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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

 Lots of people say that they want things to go back to normal, but this reactionary impulse should be resisted. Normal sucked, and if what you mean is that you miss restaurants, well, I do too, but there's a lot that's changed in the last year, and among those things are the way that we work, and the way that employees are going to expect to be treated. I hope there are a lot of union reps getting ready to organize a lot of people, because that will constitute a meaningful improvement on the Before Times


Monday, May 03, 2021

 Post-World War Two American letters produced a lot of great writing, and Phillip Roth was responsible for quite a bit of it. He was also a powerful advocate for Eastern European writers, itself no small thing. Of course, in addition to these contributions his sexual politics and his personal life were both terrible. It is true that the same can be said for quite a few of his peers, and this raises the perennial question of how to  regard the work of terrible people. In Roth's case the stakes are raised: not only was Roth abusive but his biographer is arguably worse. W. W. Norton & Company has withdrawn the book from print and this troubles me a great deal. The pre-scandal reviews made it clear that Blake Bailey had complete access to the sort of material that a serious biographer needs, and pulling from shelves is bad for all future scholars. Frankly, it is probably also bad for the women that Bailey abused, since a successful book would generate royalties that might end up being awarded as damages. 

In the meanwhile, I am inclined to spend part of the summer re-reading Roth.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

The man known as Lance Mannion has died. I never met him, but I was a faithful reader, and we had a brief correspondence. He was a writer who was adept at conveying all of life's moments of serenity, and all of the dings, dents, and scratches, as well as its greater damages with compassion. I'm sorry for his family and I will miss reading him


Friday, April 16, 2021

 I used to complain about how our glamor profession fuctioned as though we were in the 19th century, but now that we are doing everything virtually I realize how wrong I was. Today's pretrial conference featured one lawyer participating in his car, one lawyer who couldn't make his camera work, and a third who was on mute the entire time. me? I wore a tie, and was brilliant


Friday, April 09, 2021

 Laurie Anderson's "Big Science" was a revelation for me when it came out. After the planes hit the towers it was years before I could listen to it again- it was too prescient. It still is


Wednesday, April 07, 2021

 Interesting take on North by Northwest


Friday, March 26, 2021

 Maria Schneider won a Grammy for Data Lords, so it's not like it's a secret, but it is pretty terrific, and, I think, something new from her. Generally I have found her compositions to be evocative of nature, but on this set she convincingly explores the relationship of the natural world to the machine world and not only does it work, it is a beautiful set of music that is interesting and exciting to listen to. 

This past year has been spent in a strange technological hell in which we have all be cut off from human contact and had our experience of the world outside of our narrow spheres filtered by screens. Data Lords seems like a commentary on that


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