Gravity’s Rainbow is also notoriously long and recalcitrant. But if you recognize its Brechtian “epic theater” as decidedly relevant to our current situation, reading it could be a good investment of your entertainment hours because the novel is an encyclopedia of humor, what scholars call “the carnivalesque.” Pynchon includes a Huck Finn-like Innocent Abroad as protagonist, a large gallery of fools and frauds, slapstick chase scenes, movie parodies, Catch-22 absurdities and Monty Python stupidities, as well as bawdy songs, Proverbs for Paranoids, and word play worthy of Nabokov, with whom Pynchon studied. I should also mention plenty of sex scenes to please just about every taste (and tastelessness). But be not fooled: the hurdy-gurdy carnival is present to conduct you into the big tent, where gravity-defying high-wire acts of human rocketry occur. … [Read more...] about Thomas Pynchon Predicted the Pandemic in ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’—Now Aren’t You Sorry You Didn’t Read It?
Yes, many of those "one million" ticket requesters (according to the Trump campaign) were probably reluctant to show up because of what some consider nonstop media scare tactics about the coronavirus and the dire warnings from health officials about mass gatherings. Another factor may have been the president's predictability. We've heard versions of this speech before. … [Read more...] about Cal Thomas: Trump needs to learn this lesson from Ronald Reagan
“There are so many unknowns right now. The public is ready to go out. The business owners, because of the bleeding financially ... over the last few months, are ready to get back to work,” said chef Mourad Lahlou, owner of Mourad and Aziza in San Francisco; Mourad has been closed during the pandemic while Aziza is open for takeout. “But we’re also nervous about what can happen. We have to make sure we know what’s important — is it the health concern or the economic concern? We have to have a balance.” … [Read more...] about Outdoor dining on the menu for San Francisco restaurants starting Friday
A big part of the whole mythology of 1948, encapsulated by the famous photo at the top of this piece, was that early returns on November 2 of that year showed Dewey appearing to confirm the pollsters and the pundits who predicted a GOP victory. He won no less than seven northeastern states he had failed to carry against FDR four years earlier. But when polls began to close in the Midwest and plains states, the worm turned: Truman won five states that Dewey had won against FDR. Truman also won in Illinois (28 electoral votes), California (25 electoral votes), and Texas (23 electoral votes). Dewey won a grand total of 28 electoral votes west of the Mississippi. But he was looking great early in the evening. … [Read more...] about Can Trump Pull Off an Upset Like Harry Truman’s in 1948?
The Cargo Way fire near Hunters Point, which charred a patch of wetlands next to the bay, was directly linked to illegal fireworks, according to Lieutenant Jonathan Baxter. Video from Baxter showed three acres blanketed in flame, along with numerous spot fires. Crews stood guarding a solitary structure as 4th of July fireworks crackled in the distance. … [Read more...] about ‘It’s burning down the city’: Fires linked to fireworks erupt across SF, Bay Area