"Hey, Moon, It's Just You & Me Tonight" Edition
This week's newsletter is dedicated to my mum, because we should all be more dedicated to our mums.
Obligatory shilling. I wrote for UnHerd about the success of Polish culture - such as The Witcher and Ida - internationally.
Secondly, I wrote for the Spectator USA about the performative, dare I say post-modern aspects of the rioting in the Capitol Building.
I also wrote for the Spectator USA about my addiction to Monster Ultra and the symbolism of energy drinks. If you know me at all, you know this one came from the heart.
Finally, I wrote for my paying subscribers about how I came to Poland and my experiences as an immigrant.
We are all individuals. Avant-garde musicians Ariel Pink and John Maus have outraged left-wing critics by attending the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington. (They were not, I should say, among the thugs and fools who stormed the Capitol Building.) Pink has now been dumped by his record label. I like Maus’ music and don't know Pink's but it is strange to me that people appreciate artists for being eccentric and defying convention yet then demand that they conform to the same opinions as 99.5% of other artists. If they are really eccentric and defy convention, what do you expect?
What a piece of work. Esther O'Reilly reflects on the life of Christian evangelist and alleged sexual abuser Ravi Zacharias and asks whether a man's evildoing nullifies his achievements. Not necessarily, she says, because human beings have such a problematic gift for rationalising and compartmentalizing aspects of themselves. I agree. Of course, some people are just rotten the core, and only do good in the service of doing bad, but others are more complicated. Not that that that excuses their sins.
Trust the plan? The always insightful David Hines writes a smart piece about QAnon for the American Conservative which observes that their most tragic delusion has not been one born out of paranoia but optimism:
The central fantasy of QAnon isn’t adrenochrome, or cannibal cults, or mole children, or any of the myriad lunacies of the outlandish dystopia it presents. The central fantasy is the idea that things will be better because somebody is going to do something.
That is why we may see special desperation now.
Saint Orwell. The works of George Orwell have escaped copyright. Orwell is such a revered figure that one is tempted to take his reputation down a peg or two. I can't though. Does he deserve secular sainthood? No. But the "X is overrated” genre is all too often the haunt of bitter souls who think themselves shamefully underrated. Besides, Coming Up for Air is one of my favourite books, 1984 was an imaginative triumph and I love a lot of his essays.
What I do hate is people claiming Orwell's legacy for themselves. One of my first published pieces, and one I'm still proud of, addressed why Orwell would dislike you, me, our opinions, and the modern world.
The vanishing. Alejandro Chacoff reflects on the work of Guido Morselli, an Italian who wrote a novel about the disappearance of humanity and who killed himself before any of his books were published:
At one point, the narrator returns to his retreat and, upon entering his storeroom, finds a cow munching on copies of one of his books. The sight of his words being digested fills him with tenderness. “I’d get them back tomorrow, supposing I succeeded in milking her, my ideas finally remunerative.”
Have a lovely week,