State of Exception

Canada sent 6 turbines to Germany to enable the smooth functioning of Nordstream 2 (which Trump didn’t permit but Biden subserviently did). The Biden administration loudly celebrated Canada’s decision to give this gift to the Putin regime.

Today. This all happened today. The Bidens and the Trudeaus need Russia like they needed COVID. It’s a way to maintain an endless state of exception. We migrate smoothly from recession to COVID to Russia-pandering. There’s always some crisis that needs to be mitigated and we always become poorer and weaker as a result of these mitigations.


The overhead fan here at the condo we are renting is operated by a remote control. I’ve never seen that. I’m maniacally addicted to overhead fans.

Actually, we are renting three condos because there are that many of us. I’ve got to say that communal child-rearing is very convenient. I don’t have to provide all of the meals and entertainment myself, which is very relaxing. Of course, the community here is that of my own extended family, and not anything that’s been assigned to me which would have made this intolerable.

Book Notes: Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad

This is an earlier book by Jennifer Egan. The Candy House that I wrote about recently is a sequel. Egan is massively talented, and Goon Squad is as impossible to put down as The Candy House.

Egan’s getting better at her craft, and while the earlier book is great, it’s still not as accomplished as its sequel.

Even within Goon Squad we can observe the writer’s growth. The earlier chapters are weaker than the later ones. For instance, at the beginning of the book Egan gives little summaries of what happens to the characters after the episode she narrates. (“Lou will marry Mindy and they’ll have two daughters, the youngest of whom will inherit his business after he dies, etc.”) The fussy concern over how the reader imagines what happens next and the desire to control that process is a mark of an inexperienced author. An accomplished writer feels secure enough in her talent to avoid trying to tell people how they should read or understand her book. Thankfully, Egan dropped this annoying habit after the first half of Goon Squad.

I’m very glad I discovered this writer. Egan doesn’t teach any lessons or offer any profound insights. What she offers is a completely unmarred, unmessed-with, narcotizing pleasure of reading. Her books are very enjoyable to read. And that’s what makes a great writer.

Excellent, excellent writer. Real literature.

View from my balcony through the mosquito net