A huntress and a mime get lost in the forest . . . and gorge themselves on candy.
can’t it all be like Mantovani?
Robert finally picked up a copy of Hillbilly Elegy this week. He’s a little late. The book has been widely seen as describing some important reasons this country is in its current presidential and party politics mess. It describes the childhood of J.D. Vance, later to become a graduate of a famous law school (first letter “Y”). He grew up in Appalachia and then Ohio and he describes the life and culture of his “hillbilly” tribe (i.e., Scotch-Irish poor). Not pretty stuff. Actually, Robert recently also read Theft by Finding, David Sedaris’s diaries. Which, is pretty much the same book. One a memoir flavored with social science. The other a diary flavored with humor. Each book is filled with descriptions of incredibly crude Southern people being destructive and mean. Also, it is difficult to know how much of each book is actually true.
Context for the uninitiated:
Robert is reading a classic book on psychology, morals, and politics.
The Anatomy of Disgust, by William Miller. Harvard University Press.
“With the possible exception of earwax, which simply must be removed upon the knowledge of its presence, other dangerous bodily excreta are benign if in their proper place inside the body. Saliva in the mouth, snot in the nose, blood in veins, feces in the colon, urine in the bladder are basically not present, being safely where they belong as long as attention is not called to them. The magical transformation that happens once any of these substances leaves its natural domain can be illustrated by a thought experiment Gordon Allport proposed more than forty years ago:
‘Think first of swallowing the saliva in your mouth, or do so. Then imagine expectoraint it into a tumbler and drinking it! What seemed natural and “mine” suddenly becomes disgusting and alien. Or picture yourself sucking blood from a prick in your finger; then imagine sucking blood from a bandage around your finger! what I perceive as separate from my body becomes, in the twinkling of an eye, cold and foreign.'”
Lots of nice passages like this. The main conclusions of the book, which Robert has not yet gotten to but which he knows have entered into lots of moral psychology, is that disgust is highly linked to thoughts of “otherness” between people. Leading to such nice things as racial intolerance and genocide.
Two more scumbags bite the dust.
S.I. Newhouse Jr., who as the owner of The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest and other magazines wielded vast influence over American culture, fashion and social taste, died on Sunday at his home, a family spokesman said. He was 89. More.
Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies. More