Book Notes: Change Your Mind by Aixa de la Cruz

Aixa de la Cruz is a talented novelist from the Basque Country. But as it so often happens, as a human being she doesn’t remotely live up to her own books. This became painfully clear to me as I read her autobiographical narrative Change Your Mind. I don’t think she could have come off as more vapid, smug, superficial and stupid if she tried. Snippets of badly digested “feminist” theories from 30 years ago are mixed with self-aggrandizing braying about her utterly imaginary victimhood that nobody can understand because she’s so, oh so, complex.

I’ll never get over the unfairness of this. I’d give a lot to be able to write a novel like De la Cruz’s La lĂ­nea de frente. But I can’t. I have no talent. I do have a personality that is a lot more interesting than hers, although that’s not hard because a doorknob is more interesting. But that doesn’t translate into talent.

Some of you might remember a popular feminist blogger who retired a few years ago, Melissa McEwan. Imagine a more pompous, smug version of her. Now you know what De la Cruz sounds like in this book. And yes, I, too, thought it wasn’t possible to beat the Shakesville record of aggrieved smugness but it turns out there’s no limit to human ingenuity.

This book is so so badly written. It gets funny, though. De la Cruz describes her doctoral dissertation, and it’s clear that she plagiarized it completely from Susan Faludi’s Backlash. But she’s so superior, she doesn’t conceive of the possibility that another Spanish speaker might have read Faludi and will recognize the argument from De la Cruz’s retelling.

In the end, Change Your Mind didn’t change mine. Talented artists can be complete bloody idiots. Also, vacuous people with no personalities around the world love to recite the slogans of the American left because that makes them feel less empty inside.

The Obvious Answer

The OSHA vaccination mandate was declared unconstitutional, and that’s great. But the vaccine mandate for federal healthcare workers wasn’t. What does this mean?

There’s a shortage of healthcare workers even from before the pandemic. Now the federal healthcare employees will go to the private sector en masse. As a result, the people who qualify for government-provided healthcare will get less services, more delays, and fewer care options.

Which was the whole point.

This is neoliberalism in its purest form. Once again, this is what these BLMs, vaccine mandates, and mitigations are all about. Austerity, austerity, austerity. Exploding inequality, the destruction of the social services, fear, uncertainty, anxiety – this is what it’s about.

And nobody is noticing because the distraction tactics are working.

Nespresso and Me

I was upset and decided to buy a Nespresso machine. Yes, there’s a connection. My sister loves her Nespresso machine so much that she travels with it in her handbag internationally. And I miss my sister, so buying the machine was going to make me feel closer to her. Of course, I’m also really into coffee.

I stood in the Nespresso aisle at Kohl’s and asked for a sign. Should I buy it? Or deal with my frustration without engaging in ostentatious consumerism? So I decided to see where the machine was made. If it says China, I thought, to hell with the expensive little bastard. I turned it over and. . .

If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.

I brought it home but then a new problem arose. This is not a machine that’s adapted to male mentality. Men want to grab, push, dominate. But this machine requires a light, unhurried, gentle touch. N started wrestling with it like it’s a bear in the Ural Mountains instead of coaxing it into action through a light caress.

The coffee is great, though. Ay yay yay, is it ever so great.