In Florida

I’m one of the two little heads in the distance.

Everything is beautiful and amazing but God, folks, the prices have exploded. Everything is always more expensive in the tourist areas. We are used to that. But this time, the usual tourist premium is added on top of the general price increase and the result is crazy. The salary increase I’m expecting as a result of my promotion has been eaten up even before I received it.

Still, it’s the best state in the union right now.

Lives of Others

My reaction would absolutely be outrage over the violation of privacy. The games people play in their marriages are none of my business. I’m not part of their relationship, so what do I care? But lack of privacy online does concern us all.

Nobody outside of a marriage can understand what’s going on inside it and why. Having an emotional response to other people’s marriages is useless and not extremely healthy. Also, there’s no single evildoer in a marriage. If it goes bad, two people must have worked really hard to make it so.

Of course, this is all about some randy Catholic priest getting outed online and not about anybody’s marriage, so that’s a completely different story.

Book Notes: Javier Cercas’s Independencia

Remember how I finally found a good Spanish mystery novel? It was by Javier Cercas and it was titled Terra Alta.

Independence is the second novel in the series and it’s even better than the first. Cercas understands the soul of the mystery genre like few (or actually none) among Hispanic writers. The structure, the pace, the plot – everything is superb. Cercas had gotten the Premio Planeta – the second highest paying literary prize in the world – for the first novel in the series, and it was richly deserved. The man single-handedly gave Spain its own crime novel genre that isn’t a pale copy of the English-language police procedural. Everything in Cercas’s mystery novels is fresh, fun, and exciting.

The title of the novel refers to Catalonian attempts at independence. Cercas is a bit of that scared one-issue conservative I wrote about previously. He’s very much against the independence – and what reasonable person isn’t? – but feels the need to compensate by arguing that anybody who is against open borders is a dishonest, perverted fascist.

That’s OK, though. I don’t read fiction to find validation for my political beliefs. The novel is excellent, and I don’t care about anything else.

I saw several reviews whose authors complained that the novel is titled “independence” when it’s not about Catalonian independence. Those are people who either can’t read or are complete idiots. The whole novel is an argument against Catalonian independence, which is explained in every possible way. Cercas believes that independence is a plot by Catalonia’s business and political aristocracy to get more money and power for themselves. They never meant to take it as far as it all has gone. The whole point was to have a bargaining chip to extort Madrid. But then it all kind of went out of hand when people took the pro-independence slogans seriously. And now it’s a mess that nobody can unravel.

The novel is set in 2025, and I really liked that COVID was presented as an insignificant blip long in the past. Just like Catalonian independence.