Oh, right. Blog. Entries. Write. Timely. All this stuff to remember. I get so caught up in my own reading or in reading online of the various crises that sweep the web—and then there is real life, a blurry distinction if ever there was one. I feel like such a traitor to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was for so many years such a great read in the morning, a daily magazine almost; now this thin, flabby thing is thrown upon my doorstep that is so much easier to skim online.
It's a matter of paper. The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, to which I've just subscribed, (Jenny Diski!) are such a pleasure in the hand. Though each has an elegant and readable site. Unlike the poor Chronicle, which has disappeared into that cheerful nightmare of sfgate.com. (Don't they pay people to do this?)
... So many things seem on their last legs. Whether tangible, like the daily paper, or the intangibles which seemed—seemed, mind you—to make a better world than the one we know now. Things like truth, integrity, a belief in heroes. Before everything was reduced to cynical shit. Take, for example, this:
The book attempts to address the heartache at the core of both of Nelson Mandela’s families, the one he formed with his first wife Evelyn Mase and the one he formed with Winnie, but its most controversial aspect is by far the revelation that he may have physically abused Evelyn. This excruciating possibility, alluded to in divorce papers that Evelyn submitted to the Native Divorce Court in 1956, is not something that Smith came at by accident. He learnt of the papers’ existence from employees of the Nelson Mandela Foundation NMF. via The Daily Maverick
Excruciating indeed. The modern-day saint, speaking of dying things. For a short while, during that astonishing campaign, wasn't Obama our own candidate for sainthood? We were so in need. I can't forget Michelle, girlish and utterly since, hair tied back, appealing to the hearts and minds of Iowa farmers. Barack at dinner with a different family every night. Remember that sweetness? Remember that?
Dylan? I don't know why he was included—perhaps in South Africa, they take longer to catch on. Oh hell, admit it—the songs Dylan wrote in the old days (mind you, they aren't old to me) The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll, Only a Pawn In Their Game—has anyone ever written of injustice so beautifully? We of the over-sixty crowd—you must take our laments with a grain of salt. Our memories of other times, other lives, are colored by that which we discover, at some age right about now, we have no choice but to accept. That the broad lawn that lies before us has become all the more precious and interesting, all the more finely shaded, in the last hours before sunset.
Besides. I read that Ghandi slept around.
published on Humorlessbitch, October 2010