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June 2023

"Triumph of a Limousine Liberal"

Andrew Sullivan Ferguson--thanks, Seth!--reviews Jann Wenner's recent book, Like A Rolling Stone: A Memoir. Sample:

Over the last 50 years, roughly the lifespan of Rolling Stone, the defection of the white (and now, increasingly, the Hispanic) working class from the Democratic Party left limousine liberals a lot of room for redecoration. They turned the party into a kind of performance space, a stage for striking moral poses and issuing political mandates that always seem to require more from their fellow citizens than from themselves. The well-to-do activists of the Democratic Party, lucky them, get to have their Ben and Jerry’s Groovy Tie Dye Ice Cream Cake and eat it too. The meat-and-potatoes liberalism that shaped the party of Wenner’s youth seems a distant dream. It’s hard to imagine Eleanor Roosevelt posing in a backless number at the Met Gala or George Meany canvassing Martha’s Vineyard for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, as Wenner and his pal Larry David did in 2004.

"Half An Hour Before Dawn In San Francisco"

"Somewhere to the south, Ray Kurzweil walks into his office at Google. Twenty years ago, he conjectured that all human history - no, all evolutionary and geologic history - was a series of accelerating movements, which would crescendo at the end of time in approximately 2029. Six years to go. San Francisco doesn’t feel like the sort of place willing to wait another six years. The doomed summoning-city at the end of time seethes with palpable impatience."