Book Notes: Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School

Lerner is a talented writer. But he’s clearly not a writer of novels. He creates these beautiful, engrossing vignettes that tell the simplest of stories in a way that grabs your attention and holds it fast. It’s a rare gift.

But Lerner isn’t content with his gift. He wants to be a novelist. Since he’s utterly incapable of creating a plot, he tries to find a thread that will hold the vignettes together. The only thread he seems to be able to find is inane, idiotic wokeness.

You can easily spot the moments in the book where the author had no idea what to write next and filled the hole with wokespeak. These are jarring moments when, in the midst of a beautifully written paragraph, he suddenly switches into a clumsy rant about “racialized able-bodied victims of multiple oppressions.”

Endings are the most impossible part for writers like Lerner. He has no idea how to conclude his non-plot and as a result the last 20 pages are an incoherent jumble of wokester talking points that gradually dry up and the novel stops.

But the important thing is that he’s crazy talented. It’s been a while since I last enjoyed anything by a US author like I enjoyed this book. If Lerner just relaxed and stopped trying to “send a message,” he’d be really great. He’s young (for a novelist, anyway). Maybe he’ll get over himself and will let his talent guide him instead of trying to massage his uncommon literary gift into a primitive agenda of self-hating, self-deprecating, endlessly apologizing “white cishet men” who are trying to belong to a political movement that exists to despise them.

What’s Popular

I took my kids to a pool to swim today, something I was never allowed to do growing up bc my parents were scared I would get “too dark.”

Whiteness chokes us so early.

Saira Rao is clearly a mentally ill person and I don’t want to make fun of her.

But here’s the thing. Where I lived as a child, everybody was extremely white. Everybody wanted to be darker. All I heard was, “go outside already! Look at your legs, they are the color of sour cream!” I still look at my legs every spring and make jokes about sour cream. And the most popular boys at school were the two black boys because they were the only black boys in the whole large city. If I looked like Saira, I’d be the most popular girl at school by far. Where I come from, thousands of people each year give themselves skin cancer trying to look like Saira.

What’s rare is in demand. What’s not rare isn’t. Yes, Saira Rao is unwell but there are many healthy people who don’t get this.

Proud of Montreal

Apparently, almost 100,000 people marched in Montreal today to protest against COVID-insanity.

Proud of you, Montrealers!

If anybody doubted that the francophone culture is a very different culture, here’s all the proof you need.

It’s so beautiful to see a crowd gathering for a worthwhile cause.

♥️❤️💗💖💝💞💓💞 Montreal!

Global Oligarchy and Its Lackeys

The corona-panic is created and stoked by the global oligarchy. In each individual country, the political forces that are funded and controlled by this oligarchy are instituting lockdowns and terrorizing the population with “case counts,” “positivity rates,” etc. For people who are willing to admit new information and leave aside outdated tropes, now is the perfect moment to notice which political forces are owned by the global oligarchy.

If it weren’t for COVID, there would be another “global threat” that would keep us all locked inside and tightly controlled. If you need an example of what that could be, look at California. Look at BLM.

Whoever pays for these narratives is a representative of the global oligarchy. Whoever supports them with political measures represents the political lackeys of the oligarchy.