May 8th, 2017



The 2016 presidential election combines elements of each, and I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether P. J. O'Rourke's How the Hell Did This Happen: The Election of 2016 and Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes's Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign are more tragic or farcical.  I'll combine these two as Book Reviews No. 8 and No. 9, with the expectation of working off the political hangover more quickly.
Collapse )Meanwhile, Mrs Clinton's wonky approach was at odds with the voters who were paying attention.  "There's no nuance in the business end of a pitchfork," campaign staff understood (p. 180) as early as the Michigan primary, and when the returns started coming in from Florida and the Carolinas, "[Robbie Mook and Elan Kriegel] were looking at the early warning signs of a wave; all they could do was hope that it didn't wash over the Rust Belt." (p. 377)  And when John Podesta went to the Javits Center to rally the remaining true believers to hang in until all the votes were counted, he went there hoping (p. 386) that the campaign would find "baskets of votes in late returns in the key Rust Belt states."

Those votes were in the basket of deplorables.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
smirk by geekilicious

Book 47

Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul NashBlack Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I found this one at the library and since I’m a fan of Dave McKean’s art I picked it up. it’s part of a first world war centenary project, 14-18 Now. I know a fair amount of artists but Paul Nash is new to me (which seems to be a large oversight on my part). He was a war artist who went on to be a big deal in England.

In this graphic novel, McKean (and the committee who hired him) wanted to capture Nash’s pain and angst. One assumes that he had his fair share of PSTD. The art in this is absolutely ugly. It’s disturbing, disquieting and it’s supposed to be. McKean can do beautiful work. This is so rough and ugly, filled with muddy browns, evoking the trenches of the war, the bleakness of depression and the strangeness of dreams (harking back to the title).

I wasn’t clear if the dreams and dialogue were entirely fictional or if it came from Nash’s writings or both. Hidden in the back info there is a mention of Nash’s writings as inspiration. Either way it’s interesting stuff. I like how the Black Dog is worked into every dream. I’m also impressed that they wanted to use this medium as part of the project. It’s an important project ad I was glad to see this piece of it.

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