So I wrote (more, and in prose) about this last Dark nadir, but it's safely bound, you're spared, today.
Trump's gonna win, I said to my Hillaryite Colleague, the enthusiastic Hillaryite Colleague (as opposed to my once-enthusiastic now depressed and apostasy-riddled Hillaryite Colleague). You're blinded, she said, by the depth or your personal contempt for her, the Clintons, the Democrats. Sure, I agreed, she's gonna lose to Trump. She said, you're just baiting me. Sure, I agreed, she's gonna lost to Trump. Fuck you, she said, she's the most qualified, he's.... The perfect candidate, I said after her sentence went dead for five seconds, to exploit everything that Hillary Clinton represents. He'll kayfabe her to death. He understands she only knows how to play the less-shitty. The shittier he gets the shittier she gets, but when he gets shittier it's because of who he is, when she gets shittier it looks calculated but emphasizes how truly shittier she is because she's obviously a more shitty person playing like she's less shitty. She's shitty cubed. She's the avatar of how shitty everyone thinks everything is and everyone responsible for that shittiness. You have no idea what you're talking about, she said. Sure, I agreed, she's gonna lose to Trump.
- Desire is god (w self-assessment in comments).
- Are insects conscious? Hell, rocks are conscious.
- Theory of eternal return.
- Victory Day.
- The Magic of Donald Trump. Mark Danner thinks Trump has a puncher's chance.
- Elizabeth Drew, long The Villager I think the least villageous, thinks Trump has a puncher's chance.
- For the record as of the time this sentence typed: I think it a better chance that he will not be the nominee on POTUS Day than he will beat Clinton, but if he is on the ticket I think he's got better than a puncher's chance of winning.
- Though I'm deeply concerned about the views of Trump's ex-butler. Could be disqualifying!
- Perhaps I underestimate how much Hillary's it's all Republican's fault but Trump! so I'm going to run as a Republican campaign is inspiring Americans.
- The chickenshit epoch.
- When you eat chicken.
- The silence of the lens.
- Ovid's Envy. Do.
- On Lisa Robertson.
- Flannery O'Connor & Iris Murdoch's mysterious pen pal.
- Six proposals for the reform of literature in the age of climate change: The forest is not your canvas. The blue sky does not symbolize possibility. The lone gull scrabbling in alley dirt far from the ocean is not your emblem. The extent to which metaphors have colonized nature is the extent to which we fail to see the leaf blight, the greenhouse, and the unused concentration of food calories in the dumpsters of our cities. It will be impossible to seriously consider systems of living beings when we force them to conform to anthropomorphic narratives and tropes. Our self-regard produces our ignorance. Even the environmentalist movement has been forced to mobilize sentimental ideas about the natural world in order to mobilize people. We select parts of an ecosystem for anthropomorphization so that we can save them. In Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, for instance, a bird sanctuary becomes an object of moral choice, less a textured interaction with real living beings than a metaphor for a character’s goodness and generosity. Environmental protection becomes an indulgence that can be purchased to expiate the individual’s ongoing sins. Franzen is being a realist: human beings treat animals like mirrors to the extent that love for the natural world becomes indistinguishable from narcissism, and then we are surprised that our ecotourism, dolphin swims, and 5K runs are miserably incapable of encouraging biodiversity.
- HEY! My new obsession!
Two days late, the traditional Egoslavian Stanley Elkin (born 86 years ago two days ago) birthday post:
Stanley Elkin, one of my Deserted Island Five even though I don't play Deserted Island Five with novelists and poets. Here, the traditional Elkin birthday post. These are the two excerpts I always use for his birthday, the first capturing one of Elkins's great themes, the second simply the most beautiful, heartbreaking paragraph, as stand alone but especially within the context of the novel, I've ever read:
Ben, everything there is is against your being here! Think of get-togethers, family stuff, golden anniversaries in rented halls, fire regulation celebrated more in the breach than the observance, the baked Alaska up in flames, everybody wiped out - all the cousins in from coasts, wiped out. Rare, yes - who says not - certainly rare, but it could happen, has happened. And once is enough if you've been invited. All the people picked off by plagues and folks eaten by earthquakes and drowned in the tidal waves, all the people already dead that you might have been or who might have begat the girl who married the guy who fathered the fellow who might have been your ancestor - all the showers of sperm that dried on his Kleenex or spilled on his sheets or fell on the ground or dirtied his hands when he jerked off or came in his p.j.'s or no, maybe he was actually screwing and the spermatozoon had your number written on it and it was lost at sea because that's what happens, you see - there's low motility and torn tails - that's what happens to all but a handful out of all the googols and gallons of come, more sperm finally than even the grains of sand I was talking about, more even than the degrees. Well - am I making the picture for you? Am I connecting the dots? Ben, Ben, Nick the Greek wouldn't lay a fart against a trillion bucks that you'd ever make it to this planet!
- The Franchiser
And it was wondrous in the negligible humidity how they gawked across the perfect air, how, stunned by the helices and all the parabolas of grace, they gasped, they sighed, these short-timers who even at their age could not buy insurance at any price, not even if the premiums were paid in the rare rich elements, in pearls clustered as grapes, in buckets of bullion, in trellises of diamonds, how, glad to be alive, they stared at each other and caught their breath.
- Magic Kingdom