"It's really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They're right. I did some extremely foolish things; I'm the first to say it. And they've left me in jail and alone."
So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.
I'm of two minds about watching the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday as the 45th President of the United States. Just typing that phrase gives me the shakes. Watching the actual ceremony might be too much for me.
But in the past, I've tried to listen to all kinds of political material. Even though I'm a long-time Democrat (back to 1968 and going door-to-door for Eugene McCarthy and Allard Lowenstein, and working elections since then), I've always tried to listen to the other side. As Sun Tzu wrote in THE ART OF WAR: "Know thy enemy."
For years I listened to Rush Limbaugh (Yes, I did, Mr. Snerdley. Who could resist his "talent on loan from God?") It was during the heights/depths of his oxycontin addiction, and Rush was flying high on the air. He sounded like a carnival barker crossed with a particularly sodden W.C. Fields, spouting nonsense with perfect certainty. Lie after lie after lie, but he has such fun lying that the feeling is contagious for his low-information listeners. Limbaugh is a happy warrior, even if his weapons are deceit, exaggeration, prejudice, and nastiness.
I get the WALL STREET JOURNAL every day. (They don't publish on Sunday, but their Saturday paper is full of good features and reviews.) I laugh at their resident columnists (Daniel Henninger, Bret Stephens, Kimberley Strassel, the always daffy Peggy Noonan, and Karl Rove who should be in jail for his efforts to politicize the Justice Department during the Bush 43 administration, among other crimes) and their guest clowns from the Heritage Foundation, Club for Growth, Americans for Prosperity, Manhattan Institute, etc. But I read them.
I also watch Fox News until I can't stand it anymore. The TG makes me turn if off if she comes into the room. Just the other day, one of their anchors called Jeff Sessions "a great civil rights champion." Really. (And you wonder where "fake news" came from? It started when Fox called itself "fair and balanced." From then on, the truth didn't stand a chance.)
Watch my award-winning short film Lunch With Louie
everyday THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ... a nice long biography of ELIZABETH I ... the new New Yorker and the new New York Review of Books
Deezer! ...Howard Stern and Thom Hartmann always... lots of COSI, lots of KEITH JARRETT ... ... too much Pandora (lots of Chopin) ... and tons of Van the Man ... and Sturgill Simpsonand Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch!
As much news as I can stomach ... Rick Steves' Europe and SEINFELD(comfort watching) ... Turner Classic Movies... and the struggles of the Lakers and Clippers