Another Election

“So. What are your thoughts on the election??” I asked a friend who came to this country a year before I did.

She perked up and started going on in great detail but I couldn’t recognize anything of what she described.

“Wait, what are you talking about?” I finally said.

It turned out she was talking about a local – not even a national but simply a regional – election in her country of origin.

The same thing happened to me in 2016 when I met a long-lost high school friend and asked her about the election. She went on in great detail about the election of the Moscow mayor.

These aren’t people from prissy cultures where one avoids talking about politics. This was a sincere mistake. Like when Canada plays against Russia in a hockey championship and the immigrant newspaper comes out with a headline “We Won!”

Reason to Lose

If Trump loses the election, there will be one single reason for it. He did absolutely nothing on immigration and even stopped promising to do anything. Incomprehensibly, he doesn’t even try to remind voters that Biden supports immediate amnesty and free healthcare for illegal immigrants.

Rightly or wrongly, most voters don’t care about Hunter’s emails. They also have zero interest in China, Russia, or Kazakhstan. They turned out in 2016 for a guy who promised to build the wall. Four years later, there’s no wall and no criticism of Biden’s open borders plans at all.

I’m sure there will be zero discussion of this at the debate tomorrow, either.

Good and Bad

Of course, nobody will come to my talk about Venezuela and Cuba tomorrow because it’s at the same time as the debate. This sucks.

On the positive side, I accidentally discovered how things turned out for one of the readers of our blog from a long time ago. Many years ago, we even raised money for her to buy a new laptop here on the blog.

And it turns out that she has done really well in life and is on her way to become a successful writer. I found this out by complete accident on Twitter. I have no idea how it happens that I keep bumping into the old readers of this blog all over Twitter. I already came across three by complete accident.

The Real Killer

According to the CDC, this year so far the largest average percentage increase in deaths has been among the people aged 25 to 44. And it’s not COVID that’s killing them. That group experienced under 6,000 deaths with COVID (and as we know about 6% of those are deaths from COVID).

This is my age group, and lockdowns are killing us.

A Welcome Change

Now that I’m an office worker with regular work hours, I go to campus and back with a tiny little bag. It houses my glasses, phone, keys and an extraordinarily dirty face diaper.

It’s really cool not to have to lug around a huge heavy bag everywhere I go. It’s also wonderful to have real weekends. I haven’t turned on my home computer in weeks.

This has been a great change. I can’t recommend this kind of schedule strongly enough to other academics.

Glorious Borges

I never loved Borges like everybody else does but I re-read “The Cruel Redeemer Lazarus Morell,” and either because I tried reading it very very slowly or because my brain craves beautiful writing after the outrage of ZNH, the story felt absolutely glorious. The first 3 pages of the story almost made me cry. Literature! Beautiful literature!

Here’s the English version. If you decide to read it, please observe how with every sentence the world’s greatest master of the short story genre completely destroys everything we expect a short story to be. This text enacts Borges’s entire literary career for us. Brilliant stuff.

The Conflict

Josh Hawley turned out to be quite brilliant. Here’s what he wrote today:

“United States v. Google” are the most patriotic words I’ve heard in a long time. God bless America 🇺🇸

https://twitter.com/HawleyMO/status/1318712559600586752?s=19

A nation-state against global forces that are trying to wash it away. This is the conflict of our times. Everything else is window dressing.