Jung Chang’s Wild swans: Three daughters of China, 2004 , skewers Mao and Maoism like no other memoir of the surreal hell that China descending into from 1954 until the death of Mao in 1976. Both her parents were model communists, her father one of Mao’s early disciples in Yunan, the golden age for Mao. Both were tormented starting in 1954 until 1973, when the horrors of the cultural revolution had reduced the country to a state of collapse, and the surviving old guard comrades were being quietly recalled to try to save the country from ideology gone berserk.
The current Chinese leadership is trying to sweep all this under the carpet.
Lao she's Cat country (1932) is a kind of playful Nostradamus, full of prescient insights, inspired by China's century of humiliation at the hands of greedy, downright horrible imperialists and the scattershot attempts at revolution in the early 20th century. It is the only notable Chinese contribution to sci fi, and was poorly received and then politely ignored. It is without doubt the cause of his persecution by Red Guards in 1966. It's a miracle Lao reached the ripe old age of 67, in the hospital with bronchitis. Zhou Enlai visited him and advised him to stay put, but Lao was a writer, considered one of China's great modern ones – the revolution didn't produce many – and wanted to see firsthand what was going on. Very much like the protagonist of Cat country, who crashlands on Mars and becomes embroiled in the tribulations and joys of these catpeople.
Finally someone, male or female, white or whatever, str8 or lgbtq+, with the balls to give Israel the finger in the mainstream media. Chappelle is the American Hamas, lobbing his homemade rockets, flying his balloons out of besieged America at the dastardly foe, which relentless steals and then colonizes our minds, forcing us to our knees to atone for our inbred antisemitism.
His Netflix special The closer is 99% about the silliness of the trans hysteria and the self-importance of ‘pride parade gays’, but the real bombshell was his idea for a movie: that UFOs are really earthlings who had an ancient civilization (who built the pyramids?) but things go terrible for them on the other planet so them come back to Earth and claim the Earth for their very own. I call it Space Jews.
Review Andrei Martyanov, Disintegration: Indicators of the Coming American Collapse, 2021.
Empires rise and fall. And usually burn themselves out rather quickly. What else is new? 'American decline' is a Wikipedia page. You can feel it in the air. One greets it with dread or hope, or better dread-hope. America's sins are adding up, yet the US is a behemoth for well over two centuries and will not go in peace.
In 2018, a majority of millennials said boomers had ‘made things worse’ for their generation. They tried to liberate us, and instead of freedom they left behind chaos.
In all fields touched by the six boomers profiled here---technology, entertainment, economics, academia, politics, law---what they passed on to their children was worse than what they inherited.
Andrews is senior editor at The American Conservative, and her book is a jeremiad, with the flavour of Old Testament divine justice, a call for owning up to one’s sins. The sins are many and the style is refreshingly unapologetically angry. The boomers should not be allowed to shuffle off the world stage until they have been made to regret their actions… In a just world there would be cosmic retribution for taking Jobs’s life’s work and turning it to the most boomerish purposes imaginable.
Writing this memoir has been as much about discovering my story, that is, myself as it is about telling it. That's Falk's version of Socrates' 'the unexamined life is not worth living.' Or should I say, Forrest Gump's? Falk's life reads like a storybook, starting with meeting Supreme Court judges with his father at age 9 in 1939, making friends with Claudette Colbere, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Liz Taylor (long story) at age 15, befriending and befoeing many of the dramatis personae of the Cold War throughout his long and productive life, finally landing on the shores of democratic socialism as the US charges towards the (literal) finish line.
I sit here, serenaded by our neighbourrhood nice crazy (as opposed to the many very irritating ones. CAMH is just across the road). He’s probably 3 blocks away and his plaintiff tenor wafts through the air. I saw him singing fortissimo a few days ago, as he skateboarded over the college st trolley tracks in the busy traffic, his head high, dressed for modest but tasteful street living, the spitting image of Jake Angeli, the Siegmund parody among the jan6 invaders of the capitol.
Bike maps need a grain of salt. How to find the entrance to the Taylor Creek path? It's easy from the east end, where it starts just north of Victoria Park subway. But the western end is tangled up in the various ravines mixed up with the 4-lane monster Bayview "avenue' and the Don Valley expressway, snaking through, trying to straighten out Nature. Another false start. Last time I was with Ryan and he was impatient with my bungling, so we ended up at the tacky waterfront. It's an industrial wasteland now, and soon will be glistening high rises and manicured greenery. Yuck.
World News with Eric Walberg