With the summer winding down, it’s time to start looking toward the fall. There’s the U.S. election for one. As disheartening as the discourse has been, you can’s say it’s been dull. These women dedicated a song to a certain candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri.
Todd Akin is hardly alone. Timothy Egan lists a rogue’s gallery of other crackpots in positions of power.
Then there’s Romney. Instead of choosing Paul Ryan to be his running mate, he should have chosen a dog. Whenever Romney starts to stray off script, the dog would bite him. Here’s the latest gaffe:
The capital in John Lancaster’s novel of the same name is London, but edit out the Britishisms (the meaning of “knackered” became clear after repeated use, but “manky” is still a mystery to me) and you could have Manhattan in the last days of the Bush administration. No American novel has yet come close to depicting that moment in September 2008 when all the wheels came off the global economy. I will have more to say about this novel soon, but I highly recommend reading it as soon as possible.
I’m sad to say that another book to which I’ll return can’t be recommended. Roland Barthes’ Travels in China has been released in English translation. It’s strictly for his hardcore fans, of which I’m one. I can recommend another new translation of Barthes, Mythologies, which appears in a complete edition for the first time in English. Originally published in French in 1957, Mythologies was the first great analysis of everyday life after Walter Benjamin died.