New Holiday

The only upsetting thing about Juneteenth is that we won’t get an actual paid day off out of it until 2023. We should all come together as a nation to bemoan the unfairness of getting a new federal holiday but not a day off.

In the Atmosphere

The suffering I experience in hot weather isn’t about disliking hot air. It’s the atmospheric pressure that makes my blood pressure rise which is the issue. I can stay in a dark room with AC cranked up to 64°F and it will make no difference.

I promise I will stop harping about this now.

Anybody interested in a review of Charles Murray’s new book, by the way? I’m being offered a copy for free.

In Hiding

We are at 103°F plus humidity today, so I’m looking out for my health by going to the swimming pool for an hour first thing in the morning and then hiding in my office and reading 3 books in 15-minute stretches one after another. (It sounds weird to switch between books like this but it’s optimal for my brain.) I read best on my feet, so I roam the empty corridors of my building on campus. Plus, I’m fasting.

It’s ridiculous that I have to treat myself like an invalid but it’s the only way with this climate.

Quote of the Day

Loved this passage in Santiago Alba Rico’s essay España:

One of Spain’s biggest tragedies is how often people have had to rebel against the poorly thought-out and condescending revolutions organized by the governing elites.

We are experiencing such a condescending revolution right here, so it hits close to home.

P.S. People often mention that when I talk about Spanish literature they begin to wish they knew Spanish. This makes me feel good because my whole professional life is dedicated to bringing books written in Spanish to the notice of as many people as possible.

Neoliberal Vocabulary

When you see the word “choice” used 3 times in 2 sentences, you should know that you are reading neoliberal propaganda. The whole purpose of this text – and so many similar ones – is to steal policing as a service from us and give the money, instead, to the people who can afford castles and private armies.

Another dead giveaway is the word “imagine” or its variant “re-imagine.” “Harm” and “harmful” is another pair.