"It's really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They're right. I did some extremely foolish things; I'm the first to say it. And they've left me in jail and alone."
So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.
America kills me with its contrasts. In just these last few days, we had Trump's Inaugural Address, and we had the Women's Marches
I kept the promise that I made to myself not to watch Trump's inauguration. (I did read the text later. More on that.) But I did watch a lot of the Women's March from Washington, D.C., on C-SPAN. I would have been at the Los Angeles march except for the TG's whooping cough and houseguests with knee problems.
Trump's address – just from reading the text – was dark, harsh, and unforgiving. His vision of our country -- "this American carnage" ... "rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape" ... "the wealth of our middle class ripped from their homes" ... "young and beautiful students deprived of knowledge" ... "the sad depletion of our military" ... "mothers and children trapped in poverty" ... "America's infrastructure fallen into disrepair and decay" – sounded bleak and negative.
Certainly things are bad for the shrinking middle class in this country, and they've always been bad for the poor and most oppressed minorities, but to call it "carnage" helps no one. Especially if you're the leader who is supposed to lead us to better times and "make America great again."
What jumped out at me immediately were the words – "AMERICA FIRST." If that phrase, a clear link to pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic Charles Lindbergh's America First movement of the 1930s, wasn't clear sign of encouragement to today's neo-Nazi/Alt-Right/White Supremecist nuts, I don't know what is. Although the Trump camp at first said that Donald wrote the speech, it was later admitted that the speech was the work of Steve Bannon. The "America First" reference made that obvious.
Watch my award-winning short film Lunch With Louie
everyday THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ... a nice long biography of ELIZABETH I ... the new New Yorker and the new New York Review of Books
Deezer! ...Howard Stern and Thom Hartmann always... lots of COSI, lots of KEITH JARRETT ... ... too much Pandora (lots of Chopin) ... and tons of Van the Man ... and Sturgill Simpsonand Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch!
As much news as I can stomach ... Rick Steves' Europe and SEINFELD(comfort watching) ... Turner Classic Movies... and the struggles of the Lakers and Clippers