid schooling” of proportions unknown in other states. Only one black student in 7 doesn’t go to a segregated school in these states.

And these are the states that constantly lecture the rest of the country about racism and want to choose every president by destroying electoral college.

P.S. Apartheid schooling is the term for schools where 99% to 100% of students are non-white.

Book Notes: Richard Russo’s The Destiny Thief

Richard Russo is do talented that I’d gladly read a grocery list written by him. Of course, I prefer his novels or short stories but in the absence of any new ones a collection of essays titled The Destiny Thief: Essays on Writing, Writers and Life had to do.

The essays are very well-written and anybody who wants to be a fiction writer (which I most certainly don’t) should read them. They have really great advice for aspiring writers. There is also a wonderful essay on the non-fiction writings by Mark Twain that made me want to drop everything and go read Twain and a beautiful essay on Russo’s best friend who underwent a sex change operation.

One thing, though, was extremely funny about the book. You’d think that a literary titan like Russo has nobody to envy. He’s a recognized genius, he won a Pulitzer, he had Hollywood movies made based on his books – who can possibly get to him? Turns out, there is somebody. Russo is obsessed with people who self-publish on Amazon. The whole first half of The Destiny Thief is about Russo’s dislike for these writers. They’re quacks, their books are crap, they are not real writers, the success they experience is owed to the public being dumb, on and on he goes.

Of course, Russo writes real literature, and high culture is always only consumed by a tiny minority. Russo will never sell as many copies as Fifty Shades or Hunger Games. But that’s not due to self-publishing. More people consume junk food than Michelin star fare because they lack the resources and the knowledge that the latter even exists. It’s the same with literature. Most people have no intellectual resources to comprehend anything above the Twilight series. This is how it’s always been and will always be. Self-publishing didn’t cause it. And why should Russo care? As I said, he’s achieved every success. Why should he care if somebody gets a payout even if they do produce junk?

Good book but this obsession with self-published authors is boring.