Outside Reading — Anger Is an Energy edition


Stay Furious by Jessica Valenti

Going all the way back to the time the George W. Bush administration was in power, I believed the most long-lasting damage exacted by that particular crew of amoral miscreants would be the following: A conviction that there is no reason to react to public outrage. The GOP learned to simply wait it out until the discourse around their latest infraction against decency faded, a dissipation process that, it should be noted, was accelerated by having at their disposal a propaganda outlet posing as a news network. As Republicans shave proposed gun control legislation down to near nothing (and certainly nothing that will stem the rampant gun violence problem in the country), and Democrats characteristically acquiesce because too many of them remain under the delusion the bipartisanship is more import that exacting change for the common good, Jessica Valenti forcefully offers the reminder that the anger felt in the aftermath of recent mass shootings —and state laws cruelly targeting transgender individuals, and the pending misogynistic demolition of a half-century Supreme Court precedent, and out-of-control book banning, and on and on — should be maintained, proudly. Just as importantly, Valenti correctly argues all that ire should be directed right at the Republicans, with no restraint in the name of decorum. The damage they are inflicting is too great. This piece is published on Valenti’s own Substack, All in Her Head.

Gatekeepers Make Room For a Heretic by Adam Nagourney

Much as I know we’re really long past the point where John Waters should be considered some dangerous outsider, I remain charmed and amused by any story that treats his formal inclusion in institutional celebrations as something to marvel over. Writing for The New York Times, Adam Nagourney reports on the efforts underway to mount a celebratory exhibition of Waters’s work and career next year at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The news article also provides a general overview of the career in question and a glancing profile of that artist as he lives now, digressions that are always welcome.

Leaving Cheyenne (1962) by Larry McMurty

Larry McMurtry’s second published novel covers several decades in the intertwining lives of Gid, Johnny, and Molly, three people living in rural Texas. McMurtry writes with an offhand eloquence that manages to make the impressive scope of the story instead feel piercingly intimate. The characters aren’t given to effusive expressions of emotions, but the deep feelings come through. The book is resonant and caring, providing a respectful, empathetic rendering of a certain way of living across twentieth-century U.S. that’s often overlooked.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s