Reading List: Witches, Freethinking, and "Vichy Passivity"
Happy Friday, my dearests. As you coast into the weekend, wondering if, like Ducks Unlimited Canada you too could deploy a squad of goats to deal with noxious weeds, I hope the below list of reading gets you set for a couple days of nerdy bliss.
I just finished Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love (SUCH a subhead!,) the 2012 history of San Francisco by Salon.com founder David Talbot. Friend of the Missive Colin had suggested I read this for a while now, and I’m really happy I finally did, because it is a delightfully written look at “how the 1967 Summer of Love gave way to 20 or so winters of discontent” in the city by the Bay. And as it was written during our current upheaval, with the tech industry morphing from city savior to scapegoat today, you realize that the more we change, the more the City stays the same.
On advice from a few of you, but especially Laura D., I started reading the book The Washington Post has called “our era’s Handmaid’s Tale”: The Power by Naomi Alderman. As you all know, I tend to default to non-fiction, but I’m about a quarter of the way through this tale of what would happen if suddenly teenage girls discovered a deadly electric ability coursing through their bodies. This dystopic look at how society would change if women had the innate ability to kill is deftly constructed and a joy to devour. I imagine I’ll finish it this weekend, it’s that fun to read.
And for those looking for longer journalistic reads for the weekend, here are a few:
New York Magazine: The Original Donald Trump. Looking at the life of Roy Cohn and how he influenced our current POTUS, columnist Frank Rich examines the “the Vichy passivity of New York’s elites” when it comes to enabling and empowering charlatans.
Slate: Kanye’s Brand of “Freethinking” Has a Long, Awful History. Since Kanye West posited that slavery must have been a choice because slaves didn’t rebel or something, Rebecca Onion dove into why that frame of “freethinking” is so dangerous.
The New York Times: They Voted for Obama, Then Went for Trump. Can Democrats Win Them Back?
Be kind to one another. I’ll see you next week.