- Reader B.: “Bravo! ¶ It’s really hard to underestimate the shock of WWI. The more I look into it the deeper and weirder it gets.”
- Reader C.: “You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument. WOW. Just WOW.”
- Reader J.: “Paul Harvey wrote in The Oxford Companion to English Literature that ‘Titivil was evidently in origin a creation of monastic wit.'”
- Reader M.: “I just read an excellent movie review of Da 5 Bloods and (literally) the next thing I read is your newsletter’s Work quote.” — Synchronicity!
Responses: June 28, 2020
Reader J.: “‘Africa‘ – wow. Clever and – it took me down the rabbit hole of Tesla Coil music. Btw, I wonder if you might get around to some kind of tribute to the greatest living musician, Jacob Collier. ¶ Also – thanks for the BLM Heads-up. ¶ Also, also – for the Museum of Ridiculously Interesting Things. Down time for a sunny day.” — That’s incredibly high praise for Jacob Collier, who I have to admit I’ve only heard of, not actually listened to. I guess it’s time!
Responses: June 21, 2020
- Reader B.: “Apricots: as a lifelong Jacobean revenge fan, I can’t help but share this odd bit from Malfi, where a schemer detects a hidden pregnancy via that fruit.”
- Reader J.: “I loved the full etymology — but couldn’t resist the sound connection: from Arabic al-birquq, from Spanish Albuquerque…”
Responses: June 14, 2020
Many, many thanks to everyone (I’ll spare you a long list of initials) who wrote in over the last week to support my abrupt change of content in recognition of current events. Those notes happily outnumbered the unsubscriptions.
- Reader T.: “The CIA has tips for resistance.”
- Reader B.: “I confess to finding myself caught by opposing impulses and arguments. On the one hand is the line you articulated well, pace Wiesel, that it is vital to speak out against injustice. On the other are voices saying that this is the time for marginalized voices, that for whites to speak risks centering discourse on their experience.” — I hear you. I’ve settled in on the mode of trying to amplify marginalized voices, and some others that seem most genuine and insightful to help with that, while being mostly quiet myself. But it’s challenging in any case. Just going dark, which was my first impulse, seems wrong.
- Reader B.: “Maybe a little hope when we need it. It doesn’t take as many people to win as you might think. Check out The ‘3.5% rule’: How a small minority can change the world“
- Reader D.: “The good folks of the Katexic Clamor should get their free copy of Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? Police Violence and Resistance in the United States while they can.”
- Reader S.: “I’m an Indian, and this is about the indigenous experience, but it’s never been more relevant: How to Survive an Apocalypse and Keep Dreaming.”
- Reader T.: “Do you know about The Highlighter? It’s been an essential newsletter on race, education, and culture for a long time.”
- A different Reader B.: “So much this:
ESQ: How can we get the black people to cool it?from James Baldwin: How to Cool It“
JAMES BALDWIN: It is not for us to cool it.
ESQ: But aren’t you the ones who are getting hurt the most?
JAMES BALDWIN: No, we are only the ones who are dying fastest.