This week let’s press on to the end of Chpater 6 of Slaughterhouse-Five, where we’ll be told that “Fünf was good old five.”
…is also the most pretentious. But I love it anyway.
From an article about the Italian chef Massimo Bottura:
Lunch ends with “Camouflage,” a dessert who original bud of development in Bottura’s febrile mind goes back to a conversation between Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein — something he once read about. It is arranged on a plate in the colors of military garb, and made out of powdery and custardy layers of chocolate, spices, foie gras, red wine, and the blood of a wild hare.
Now that Rosewater County is safely in the rear-view mirror, let’s proceed to the end of Chapter 3 of Slaughterhouse-Five, where we’ll learn about “the night he was kidnapped by a flying saucer from Tralfamadore.”
This week I diagnosed myself with a condition that I’m calling TAD, or Trump Addiction Disorder. The symptoms are that anytime you access any form of media, the first, second, and third things you want to know about are what kind of crazy shit Donald Trump has done now. Or the moment you get into any conversation that’s even vaguely political, you want to steer it toward Trump in order to wallow in his nuttiness.
Getting the Republican nomination for president has given him a platform from which to push back the frontiers of assholishness, to scale previously unthought-of heights of douchebaggery, and he has not fumbled the opportunity. With every day that passes he achieves new personal bests, and thus new world records. He is the Katie Ledecky of angry orange gasbags, the Muhammad Ali of political asininity.
I’m a little worried about the withdrawal, which seems certain to begin November 8. (There may be some tapering off as he fulminates about having the election stolen from him, but the media will lose interest in that after awhile. You would think.) I’m also worried that when I walk into the voting booth there will be a little voice in my head telling me to vote for him so the circus can continue.
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All who are still aboard, let’s proceed to the end of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater:
“…be fruitful and multiply.”
This post also appears today on The Beatles Plus 50.
On this day in 1966 John Lennon — DOB October 9, 1940 — celebrated his 26th birthday in Spain with his wife Cynthia, Ringo Starr, and Ringo’s wife Maureen. He’d been through a lot in barely a quarter-century; at an age when most people were just starting their careers, he was in a band that was more popular than Jesus.
Looking over Lennon’s bio just now, it struck me that his life was organized pretty neatly into decades. He was 20 when the Quarrymen became The Beatles in 1960; 30 when they broke up at the end of the 60s; and 40 when he died at the dawn of the 80s.
A cynic might say that Mark Chapman mercifully spared Lennon his “Dancing in the Street” moment, but you have to wonder what he would have done with the years he lost. He would have been 50 just as the 90s started, a beloved godfather to the Nirvana generation, and 60 at the turn of the millennium. He’d be turning 76 today if he’d made it this far. I picture him as a grumpy but lovable old man, still wearing those glasses, yelling at Beatles fans to get off his lawn.
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OK, we have a quorum at least, so let’s keep moving.
For those who may have fallen behind, let’s set a modest page count for this week: let’s meet at the end of Chapter 10 of Mr. Rosewater:
“And look who’s winning. And look who’s won.”
Up next, it’s God Bless You Mr. Rosewater.
Let’s meet up Monday October 3 at the end of Chapter 6, where “Frustration made Norman Mushari sneeze.”
This week is a sprint to the end of Cat’s Cradle, in which I’m sure that everyone will live happily ever after.
Stranger to Stranger
I suspect that I’ve pretty consistently underrated Paul Simon for the last 40 years or so. Probably because that whole Simon and Garfunkel–type style — extreme softness and prettiness — was never really my gig. I recognize the beauty of it, especially now that I’m no longer a testosterone-addled young man, but it’s not generally what I choose to listen to. And some of Paul’s early solo work has that same feel, though there are other songs I quite enjoy — something like “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” is pretty hard to dislike.
So when his profile began to fade a bit, I wasn’t super-motivated to keep abreast of what he was doing. Occasionally, though, I’d hear something of his that made me prick up my ears — a few years back he did an album with Brian Eno, which was a surprise. (In fact, it was called Surprise.)
This year, with it being easier than ever to check out music online, I decided to give Paul’s new album a good listen. And lo and behold, it is wonderful. Stranger to Stranger exceeded my expectations by several orders of magnitude.
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