Unusual shilling. If you don’t follow me on Twitter you might have missed that I have edited and published a little book of my late mother’s poems and prose.
When Mum died in January, lots of her writing was left in a big folder on Dropbox. Dad had the idea to put it on a website. Regretting that I had never poked and prodded Mum into publishing more while she had been alive, I suggested a book.
The editing could be tough. It sucked to leave out poems, especially when I was not sure whether Mum would have agreed with my decisions, but I was sure that she would not have endorsed including everything.
What I have included is certainly beautiful to me: rich and precise, in the best spirit of literature.
I also wrote for Spectator World about the downward spiral of QAnon.
Fashionable philistines. Terry Gilliam has had a play at the Old Vic cancelled after protests against his provocative comments regarding #MeToo and trans people. However you feel about Gilliam’s views, if someone cannot look beyond them to the rich and powerful imagination behind Brazil and Time Bandits it speaks to the stultification of their own.
Rufo-ver their heads. The Republicans flipping Virginia took place to a surprising extent because of their campaign against “critical race theory”. Almost no one outside of the leftist academia had heard of this term before last year. Chris Rufo, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, elevated it into the public consciousness by (a) identifying a problem, (b) giving it a name and (c) going on the attack. The irony is that while his left-wing critics see this as exceptionally cynical and malicious, I see it as being pretty much what they have accomplished with numerous -isms and -obias.
COVoptimism. Andrew Lilico argues that it is time for the British government to stop demanding sacrifices from the public. Christopher Snowdon writes that COVID pessimists have been wrong too many times to be trusted. Hopefully, new antivirals will make these arguments irrelevant.
Youth and death. Ann Manov reviews a film about the Velvet Underground:
It’s not fun to see members of the Factory as 65 year olds. Cultural documentary, I’m starting to think, is always fundamentally sad. It’s always a memento mori. Music is about youth and beauty, but this film can’t escape a stultifying sense of impending death.
Apologies for the rather shorter newsletter. I've been working hard enough on my own book that I have not had as much time to read.
Have a lovely week,