- I read Israel as a follow-up to
The politics of anti-semitism.
They were both really fascinating and made me want to read more in that vein –
I haven’t read nearly enough history of the Arab world, for example.
- I bought Street Fight, the book
about Janette Sadik-Khan’s successful mission to make New York bicycle and
pedestrian-friendly, at the local bookstore
on the 24th, and finished it in just a few days: it was lighter and faster-paced
than most of my books, and it had me rooting along as I went. I’d also love
to dive deeper into the specifics of street interactions and the math and research
that goes into such calculations.
- Alex Baca’s series on Challenging the Cappuccino City is excellent,
as well as her gentrification isn’t ending piece.
I went to a live Chapo Trap House event
this month, and enjoyed it, but their follow-up podcast, recorded in San Francisco “The YIMBY Failing Project”
was really a disappointment - trotting out the same tired narrative about gentrification
and adding nothing from their political ideology. I’m on the hunt for more and better
material about housing policy.
- Via that thread, Tom Lee turned me to Are We Postcritical?,
an essay that deeply resonated with me. I’ve been in multiple conversations with respected
circles of politically-change-minded folks who say “well, critical theory is this whole
discipline that has said so much on this topic” - but when I actually read critical
theory, it’s, bluntly, useless and lazily constructed. Realizing that this tradition
exists and starting to recognize its characteristics also prompted an ‘aha’ moment,
understanding why pieces like Xenofeminism never
resonated with me.
- Thinking about homelessness in San Francisco, I’ve read
a variety of sources,
and one of the most interesting is the review
of Ronald Reagan’s influence,
which seems to be one of the most important pieces of our current failure. It’s something
to think about. Living in San Francisco, you’d have to be ignorant or callous to
skip over this topic, but at the same time I can’t help but see this city’s situation
as just one instantiation of a larger American issue. When folks from
the suburbs remark at SF’s failure to keep up with the homeless, I’m starting to get it:
the policies of Reagan and others have moved funding from cities to suburbs, have
I cancelled my Netflix account again, and I’ve checked off a few movies from
my to-watch list: Blade Runner 2049, The Dark Knight (re-watch to make sure it was
still good, and it is), John Wick, Foxcatcher. In April, I’ll try to keep to this
pattern: only watch movies, never space out to TV. It’s hard to stick to, unfortunately.
This was a pretty great month for new music - I added to my library: