Roll

Tucker is on a roll. For two days in a row, he eviscerated the biggest GOP donor and a Republican senator on the take. And now he’s going after the American Enterprise Institute and its disgusting dealings on behalf of Purdue Pharma.

So many articles and “studies” are nothing but ads for pharmaceutical companies.

Shel’s Guilt Trips Unlimited

Everybody says Shel Silverstein. But have you, folks, read The Giving Tree? I still have PTSD from it. N discovered it first and almost needed sedation after reading it.

It figures that the author is Jewish, and so his whole family must have worked as travel agents for Guilt Trips Unlimited.

If you don’t understand what I’m on about, it’s really, honestly great. But for people like us, a lot of bad, bad stuff is awakened by this whiny, mealy-mouthed guilt-tripping. It’s like for a child of alcoholics to read a story where a drunkard mommy is presented as cute and endearing.

The Playbook

A college play was cancelled because it has a scene where a group of marginalized people defeat evil Ku Klux Klaners. Because it’s racist to show Klansmen getting their evil asses whooped.

If you feel confused, that’s because you never lived in the USSR. The rules are supposed to be impossible to figure out and follow. It’s the whole point. It doesn’t matter how well-meaning and sincere you are. You’ll be accused and persecuted anyway.

Like a Sneeze

I’m always petrified by people who say things like “Kamala Harris’s campaign floundered because of racism.” They obviously don’t believe it because a rational, sane person can’t believe something like this. But then why do they say it? Why do so many people pipe up with a clearly crazy “racism!” when it makes zero sense?

And I finally figured it out. It’s like when someone sneezes and everybody goes, “Bless you!” It doesn’t mean people believe in blessings or think that evil spirits leave your body through the mouth when you sneeze. Believing that would be as crazy as thinking that Harris dropped out because of racism.

But saying “bless you” isn’t about blessings, just like saying “racism” is not about any actual racism. It’s simply a noise people think it’s appropriate to make in certain situations. It’s like “hi, how are you.” Nobody expects a sincere response. What you are supposed to do instead is replicate the socially appropriate noise.

The problem is, of course, that sneeze is not a big deal, so who cares. It doesn’t have much meaning to begin with so turning it into an empty social nicety hurts no one.

Book Notes: Pablo Gutiérrez’s Cabezas cortadas

Even in a great reading year like this one, I think this is going to be the book of the year for me. And gosh, the unfairness! Houllebecq writes Submission and everybody knows about it, everybody has read it, it’s a huge big deal. Gutiérrez writes on the same topic, but he’s actually talented, so his novel has artistic value. And does anybody know about it? Nope.

Spanish is obviously more widely spoken than French or German but absolutely genius writers in Spanish are completely unknown outside of their countries when any half-assed scribbler in those other languages is blown up like a balloon.

Gutiérrez is an extremely talented writer* and he writes about the really important stuff: the lost generation of Europeans who can’t recover from the crisis, the mass migration of Muslims to Europe and the fear it creates, the cluelessness of the rich “liberal neoliberals,” the contempt of Northern Europeans for countries of southern Europe, the incapacity of Europeans to reproduce and their slow self-immolation, the terror of women who find themselves in the Muslim ghettos of big European cities**, and also about the only thing that can save and redeem Europeans (which I won’t reveal to preserve the suspense). It’s also the most feminist novel I have read in years.

Most importantly, though, it’s very very talented.

If you decide to read it, please remember: you’ve got to read it as a metaphor. You’ll get a lot more out of it this way.

Gutiérrez is young for a writer (he’s 2 years younger than me), and he’s been growing artistically like you have no idea. I first read him in 2012, and he’s on a whole different level now.

I really, really hope I don’t start obsessing over this novel to the point where I decide to write about it because my publication calendar is filled until late 2021.

*And a very good person, which is very rare among the artistically gifted. I met him in person last year, and he’s emphatically not a jerk.

** People who want to get sore over this point should try being female and spending some time in those neighborhoods. I have, so I speak from experience when I say that the writer’s description of how this messes with one’s head is spot-on.