Category: Hot takes

Eight days in…

magazines and newspapers
January reading

Just caught up with the papers this morning. Today, refugees and travelers from several Middle Eastern countries were banned from entering the U.S., courtesy of a presidential executive order. Protests followed, and the ACLU secured a temporary stay.


We went to the Carolina and saw 20th Century Women. Very charming period piece (1979!), with some good scenes (“menstruation”), beautiful cinematography, and sensitive acting. But what was it about? It reminded me of Richard Linklater’s nostalgia trips–also impeccable in their attention to detail. But finally, these films are the memories of middle class white males who grew up to be artists, with the help of fondly remembered women. The specific memories — like the Harry Potter midnight sale in Boyhood, or the specific Black Flag album in 20th Century Women — becomes a nostalgia fetish without purpose.

Note to self: Complain to the Carolina about the low volume level of Cinema 2.

Late dinner at Gocciolina in late celebration of my birthday. K had oysters, truffles, and hand-cut noodles. I went for the carbonara.

There must be some way out of here.

So it begins. Many of my friends were in Washington and Raleigh this weekend, protesting in the streets. I was working on the winter futsal season schedule. Twenty-two teams in three divisions is a lot of work. I feel the need to go to work, to shut down the social media.

It’s like we’re reliving the early Bush years, except this is worse. This time we don’t know who is in charge. We truly don’t know what the world will look like a year from now. The only thing I’m sure of is that things will be very strange.

And yet, I want to tune it all out.

Tonight K and I talked about moving to Mexico, or to Europe. If only we could live in the mökki in Vaasa. It sits on the Gulf of Bothnia, facing west. We could bring books, watch Netflix, sit in the sauna, then sit in our robes on the porch and watch the sunsets. We could watch the sun set on the United States of America.


Ross Douthat warns the media against “hysterical oppositionalism”.

Micah White, a veteran of Occupy Wall Street, isn’t all that impressed by the Washington protests, which he fears will fizzle out unless the left figures out a pathway to power. He makes interesting points about the French Revolution:

It the first protest march of women in modern history, and it was also the most effective. When the revolutionary women arrived at Versailles, they broke into the palace, murdered two guardsmen and attempted to enter the queen’s bedchamber before ultimately forcing King Louis XVI and his entourage to march with the crowd – now 60,000 strong – back to Paris.

Photo: This is a crop of a Getty image I spotted in a Politico slideshow. I tried to use Getty’s free embed feature on another photo, but I can’t get it to work. I will have to try again later. Meanwhile, apologies to Getty for the improperly appropriated image. I’ll try to do better, and thanks for this.

Social media celebrity death trip, or #ripcarriefisher

I’ve become more and more curious about our obsession with celebrity death. This has been s a purportedly terrible year for celebrity longevity.

I don’t know if this perception is true, but as social media makes celebrities of us all, the trend of celebrity death can only accelerate. I can’t help but feel that we are all breathlessly waiting to see who will die next.

That said, I found out two things about Carrie Fisher this evening.

First, I can’t imagine having a life in which something like this happens:

Second, a less morbidly fascinating and more melancholy discovery was that Ms. Fisher is survived by her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who is 84.

The Washington Post obit is linked below. #ripcarrie

A child of Hollywood, the actress and writer constantly reinvented herself, by design or necessity.

Source: Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia of ‘Star Wars,’ chronicler of her own excess, dies at 60 – The Washington Post