Show me epic
- Too much alcohol. Plumbing S and I independently came to the conclusion that our low-level aches and pains and high-level misanthropy could be attributed to end-stage liver disease. More likely, as it has resolved into snot and a sore throat, it's just a bug, but still.
- Last week's Mark Haddon piece in the Observer. I commend it to this house. And every other house.
- The beginning of an article about John McCain in this week's Observer. I read the first quarter or so, and then a the phrase "no retreat, no surrender" sent me walking to my vinyl as if in a trance, to search out Born in the USA. No one expects me to be a Springsteen fan, but I am.
- A fair bit of Neutral Milk Hotel, whom I think I knew on vinyl in a previous life, and have fallen for again since last.fm played me The King Of Carrot Flowers Pt One. Wikipedia tells me it's in a major key. I find this hard to believe.
- The second half of Life at the Bottom by Theodore Dalrymple. He writes well, though, while offering some analysis of the situations he witnesses (much of which analysis I would dispute, but still), he offers, as A&K pointed out when they lent me the book, very little by way of alternative 'underclass management'. The poor, it seems, will always be feckless. I have more to say on this, but it's incubating.
- Wait Until Spring, Bandini, by John Fante . A sort of Dalrymple antidote, but not chosen for that reason. Chosen for its Catholicism, really, I find Catholic literature much easier to relate to than Jewish literature.
- More gherkins than usual, having stocked up on my favourite kosher pickles at my favourite Asian grocers. What holds for literature does not hold for food.
- The end of series 1 of The Wire. Surely, and I do not say this lightly, this is the best television ever made by anyone ever. We are not worthy.