Sometime in the early election cycle, I made the mistake of donating a bunch of money to Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg.
Sanders and Buttigieg must have sold their donation lists to other candidates because now every morning when I wake up, I have 200 emails from Democratic candidates trying to entreat, scare and shame me into ponying up cash.
These are candidates I’ve hardly ever heard of in states I don’t give two shits about.
When I inadvertently open one of these emails in the process of consigning it forever (I hope!) to the trash, it begins with some variant of, This is the most important election of your lifetime!
And I think, Uh—no. It’s not.
Because I’m pretty sure I’ll be around to vote in 2024, 2028, and 2032, and that each of those elections in turn will be pimped as the most important election of your lifetime!
Superlatives should only be applied once.
Biden is clearly the lesser of two evils when it comes to the present presidential choices, but that’s all he is—the lesser of two evils.
For that matter, the homeless guy who is currently pissing himself in the doorway of the Poughkeepsie Dollar General, wondering: Can I scrounge up five bucks to score some meth?, is clearly the lesser of two evils when it comes to the present presidential choices.
I do not want Trump to be reelected.
I do not care about anything else.
I am under no illusion that Democrats are the Armies of the Just or Republicans, the Forces of Darkness.
When it comes right down to it, I dislike Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi about equally.
I don’t care if Democrats regain the Senate.
I do want them to stop hounding me for money.
It is very annoying to spend the first 10 minutes of every morning trashing all their emails.
What else? Starting Saturday, I have a bunch of social encounters lined up, so I am burrowing down into revenue generation for the nonce. Since my concentration span is approximately two microns in size right now, working is pretty challenging.
In the course of my revenue generating adventures, I have watched the entirety of Silicon Valley through Season 4. Through the Well, I was on the fringes of that whole tech subculture, so Silicon Valley made me deeply nostalgic for a California that hasn’t existed in at least 30 years.
To compound that time-out-of-time feeling, I watched a documentary about the film critic Pauline Kael last night.
Pauline Kael was like Greil Marcus or Lester Bangs or Roger Ebert to me—yes, I was interested in movies and music, but more than that, I was interested in literary style, which these writers had in buckets. How do you write about something that isn’t your life? Well, you write about it by making copious allusions to your life! That’s what I learned from Pauline Kael, and the lesson sustained me through a modest career as an investigative journalist throughout the early to mid 90s.
The film itself was pretty much hagiography. Plucky Pauline loved movies, and if her dismissal of, say, director David Lean, was so caustic and cruel that Lean essentially stopped making movies for a while, well, that was okay! Because Pauline Kael loved the movies!
Kael eventually succumbs to that malady all ugly ducklings that suddenly turn pretty eventually succumb to. She starts surrounding herself with acolytes, playing favorites, punching above her weight. Warren Beatty played her by luring her to Hollywood. When she returned to NYC, Renata Adler dissected her in the pages of The York Review of Books. (Adler is actually a much better writer than Kael, but not as accessible, and thus, not as widely read.) Kael could dish it out, but she couldn’t take it. Her career never recovered.
The Telegraph Avenue Repertory Cinema was still a Thing when I first lived in Berkeley, and one of my fondest memories is of watching Night of the Living Dead there for the first time: By the time the film was halfway over, most of the audience had risen from their seats and begun lurching up and down the aisles, gurgling zombie noises. Good times!
You’re not what I remember either, so it’s foolish of me to sit here daydreaming about going back to you. Crossposted from Dreamwidth.