RTT spent all yesterday reading the Mueller Report. Here’s what he had to say:From what I’ve gathered Mueller didn’t want to inflame the far right by pushing forward the charges himself, so he tried to be as unbiased as possible. From his perspective, we still can’t definitively say Trump DID do something, at least with his knowledge, but we can say the foundation of conspiracy is right there for anyone who wants to piece the puzzle together.
Barr’s response was inappropriate and more akin to an advisor than any actual attorney general, and while Mueller might have counted on that, he knew that there wasn’t a basis to redact everything. With the report now in Congress (and the public’s hand) right before the 2020 elections, while the obvious option of impeachment is on the table, the better option is to publicly drag this out in congressional hearings, watchable by everyone, while hammering out the details over and over again. This isn’t a corrupt president, this is a corrupt administration, and impeachment is only shedding blame off one party.
Finally, in Trumps defense, it’s clear to me he had no plans on winning the election - this is less of a conspiracy against the government, and more of an idiotic despot that was banking on publicity for his business, not the responsibility (and political backlash) of a presidency. There’s a lot of culprits here, but ultimately Trump was simply a cog in the tyrannical oversight of Russia’s incredible propaganda network, and now he’s frustratingly dealing with the fallout.
Vote in 2020.
That distinction between tRump himself and the tRump administration is key to any real understanding of what’s going on in the U.S. right now, and one that most people I know are failing to make. And Robin's observation is that impeachment only takes the blame off the Democrats when, in fact, Democrats and
Republicans are equally to blame for tRump, is spot on. Ditto his note about the propaganda value of endless Mueller Report hearings.
RTT is an excellent analyst.
Of course, I personally would rather shoot myself in the head than read one word of the Mueller Report.
I am all about November 3, 2020. (Only 564 days to go!)
Instead I’ve been playing a lot of Tropico and simultaneously reading Sam Wasson’s Fosse
and Leonard Gardner’s Fat City
, both of which in their very different ways are amazing
I’ve been circling Fat City
for years, but always avoided it because—ugh—boxing
Boxing has a certain literary frisson
, I realize.
All those macho writers and editors who dominated the 60s, 70s, and 80’s: Norman Mailer, Pete Hamill, George Plimpton, Gay Talese. When they wanted a token female fan, they trotted out Joyce Carol Oates (a writer whom I much admire.) Lucius
was a tremendous boxing fan; he was close friends with Katherine Dunne (Geek Love
), and their entire relationship revolved their mutual love of the ring and the gloves.
But I’ve never liked boxing.
I’d go so far as to say watching a match makes me physically uncomfortable—which is odd, because back in the day, I was a pretty good martial arts fighter: I like
punching and kicking people.
I think it’s the blood
Blood takes boxing out of the realm of sport and into the realm of attempted homicide.
Calling Fat City
a novel about boxing, though, is kinda like calling Sons and Lovers
a novel about coal mining or calling To Kill a Mockingbird
a heartwarming YA novel about wholesome kids growing up in the South.
No. Fat City
is a novel about futility
And I’m just fine with futility!
The novel is set in the late 1950s in Stockton, a city I never knew well but that’s okay ‘cause there was no upside to knowing Stockton. Its protagonists are two young men; its subject matter, their marginal lives.
Its prose is just amazing
, an intoxicating fusion of Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov. The dialogue is better than anything in Hemingway or Elmore Leonard.
A perfect sagittal slice of life in a dingy diner where redemption is not on the menu.
Anyway, I was totally blown away. Short book, so quick read, and after I read it, I went into a fugue state for a while.
After I came out of the fugue state, I realized the reason I’m having so much trouble with Chapter 4 in the Work in Progress is because everything I’ve written in Chapter 4 is wrong
I need to throw it all out and start fresh.
is an equally great book. As you may have surmised, it’s a biography of the late director/choreographer Bob Fosse, and yes, I am
reading it because I’ve been watching Fosse/Verdon
. (Bob Fosse, as portrayed by Sam Rockwell, reminds me of Ben with that slouchy, hustler, dance tramp persona.)
But it reads like fiction because Wasson has a tremendously exuberant and, yes, imagistic style: You can really see
those dark rehearsal rooms with the carefully scuffed floors (so the dancers won’t slide on them); you can actually visualize
the dance numbers as you read about them (I know because I’ve been devouring the cited dance numbers on YouTube.)
Totally a tour de force
Tropico is an economic simulator disguised as a video game. A cheesy Caribbean island! So much fun! You have to jiggle the supply chain to get it to evolve from banana republic to totalitarian industrial powerhouse. You also have to negotiate political and economic alliances with other countries and keep the native population happy so they don’t stage a coup.
My last six games crashed and burned when negative cash flow made the local population so unhappy that rebels marched on El Presidente’s palace and destroyed it.