Too many retrospectives of 30 and 40 year old albums. They’re mostly things I love, but the over-saturation makes them impossible to enjoy.
Anders Rydell’s The Book Thieves is still my primary reading. How Rosenburg and Himmler competed to steal the books of the people they were exterminating is bizarre. ((Steve Bannon is now coming off as the bargain bin Alfred Rosenberg.)) I understood the sprawling machinations of the genocides, but underestimated how dedicated they were in seeking out specific collections of books to catalog and interpret. Greed wasn’t as much of a factor in this evil endeavor. Rosenburg was trading off more valuable art to Göring for manpower to compete with Himmler for the hunt for books. Without an internet, they were creating a massive database of metadata. Books don’t seem as important culturally these days, but the pattern is familiar.
Steve Bannon’s taste in books is banal. For all of that Edmund Burke talk in another profile, Bannon is into some lousy, quasi-intellectual bullshit. Then again, that’s pretty Alfred Rosenburg, isn’t it?
The Sentimental Sadist. I’ll pass on the new George Saunders novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. I haven’t even read his most recent short story collection. He’s likely to remain an early 21st century passing fancy.
Scott Esposito interviews Shelley Frisch, the translator for Reiner Stach’s biography of Franz Kafka.
The forgotten New Yorker who changed the ‘80s music scene. Ruth Polsky. Hurrah and the Danceteria. Damn. I recall her being mentioned back in early days of music blogs, but forgot her random, tragic death.
Archaeologists find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave. Looted 70 years ago. But how well? Forget the scrolls- how are the neolithic and paleolithic levels?
Archaeologists find historic Native American sites in Pennington Gap. A potentially 10,000 year old site in Virginia. A site that old is unusual in the east.
New analyses cut down the estimated number of planets unattached to a star by half. Damn. Considering that rogue planets also potentially harbor life, that also greatly diminishes the amount of life out there too.
#Milosexual and the Aesthetics of Fascism. He’s not very interesting to me, just the next iteration of what Ann Coulter was doing twenty years ago. If a reality tv star like Trump is president, then this hack is a natural. However, tying it into Susan Sontag’s essay “Fascinating Fascism“, it becomes genuinely good.
I’m not all that convinced that the Black Bloc at Berkeley were antifa, anarchists, leftists, etc. From this NYT piece:
Pepper spray. Rod. A dull declaration defining reality. Who does that really sound like? California Highway Patrol infiltrated an Eric Garner march in 2014. Here’s an audio clip that my friend Damien grabbed from live Buzzfeed video of the Berkeley protest.
In my experience, that is not a word that the BDS movement uses very often. It’s almost a shibboleth. If this particular person isn’t a cop, he’s a Milo fan masquerading as antifa to agitate and discredit. Black bloc tactics are not inherently bad, but very dangerous. Black bloc is ripe for infiltration and manipulation by police and fascists.
209 people have now been indicted for felony riot charges from mass arrests on inauguration day. Only 19 people so far have had charges dismissed. 209 people are facing charges of $25,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. This is fucking insane.