Best of 2019

The “Best Book of the Year” lists are not always a waste of time. I recently discovered that the #1 book of 2019 in Spain was Lluvia fina by someone called Luis Landero. So I immediately read it and discovered that yes, it’s definitely the book of the year. I wouldn’t say it’s a great work of art but it has a really good story.

And what matters more in reading than a good story?

Not much.

What I really love about the novel is that it features this completely Soviet-type family that is beyond dysfunctional and insane. I have a strong suspicion that the author trolled Russian-speaking forums which are awash in stories like these.

I really hope the book gets translated because, first of all, it’s a great read, but also, you can’t understand people from my part of the world without realizing that this is what we all come from.

It’s really funny that even though there are, what? two hundred million of us?, we can’t write literature about this stuff. We’ve got to wait for Hispanic authors somehow to guess at our level of insanity and write about it.

I can’t say when was the last time I felt so deeply in tune with anything I read. I don’t need to identify with characters or a plot to enjoy literature. I mean, my favorite novels Moronga and En la orilla are about, respectively, a former Salvadoran guerrilla fighter turned killer and an unemployed elderly carpenter in Spain. But in this book… every character is me, and that’s intense.

Lluvia fina by Luis Landero, remember the title. It’s definitely the book of the year. And as only the third book I read in 2020 so far, it opened a new reading year for me in a wonderful way.

The Worst Is Yet to Come

My sister is predicting that in 2024 it will be Ivanka vs AOC for president. Because both have recognizable brands and that’s the only thing that matters.

I promise, absolutely 100% promise, that we will gather on this blog 15-20 years from now to sigh over the good old times of normalcy during the Trump era. It’s going in the direction of complete clownification of politics.

Distracted

Trump got Suleimani killed for the same reason Obama had Anwar Al-Awlaki killed. Republican, Democrat, they all end up bogged down in the same idiotic foreign conflicts. It sucks but we all know it’s true.

But Trump definitely didn’t do it to “distract from the impeachment.” The impeachment is a gift for him.

Not that anybody in the US ever got distracted from anything by stories of foreign fellows with unpronounceable names.

All the Same

“Folks, this is about changing the culture, our culture, our culture, it’s not imported from some African nation or some Asian nation. It is our English jurisprudential culture, our European culture that says it is all right,” said Joe Biden about the (utterly fictitious) rape culture on US campuses.

And let’s not pretend there’s a candidate (aside from Trump) who wouldn’t defend this same woke point to the death. Let’s not pretend like we don’t know Biden is only parroting the real leaders of his party because he (and every candidate) knows he has to.

Let’s face it: there’s nobody to vote for. On the positive side, it matters absolutely nothing whatsoever, so that’s OK.