In A Narrow Grave

In anticipation of a trip to Texas, I got this one off the shelf.  Neither McMurtry’s best (that would be Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen, in which he gives a recipe for lime Dr. Pepper) or his worst (that would be Paradise, where he proves his point that Tahiti is boring), in this fan’s opinion.

McMurtry’s essay on the sexual attitudes of the post-frontier Texas of his youth is pretty interesting:

He also says it wasn’t a big deal in his youth for a young man to have sex with a cow or pig.



from the piles of Rumsefeld memos you can read online.

On about page six of this book (haven’t finished) he says don’t invade countries where you don’t know the language.

Maybe a new rule should be that when we invade a country, the President or at least the Secretary of Defense should have to live there:

Dictionary of National Biography

When you come across this book, it’s fun to take it down and open it at random and read about some guy.  For instance, Caleb Jeacocke, debater and roll-maker:

There’s been some criticism of

but they do some quality journalism.

The Crown’s JFK

Peggy Noonan raises concern about the depiction of JFK on episode 8, season 2 of The Crown on Netflix:

There is nothing—literally nothing—to support the assertion in “The Crown” that after the trip JFK, in a rage at being upstaged by his wife, drank, threw things and lunged at her. There is no historical evidence that he ever got rapey with his wife.

(what a sentence!)

Also he didn’t smoke cigarettes.

All of this, and more, is so vulgar, dumb and careless. It is disrespectful not only of real human beings but of history itself.

Interesting points.  JFK did at least sometimes smoke small stubby cigarillo things, as we can see in Primary.

He famously got himself a bunch of Cuban cigars before announcing the embargo (a story that’s told as a funny, cute anecdote rather than an example of small but representative corruption).

JFK was rapey with other young women in his employ, if we believe Mimi Alford.

Caitlin Flanagan points to more evidence.

I loved The Crown’s version of JFK.  His psychopathic side.  A worthwhile distinction: the way the story is told in The Crown, what we see is Jackie’s perception of JFK.  That could be different than like historical truth.

Consider what Errol Morris says here (talking Wormwood) about “reenactments”:

Well, I noticed that even with the scripted elements of Wormwood, people call them “reenactments,” but they’re not reenacting anything, properly speaking. I got so tired of it that. First of all, reenactments came out of a sort of see-and-say type of stuff. You’d have an interview, the person would go, “Blah blah blah,” and then you’d illustrate them with the subsequent reenactment.

“On the night of June 4, 1973, I went to the store and bought a pack of cigarettes,” and you cut to an actor in a wide-lapel shirt and bell bottoms walking into a store and buying a pack of cigarettes.
That’s correct. So I pointed out like, “What exactly am I reenacting?” Am I reenacting truth? No. Am I reenacting belief? More often than not, I’m reenacting claims of what people saw or didn’t see. A version of events, a belief about what transpired, rather than what actually transpired. And I got in the habit — out of annoyance, I would say — of pointing out how consciousness is a reenactment of reality inside of our skulls. This idea that we have some immediate and privileged access to the world around us? Excuuuse me! We do not!

If we’re seeing Jackie’s reality, as imagined by The Crown, is that wrong?

But I’m a sucker for this kinda thing.  I loved Dennis Quaid as Bill Clinton in The Special Relationship.  I felt he showed the alpha dog side of Bill Clinton that must be present.

Hope Davis as Hillary also.  Chilling.

To see the past in all its complexity is impossible and compelling.  A key theme of Helytimes.



I’m out on kombo

(from Vulture’s interview with Ben Sinclair of High Maintenance)


Eleven Tweets

getting pretty into Van Gogh since I bought this book for $19.99 at the Taschen store

Feel like a sucker writing for free from @jack’s website, but I love Twitter, so I am experimenting with putting my Twitter length thoughts over here on Sundays.  

so easy to get people’s credit card numbers. all you have to do is be a store

Nervous I will be blamed for the government shutdown

Saw a girl wearing a bright orange sweater yesterday. She looked great!

Aziz wanted to start a conversation about Modern Romance and my god mission accomplished!

THEORY: bc of energy drinks and coffee chains, people have too much energy, they burn it off fighting about the news

The timeline equivalent of Paul writing about Jesus is somebody writing about a guy who died in 1997

A comedy can get away with not being funny if it’s so unfunny it becomes critically acclaimed. Like shooting the moon in Hearts.

Not sarcastic: I love all memes and can’t get enough of them.

I for one don’t want to be lumped in with other white people

Journalists are so horny about “ledes”

Theory: AI has begun conquest of Earth with help of autistic human allies (Thiel, Dorsey, Musk) who find computer rule more rational

The Red Vineyard, allegedly the only painting VVG sold in his lifetime. I’d argue: one of his worst and tackiest ones!  Source.