I can’t sleep, and I keep complaining that people don’t blog anymore. So, instead of jotting something away on FB, I will blog the way I used to blog, when I felt free to ramble and start a post without the slightest idea where it would end up.
That is, I’ll blog the way I write on Facebook or Twitter, but better, because there are no memes here.
Layoffs. There were layoffs today. I still have a job, but dozens of people at my job don’t. I don’t really have anything to say about that. I feel bad for them and I don’t. Bad for them because a layoff is always hard, and not, because most of them will find other work before their severance pay runs out.
There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood. I need to write a proper blog entry on that movie, but here’s a thought that occurred to me on my most recent viewing (spoiler): it is the wrong reading of the movie to think that Daniel does not feel real affection for HW. There is too much evidence to the contrary. But at the end, when he declares HW his enemy and tells him he was only a tool in his con, there is a line that Daniel mutters under his breath: “You’re making such a misstep.”
HW was going to Mexico to start his own oil company, and in the real world, Mexico would seize all the oil wells and nationalize them within 10 years of these events. Daniel’s hatred, the whole bit about “You have none of me in you” has another meaning: HW is going to fail, horribly, and Daniel is disgusted by it.
Manhattan Half Life
A Dallas microbrew, a Hazy IPA, and one of my favorite beers. The one I’m drinking right now.
The Awakening of Miss Prim
That’s another thing that needs its own blog post. This is a rom-com book about a young Spanish woman who moves to a small village to take a job as a librarian, falls in love with an aristocrat there, and becomes a Catholic. The coy, softcore suggestive wink of a title is the best joke in the whole book: her awakening is to reject modernity and become a traditionalist Catholic.
I like it alot, even though it’s not my genre, and it has some pretty big flaws as a novel. It is a book where there are really only two characters: Prudencia Prim and an entire town of people from differing backgrounds, levels of education, and experiences who all, down to the smallest child, talk the way GK Chesterton wrote.
It is one long propaganda piece for distributism, at least, the distributism I believed in, still believe in, even if I gave up calling myself a distributist years ago. It turns out, either they hear nothing when you say distributist, or they hear “guild socialism.” And I couldn’t care less about guilds. But the guilds were a solution to a problem, diagnosed by Belloc in the Servile State. And his diagnosis still holds, and its the diagnosis I accept. So I call myself libertarian, because the misunderstandings that prompts are easier to talk down than the damn stuff about the guilds.
There are no guilds in The Awakening of Miss Prim. Just a whole town of people, talking like Chesterton, and running little bakeries and newspapers and co-op home schooling their children.
That’s the other flaw, and it sticks deeper and worse than the lack of characterization. It’s that, because everyone parrots Chesterton, it makes the whole thing feel so much like a giant, village sized LARP.
Belloc may or may not have the history of how the Servile State got rolling, but his history is irrelevant now. If tomorrow everyone had a homestead, mortgage free, then by next week there would be HELOCs by the millions and awesome debt funded tech gadgets everywhere. And before the close of the year, no one would be able to tell it ever happened. And everyone would have done it to themselves.
Still, I like the book.
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