At a time of catastrophe and national despair, when conservative nationalism is on the rise and violent confrontation on the streets is becoming commonplace, it’s extremely suspicious that the books politicians, the press, university administrators, and corporate consultants alike are asking us to read are urging us to put race even more at the center of our identities, and fetishize the unbridgeable nature of our differences. — Matt Taibbi, on White Fragility and its popularity
I’m still not above watching vapid reality shows about meth-addicted Tiger tamers. Nor am I dismissive of the compelling fare we find on streaming media — we are living in a golden age of middlebrow culture. Certainly the world doesn’t need another writer praising the virtues of Moby-Dick. And that’s not my point. Sitting here in isolation, I come to praise the elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature. Moby-Dick demanded my attention, imagination, and time. — David Harsanyi on reading Moby Dick
JV Last offers advice to the NFL: “Today you can walk into Walmart and buy a 65” Ultra-HD TV for $470. Meanwhile, if a fan wants to go see a Steelers game, the average ticket is $93 and parking is $40. Do the math …”
Trying to wrestle my review of Suicide of the West into publishable shape. Oof, at 2000 words and counting without discussing Part Three.
Richard Brookhiser on Mike Potemra “Mike was a pilgrim, the wandering Christian, the walking American. Through the storm, through the night, lead me on to the light.”
“Perhaps we should sympathize with our stunted intellectuals. They are asked to write about much more than they can possibly know anything about…”
Pro-tip: if you are going to request review copies from publishers it might not be wise to write a blog post about how you have too many books to read and are having a hard time being inspired to write reviews of said books. It might also be wise to read and review a few books in the relevant category just prior to making the request.