Many things make a newsletter (2)

The links are accumulating again, no matter how fiercely I cull them. So here’s a quick round-up of things you can read/listen to/see as we struggle through the last of the hot and humids and wait for the fresh breath of fall.1

  • I accidentally discovered the Slate podcast One Year, which looks at a dozen or so events that took place in 1977.2 These aren’t the big ticket items like the Johnstown Flood or the creation of the DOE,3 but the smaller stuff like Elvis’ post-mortem pictures or the rise and fall of Anita Bryant. What keeps hitting me is how much history rhymes. It’s especially noticeable in the episodes about Laetrile4 and Carter’s drug czar.5 As a species, we are terrible at truly learning the lessons the past has for us.

1

I think late August has broken the part of my brain that makes metaphors and analogies. It was good while it lasted, brain, and I hope you can soon join the rest of us again.

2

For the record, I was six in 1977. My memories involved the OG Electric Company and our family dog. I have some vague memory of my parents or other adults in their circle talking smack about Jimmy Carter. And there is the entirety of what I remember from 1977.

3

(or I haven’t gotten that far yet)

4

This one is heartbreaking, mind. I know hindsight is always 20/20 but ooooof. Some of what would happen was blatantly obvious 40+ years ago.

5

It turns out that petty, ego-driven men with really poor boundaries will always fuck everything up for the rest of us. It’s almost like men are too emotionally volatile to be given positions of power.

6

Unless you are a costumer, then you already know.

7

Related: I’m currently reading (well, listening to) Terry Prachett’s Thud! and dang. He was so good, you guys, and left us too soon.

8

Or hate it. Whatevs. It all works.