We are now a deceptocracy: government run by continuous lies. The key feature of government in 1984 is precisely that the whole thing is held together by a dense web of lies. The non-acceptance of lies is punishable by death.



Sad about Anthony Bourdain. Apparently suicide has increased dramatically in the US in recent years. My explanation: people have got a lot more disgusting recently and sensitive souls can’t stand it.

Very nice to see Simona Halep win the French Open–and what a match! I was impressed with Sloan Stephens’ graciousness in losing.

Trump goes to Singapore. This summit should be pure Monty Python, what with those haircuts and all. I’d parody Trump’s as a blonde missile and Kim’s as a mushroom cloud.





Patrick Melrose

I just watched the first episode. I had high expectations, being such an admirer of the novels, and it lived up to them. Benedict Cumberbatch captured the “hero” perfectly. Disturbing stuff, but beautifully rendered. The brilliance and originality of the novels shone through.

The series has kept up the quality and is one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV.



My Favorite People

My favorite people of the moment are: Don Lemon, Kamau Bell, Janelle Monae, Van Jones, Stephen Curry, April Ryan, Laura Coates, Chadwick Boseman, and Lupita N’Yongo. Do they have anything (significant) in common? Not that I can see.


Tribalism and Truth

Of course these two things are opposed. But what leads to tribalism and the consequent divorce from truth? Tribalism is a substitute for truth–it’s what you cleave to when truth isn’t going your way. It takes up the slack between wish and fact. If your beliefs can’t be true, they can at least agree with the beliefs of others. The more your beliefs fail to correspond to the facts the more you substitute tribalism for truth. So the degree of tribalism in America today is a function of the distance that believers stand in to reality: the more false your beliefs are the more tribal you become. And of course there is a tacit awareness of falsity. A society brimming with delusion is a society of tribes, generally hostile to each other. This principle applies both to the political right and the political left.


Exclusive Inclusivity

I was just perusing the “Inclusivity Workshop” recently held at the University of Miami and was amused to see that the event opened with something described as a “Women’s Lunch”. No men invited presumably. Moreover, all the speakers seemed to be women. Doesn’t seem very inclusive. A black man would have been nice, for example. The event would be better named “Exclusivity Workshop”.



I just got back from Nicaragua. Fine people, terrible roads, great surf. It’s still not a popular tourist destination, especially on the Pacific coast (Playa del Maderas), so it is relatively unspoiled. The beaches are spectacular, with perfect surfing waves for both beginners and experts. And good to be out of America!


Trump’s Nadir

As I watched Trump’s response to the latest gun massacre in America a sentence pressed itself upon me: “He has the mind of a sociopathic rat”. Or am I being unfair to rats? His boorish indifference was almost titanic.