The authorities of Quebec are conducting a multi-year experiment to find out if it’s possible to get the people of Quebec to grow some dignity and not be patient, submissive little bitches. For now, the experiment is showing that no, it’s not possible.
Let’s give it 4-5 more years as everybody else lives a normal life and shares stories about Quebec at a restaurant over a meal with friends.
The worst thing about Amor Towles’ otherwise insufferable The Lincoln Highway is that the last two pages are excellent. You have to wade through 600 pages of sickly sweet molasses to reach an ending that is very dark and offers an instant relief from the hyperglycemic attack that is the rest of the novel. I’m glad that I held out until the very end and didn’t quit halfway because the ending kind of almost made the novel not completely maddening. I’m never reading a word by this author again, though. I can’t stand his style of writing. It’s like the tone that parents use with very small children. It stops being cute around the time the kid learns to ride a bike.
Wow, I’ve been off the news cycle for two days and already this happened:
As we recognize that covid-19 is not a deadly or even severe disease for the vast majority of responsible Americans, we can stop agonizing over “cases” and focus on those who are hospitalized or at risk of dying.https://t.co/S4OQD7R58u
For foreigners: this woman is one of the craziest, most hysterical, freakishly obsessive COVID fanatics. It must be really over if even she’s ready to move on. “As we recognize this isn’t a severe disease” – I thought I’d never see the day. And I hear that Biden publicly admitted there’s no federal solution for COVID. Which people with over two functioning brain cells already knew but nobody expected the president to acknowledge.
A very clear and detailed explanation of how very rich people bought Joe Biden an election win in Wisconsin in 2020. The bad news is that these same very rich people will try to do this again. Build Back Better hasn’t passed. The universal digital ID hasn’t been adopted. Police hasn’t been abolished and universal healthcare (aka extreme austerity) hasn’t been introduced. They’ll do it again.
But here’s the good news. Do read the linked article and observe how many votes all this money and effort got the cheaters. It’s not that much. Not even Putin can falsify more than 10-15% of votes. If you have a real landslide, a real wave, there’s no cheating that can do anything.
As always, it’s about who works the hardest, who puts in the most effort, and who perseveres. We can all do our part by quietly and gently bringing up the gas prices, the inflation, the masks in schools, the masks in children’s sports, the Waukesha massacre, the Afghanistan debacle, etc. Not all of this at once but a single thing our interlocutor might care about. Nobody can falsify away a landslide, and the landslide is all of us.
After two days at home and on social media, I have lost track of reality and started to fear that a local indoor activity for kids might be following the governor’s orders and requiring masks.
Of course, it isn’t requiring them because nobody is that insane but this goes to show how warped one’s mind can get in lockdown.
By the way, the local indoor activity in question is a trampoline park whose original owners took COVID too seriously, went broke, and had to sell the business to less neurotic owners. Only a braindead person hasn’t noticed that the danger to kids from trampoline isn’t COVID but physical injury from jumping.
Franzen’s Crossroads and Towles’ The Lincoln Highway are the biggest American novels of 2021. Big bestsellers both. Set in the past because American writers don’t write about the present anymore.
But the really interesting thing is that Crossroads offers a deeply conservative worldview while The Lincoln Highway is steeped in the liberal one. These novels are almost mirror images of each other. Crossroads is about different experiences of Christianity. In The Lincoln Highway, characters are trying to cobble together a moral code in the absence of any religion, and the best they can come up with is a primitive version of “an eye for an eye.” Crossroads is about the things you don’t choose while in Towles’ novel everything is completely arbitrary and fragmentary. There’s no particular reason for anything. The greatest danger to the characters in The Lincoln Highway comes from a character associated with religion, and they keep murdering him symbolically. Everybody is constantly on the move because staying in place is fraught with an inexplicable danger. Drug addiction and alcoholism are cute.
P.S. The Lincoln Highway is bad not because it’s rooted in the liberal worldview. It’s bad because it’s poorly written. Also, Franzen poses as a leftist snowflake in public. It’s mostly an act but that doesn’t matter. There is never much overlap between a work of art and the personality of the artist. It’s got to be actual art for this rule to work, though.
By the way, yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the most wonderful political / collective event I experienced in my lifetime: the end of the USSR. It’s rare that you can say about an event of this magnitude that it was an unalloyed, luminous good but this one was.
Is Amor Towles a children’s writer? The second novel of his I’m trying to read is killing me with the cloying, saccharine tone, pompously delivered platitudes, the one-sided, completely flat characters with the emotional complexity of an amoeba, and the didactic employment of “everyday magic.” But I thought about it, and both books of his that I find indigestible today would have worked for me when I was 8.
I don’t understand how these novels can be bestsellers. They read very easily and require zero thinking, but the author hasn’t met a truism that he doesn’t like, and it soon gets tiresome. I’m currently trying to get through The Lincoln Highway and realizing that I’m several decades too old for this stuff.