Weather Talk

“I guess you won’t enjoy going back to the cold weather in Illinois after spending so much time here in Florida. How cold is it there right now?” asked the fellow who sells snacks and drinks by the pool. This guy is super nice to me and refuses to take any money from me, so I didn’t want to disappoint him and reveal that in my part of Illinois it’s much hotter than in Florida in summer.

When I say I live in Illinois, the cold is the first thing people associate with it. It’s like “New York? Empire State Building! Detroit? Automobiles! Idaho? Potatoes! Indiana? Corn fields! Alabama? Sweet iced tea! Illinois? Antarctic cold!”

It often feels like people are mocking me.



One 17-year-old wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat said she doubted the widely accepted statistic that one in four college women experience rape or attempted rape.

I’m sure the 17-year-old is as dumb as one can get at that age of aggressive dumbness, but the methodology behind this “widely accepted” chestnut of a “statistic” has been ridiculed by every European feminist in existence for decades. I had no idea anybody still trotted out this dead old mare.

It would be nice if we didn’t use stupudity to combat idiocy.

Canadian Literature Exists

I’m reading Robertson Davies’ The Deptford Trilogy because a friend of mine said he was reading it. I never get to see him, so this was a way to connect with him.

After reading the first 100 pages, I’m happy to report that there is, in fact, such a thing as Canadian literature, which is very good news. I get the feeling that the entirety of Canadian literature happened in the 1970s but it’s better than nothing.

Another piece of good news is that the first novel in the trilogy is a male Bildungsroman and I don’t detest it. It’s a dead genre but Davies did great things with it just as it was expiring.

It’s beautifully written, very Freudian but in unobtrusive ways, so if you aren’t into Freud you won’t notice. And did I say it was beautifully written? If you love the English language, forget the plot, the pleasure of the beautiful text alone makes it worth it.

It’s amazing that the sixth book in a row I’m reading on this vacation is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a pretty long stretch.

It’s All About Appearances

The University of Chicago on Thursday morning announced that it was dropping the requirement that all undergraduate applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. . . In addition, the university announced a new program in which it will invite students to submit a two-minute video introduction of themselves.

The videos are needed to make completely sure applicants are not Asian, I guess. Or is the school too dumpy to discriminate against Asians?

I truly pity the poor admissions folks who’ll have to go through thousands of videos made by teenagers about themselves. Are they unionized and is the union doing anything to get them compensated for severe damage experienced in the workplace?