Loved by the World

When I go places with my kid, strangers are always happy to see us. There are rare exceptions in the form of mean old ladies who hate moms and kids. Obviously, it’s a tiny minority of old ladies. Most old ladies are amazing. But if there’s going to be a hater, it’s never an old gentleman, a teenager, a 30-year-old, etc. It’s always a 75+ woman. The rest of the people light up like Christmas trees when they see us.

When I go around with 3 kids and people assume they are mine because they are hanging off me like ripe pears, the amount of love from strangers multiplies greatly. It’s actually quite overwhelming. One day, we dressed Klara and her same-age cousin in matching outfits, so everybody assumed they were twins. I’d never felt so loved by the world as when I strutted them around pretending they and the older cousin were mine. And I tend to feel extremely loved by the world normally. It’s an overwhelming feeling.

Falsifying Life

My university is searching for the top administrator to substitute for the one who recently retired.

The job qualifications for the candidates include “a proven record of actively promoting and enhancing anti-racism.” Unless we have all gone suddenly senile, we should be aware that “anti-racism” is a very recent fad. Nobody heard of it until 15 minutes ago. Nobody can have a proven record of promoting something that was only just invented.

So what can we conclude? Everybody knows it’s a travesty but everybody is pretending not to know out of fear that masks as indifference or ignorance. We are trapped in a web of these seemingly little, unimportant lies, forfeiting our right to remain fully human.

Cold in Illinois

Whenever I mention to anybody here in Florida that I’m from Illinois, the reaction is, “Ooh, it’s so cold over there!” It’s been 10-15 degrees hotter in Illinois than here during my entire vacation. I’m practically only here to escape from the heat. But people seem to think Illinois is somewhere on the North Pole.

Book Notes: Claudia Piñeiro’s Thursday Night Widows

Yes! This book is available in English! And it’s really good!

Latin America has been, from the start, “a laboratory of neoliberalism.” It’s a place where the most advanced neoliberal strategies are tried out before being exported to the US and Europe. Piñeiro’s novel describes a reality that already existed in Argentina in the early two thousands but that we are only starting to experience now. The extreme inequality, the dwindling upper middle class hiding behind the walls of gated communities as the lumpenproletariat loots and destroys whatever it can, the terror of losing one’s place in the shrinking elite and joining the plebs.

The writing is absolutely delicious. The book is gossipy, entertaining but also, in places, quite deep. People have been asking if they can read crisis literature in English. This is crisis literature in English. It’s in translation but American writers aren’t likely to get their heads out of their butts and start writing about anything real for the next 20 years, so what can you do?