It certainly is pleasant to feel well, if weak. Time to fool around on the Internet!
My bad self loved this:
Making fun of Cate Blanchett never gets old!
Alain de Botton is doing something interesting as a philosopher, which is to clarify the ideas of these great thinkers and make their insights useful to people who have not studied their work. It takes a lot of persistence to hack your way through the prose of, for example, Hegel, and yet it is important to grasp his insights, which influenced Marx and others. It is good to understand his basic idea, which is that progress is slow. He also admonishes us to listen to the other side in dialectical arguments. That would really help a lot of marriages! Sure people are disappointed, with civil society and personal lives, etc. but that is the nature of existence. Do you think I like being 75? But it sure beats being dead.
Recent travels and travels to come are causing me to think a lot about my home, which I consider to be the Far West, incorporating California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii and Alaska. I am at home anywhere in this huge area. In spite of having spent so much of my life elsewhere--Wisconsin, New Jersey, Germany, Switzerland-- these are not places I understand at any deep level. This is not the same as saying I love all aspects of the Far West but I guess you could say I have an instinct for it, some personal historic knowledge from my family, an early attachment to its landscapes, the history of old California, the political polarization, right there from the beginning, the lived experience of WW II and its aftermath, the influx of new people from everywhere, the unions, the lavish amounts of public money available for many years, and so on.
From day one the agenda throughout the west has been appropriation and exploitation. Roman Polanski, a complete outsider, caught the mood well in his film, Chinatown. That bastard understood! Appropriate resources, exploit the weak and discard them when they are used up, regard everything as property! "It's Chinatown, Jake!"
By comparison, Woody Allen the New Yorker is nothing but a small time twerp who diddled anyone handy but never could get very far out of his own shell. Polanski transgressed on a huge scale, as befits the landscape and the opportunities (still!) available to the ruthless out here. Great crimes made this place what it is today!
Speaking of water, John Talton, The Rogue Columnist, is gifting us his expertise on the Arizona water situation. Rare to find writing and analysis of this caliber anywhere in these days of fading journalism. I think I might buy the book he mentions, Bird on Fire: Lessons from the World's Least Sustainable City, which quotes him extensively. Guess what city that might be!