Back from Miami. Night swimming was a pleasure. I failed to read any of the books (or unpublished manuscripts) I intended to read while there. Okay. Regarding the previous post (brief exchange with Marty about the decade of our "youth"), I agree with both Kati and Ned's comments, actually (but only in spirit--I don't like many of the books/films/musicians they cite). I just posted it because it was a funny exchange on instant messenger right before I left for Florida.
Politically I do feel it has been one of the most unpleasant decades for America in the last fifty years--worse even than the 80s, due to Iraq and a president who it seems may truly believe he follows the orders of a stern creature that lives beyond the sky.
Culturally though, yes, not shitty at all. In terms of books, just The Known World is a ten ton gorilla. Treatise, I loved too. TV-wise, The Shield, I love. The Sopranos, I don't. (Though the final scene of last night's series finale was, I thought, masterful.) Cinematically the '00s are nowhere near as bad as the 80s. When I think of 80s film, I have the impression of only like 2 or 3 extraordinary American movies being released during that entire decade. Raging Bull, The Shining (both of which came out in 1980 and were therefore made in the 70s, like a last gasp of that cinematically indelible decade), uh, maybe Blood Simple...um...
This current decade has done better, I think (let's caveat this entire post by saying it's all, obviously, my very subjective opinion): Requiem for a Dream, Children of Men, War of the Worlds (yes--I thought Spielberg's version was a great movie), Undertow,
as well as--
Okay, I wrote that last bit about two hours ago and then I had to go to lunch and now I'm back. I don't care about talking about that anymore. I had lunch with a hyperbolically intelligent person. A particle physicist who explained to me why the physicist who best understands muons will probably be the one to identify the Higgs once the LHC begins running in only a couple years. And how "the new physics" will soon begin. And how string theory, while mathematically beautiful, is unverifiable and thus considered by many of his colleagues to be a sort of cultish religion. And many other, far more complex subjects of which an attempted explanation on my part would probably result in mangled information.
Reading on June 19th at KGB with Mike Edison, feel free to come.
Regarding a new novel by Alan Cheuse: That's annoying.