Books

A Sundry Assortment

TL;DR!? I didn’t spill much beer when I changed the blog theme; this sundry assortment is all over the board. Where is, as is. As always, enjoy!

Or not.


Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Milwaukee, WI, USA

Milwaukee, WI – I attended the most excellent Boswell Book Company local independent bookstore author event last night at Turner Hall Ballroom. Amor Towles, author of A Gentleman in Moscow laid down and out the historical background — political, cultural, and social — that he used in the construction and design of the novel. And what a delight!

To add real context to the fictional setting, Mr. Towles read us a passage from John Reed, a journalist who reported on the Russian Revolution. Despite the turmoil in, around, and about the Metropol Hotel in Moscow — as in real life such is the novel — the takeaway from the author is that small kindnesses, small gestures toward each other, the smallest interactions, hold us together. Cause us to find our higher selves in a moment. Individually and collectively. Courtesy and etiquette matter and they sustain us. And I am all in agreement! Be kind.

A second takeaway was that I need to read more. Mr. Towles is in a book group which is not just about books but “projects.” For example, they enjoyed a “project” in which they read and discussed, in order, seven Toni Morrison novels. Wow! And they applied the same discipline to the contemporaries of Emily Dickinson, and again to a group of Russian novelists. I love that idea of reading projects in congregation or where two or three are gathered …

In short, Mr. Towles is inspirational, funny, and a terrific writer and I need to read more.

Viva’s Current Book Project

My current personal non-book club project books I’m reading in no particular order are:

Heavy. At this point I would like to express thanks to the book discussion groups I participate in for breaking up my reading with the light delight of novels like A Gentleman in Moscow.

You keep me sane.

Or sane-ish.

Circus Maximii, II

The venue for last night’s event, the Turner Hall Ballroom, is across the street from the local Circus Maximii — the Bradley Center in repose destruction, and the FiServ Forum in shiny, bright, new.

Circus Maximii, Milwaukee, WI.

Today’s New York Times featured the article “Wisconsin, Ground Zero for 2020 Politics, Looks Like a Tossup Again” by Trip Gabriel.

TL;DR!? Well-written article; individuals with all their feels were quoted; some analysis was cited; I detected zero mention of policy ideas which could indeed tip the scales. But which way?

Consider this quote. It’s rich.

Many of today’s uncertain voters — who are Republican or Republican-leaning independents — may come home to the party, especially once there is a Democratic nominee to contrast with the president.

Wisconsin, Ground Zero for 2020 Politics, Looks Like a Tossup Again, NYTimes, April 4, 2019, Trip Gabriel.

Hmmm, the GOP. What a party to come home to:

  • A Prescedense who lies on average 22 times/day and when he’s not, he fills the dead air with sound, making it up as he yaks along.
  • Continuation of the Low Friends in High Places Prescedency run by the Trump Crime Family Syndicate whose previous capo regime, Paul Manafort, and consigliere, Michael Cohen,have been signed, sealed, and delivered for a time to … prison. They are criminals doing crimes now doing time. For reals. This is not okay for a Presidency.
  • An actual healthcare policy to be unveiled in never 2020 after the election. Really? Why the wait? It”s not like they’ve had 10 years to think about it already or anything.
  • Privatization and obeisance to capitalism as a cure to any and all — education, prisons, social security, senior healthcare, infrastructure, national resources, it’s a long list. Privatization – selling out to low friends in high-places, they have put us on a fast-track to a bananas republic.
  • Continued nurturing of white supremacist cells and ideals, anti-immigration, anti-Muslim, anti-LGBTQ, anti-anyone who doesn’t look like, worship like, or screw like they do. And they like the womenz to know their place with no agency over their own bodies.
  • Continued assault on civil rights and freedoms.
  • Continued construction of the voter suppression obstacle course.
  • Continued inflation of the economic bubble I call the “national debt.” The GOP is fiscally conservative? The GOP is NOT.
  • I stop with this list now. It is not a party. It is a cult.

RIP GOP. Using the photo above, the GOP is crumbling like the Bradley Center and I sure hope they’re not taking democracy with them. Meanwhile, to thrive, the DNC has to offer voters a set of policies, a candidate, and a party platform that accepts and acknowledges the individuals and challenges that make us a beautiful melting pot of US citizenry.

The Fiserv Forum is a metaphor for all that. And July 13-16, [checks notes] 2020, the DNC will party at the Fiserv Forum like it’s 2020 and nextdoor? Well, there’s a GOP mess to clean up.

I’m here for you.

Mistaken identity?

This is uncanny. Twitterer Susannah Whittle pointed out that a cleaned up Steve Bannon, former as-yet-unincarcerated Trump Family Crime Syndicate capo regime looks like William Barr, the Trump Administration Attorney General.

Steve Bannon or William Barr?

Separated at birth? Maybe. Maybe not. Like Clark Kent and Superman. Human Dust-bunny moonlights as Sweater-man Attorney General.

Well thanks.

I can’t unsee this either. You’re either welcome.

Or not.

That is all.

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