Digest, 9/3/2022: RIP Barbara Ehrenreich
the sixty-second digest post
I don’t have a lot of heroes, political or otherwise, but Barbara Ehrenreich was one. She was so sharp, as a writer and thinker, that I think it’s easy to overlook the fundamental decency that animated her project. May she rest in peace and power.
I did the Gist with Mike Pesca, talking neurodiversity. Good conversation so please check it out.
We lost a net of 40 subscribers this past month - summer doldrums - so please consider giving a gift subscription, if you’re inclined!
This Week’s Posts
What purpose do I serve in your online life? What purpose do you serve in mine?
Tuesday, August 30th - Let’s Get You Started with… Drone
A (necessarily limited) primer on (my vision of) drone music.
Friday, September 2nd - The Glory of Adulthood is Finding Something You Love to Futz Over (subscriber only)
I enjoy being middle-aged, I really do.
From the Archives
This piece was righteous.
Song of the Week
Non-Garbage Online Reading
Cadillac Desert, Marc Reisner, 1986
It’s often a little fraught to recommend older nonfiction books, considering how things change over time. But Cadillac Desert is a classic that remains strikingly relevant, not only for its history but for its forward-looking elements. And those can be summarized fairly easily: vast swaths of the American west, including much of southern California’s megalopolis, have no business being major population centers. The vast system that supplies water to the people in those areas was strained even back in the 1980s when Reisner was writing this book. 40 or so years of climate change later, you’ll leave this book thinking of the western half of our country as one great act of hubris, about to be struck down by the gods.
NFL Picks of the Week
Ooh buddy we are back! Last year I finished .500 in my picks here, but did a lot better in my own overall betting, ending up about $600 for the season. (Would have been a lot more if the Bengals could have held on at the end there in the Super Bowl.) For this first opening Thursday night game, I like the Buffalo Bills (-2.5) on the road over the Los Angeles Rams. I think this Bills offense is legit, I like the defensive additions of Von Miller and Kaiir Elam, and I don’t love what happened with the Rams in the offseason - Bobby Wagner looked washed and I think Allen Robinson is more of a downgrade from Odell Beckham Jr. than people think. I think Buffalo takes it by a TD.
Comment of the Week
This was actually incredibly comforting to read... my adulthood has been buying new guitars and feeling a tinge of self-guilt each time but then enjoying that thrill of waiting for one to arrive and finally getting my hands on it. I have to assume this stuff is related to one's childhood fantasy purchases that were just too expensive and impractical for someone with no income. - Eric