The entire day is testimony to Sky’s creativity, a street party in celebration of destabilising uber‑commerce erected on the very fringes of a firewall designed to prevent destabilising uber‑commerce, like cold war Moscow street capitalists doing a roaring black market trade in Red Army bearskin hats.
Southern food is a celebration of the people within the community, using the agrarian bounty that is constantly around them. It pays homage to the past but is a constantly evolving, ebbing with the seasons and flowing with the constant progression of the South.
Even worse, she said, was “the élitism that passes itself off as inclusiveness.” She went on, “The rules are so esoteric, so hard to follow, that no one else could fit in. And what you’ll never admit to yourself is that you don’t want other people to fit in.” That’s a good summation of what “Portlandia” lampoons.
“You are not writing about the white man. That’s not the person you grew up with. This is not the person I have a beef with. The guy I have a beef with is the shebeen owner.” And so he has found African writers, Francophone and Anglophone, still living in Africa, who write mostly about a lower-middle-class Africa that almost never gets described.
It’s much better to decide who gets to eat than to let the people feed themselves. If you lower taxes people will do more work, but then people will get rewards that aren’t coming through you. Everything good must come through you.
Football managers are modern celebrities, yet the vast majority appear to add no value to their teams, and could probably be replaced by their secretaries or stuffed teddy bears without anyone noticing.
Colbert’s nightly fake news show, for instance, has done a great deal more to influence American politics than anything his super PAC has achieved. Indeed, the only reason we know about the super PAC — the only reason it exists in the first place — is thanks to Colbert’s media celebrity.
The local entrepreneurs are always young, because only kids dare to invest. While they understand the past—the failed reforms, the failed presidents, the almost-failed state—these optimistic pioneers also imagine progress. They believe, but they are a minority. They need some compadres to join their ranks.
It’s a spectacular show when the open, wooden boats come in, people huddled against the gunwales. In this human drama, the police are the supporting actors. So are the journalists like me, struggling against the cordon to talk to arrivals. So are the paramedics. We are all waiting for refugees.
I was having a coffee in a courtyard shaded by mango trees in Benguela, western Angola, talking to a Swiss clown who’d married a Nigerian woman he’d met while touring with his circus. He’s spent much of the past 20 years writing about African football. “It’s all rubbish,” he said. “I hate it now, hate what’s happened. I hate the lies and the false consciousness. I hate the bullshit and the corruption. Just look at it: it’s rubbish.”
Not only on account of what he wrote, but on account of his bridging the chasm between the serious and the popular, I consider Dickens to be our finest writer after Shakespeare, an example and reproach to every too high-minded stylist and every too low-minded populariser who has come after him.
Women who encountered Joan Didion when they were young received from her a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them. She was our Hunter Thompson, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem was our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He gave the boys twisted pig-fuckers and quarts of tequila; she gave us quiet days in Malibu and flowers in our hair.
The still-unfolding story of manufacturing’s transformation is, in many respects, that of our economic age. It’s a story with much good news for the nation as a whole. But it’s also one that is decidedly less inclusive than the story of the 20th century, with a less certain role for people like Maddie Parlier, who struggle or are unlucky early in life.