52 Poems, Week 39: Epistle To Be Left In the Earth (Archibald MacLeish)
52 Poems, Week 40: The Windows (George Herbert)

Sunday Night Journal, September 30, 2018

I can't remember whether it was before or after the Ford accusations became public, but at some point a couple of weeks ago I said of the Kavanaugh hearings that their one absolutely certain effect would be a net increase in the amount of hate in this country. Rod Dreher put it a bit more strongly: "When this is over we will all hate each other even more." (At least that's what I think he said. I can't find that exact quote now.)

Well, those prophecies have certainly proved true. No matter what the result of this fiasco is, a huge number of people are going to be enraged and will stay that way. And it's not only those on the losing side: the winners will also feel that their fear and loathing of the others--the Other--will have been fully justified, and that the effort to crush them must not flag. As I said some time ago, all political victories are Pyrrhic now, because they serve to inflame the other side.

I cannot understand how people can fail to see where this is leading. Perhaps it won't be violence, but if it isn't it won't be for lack of hatred to fuel the flames. We are surely destroying the foundations of our system of law and government, which depend on some basic elemental presumptions, such as that we are fellow citizens of one country, and that we have something close to a shared understanding of its principles. We, at least those of us who are most politically engaged, don't seem to have those anymore. 

I have a constitutional reluctance to take a stand on questions of material fact where I have no direct knowledge and there's a lot of room for doubt. So I reserve judgment on whether Brett Kavanaugh is guilty of the assault with which he's been charged. But I loathe mob passions and mob behavior, always have done, and am very disturbed by the degree to which they are active now. There's a widespread willingness to say "We know he did it because people like him do things like that." And "people like him" refers to his class, sex, and race. Do people not see where that leads? 

Another direction in which this whole mess leads is to the diminishment of the Me Too movement. I've been very much in sympathy with its stated aims, if not its feminist ideological framework. But this dishonestly-handled business tends to discredit it. As Alexandra DeSanctis of National Review wrote:  

This debacle is teaching onlookers to take the stories of victims with a grain of salt. How can the average person be expected to care about seeking justice when so many in the public square seem to care more about advancing an agenda than about discerning who has actually been mistreated or abused?

The Me Too movement has gained immense influence over the last year precisely because it has encouraged us to acknowledge the reality of sexual abuse and follow the truth wherever it leads. Now, the question of whether the accusations against Kavanaugh are true has been subjugated to a political endgame. That promises to destroy the cultural power of the Me Too movement.

Surely no reasonable person can believe that Christine Ford's unprovable accusation, whether true or false, was not uncovered and deployed primarily as a weapon to block the confirmation of a justice who would (probably) tip the balance of the Supreme Court decisively rightward. And why? I think everyone knows, though Kavanaugh's opponents in the Senate don't want to say it, that this is above all about Roe v. Wade. I think everyone knows, even if they won't admit it even to themselves, that if Kavanaugh had the endorsement of Planned Parenthood we would never have heard of Christine Ford. A few centuries from now when reasonably dispassionate historians are writing about the dissolution of the United States, that arrogant and imprudent decision will be seen to have been a major factor. 

Oh, and by the way: completely lost in this war is the small number of principled conservatives who have serious reservations about Kavanaugh because they think he is far too indulgent of executive power. See this. Few care much about anything except the "social issues" which should not be settled in Washington in the first place.


Switching topics rather abruptly: we watched Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri last night. For the first hour or so (of its nearly two) I was impatient with it. Well done, yes--extremely so, especially the acting. But I'm really pretty sick of the Small-Town White Hick stereotype in movies and TV. In the end, though, it won me over, partly by cleverly undermining the stereotypes. It's not an easy story to watch, its events being rooted in violence, hatred, and revenge. But those don't get quite the last word. 

In the comments where we were discussing this a week or two ago, several people mentioned being seriously put off by the language. I'm a little surprised at that, as it didn't seem any worse in that respect than the average movie. It was a bit shocking that the sheriff talked that way in front of his children. But other than that....


Something I've been meaning to mention for several weeks: also in recent comments, there was a mention of Eric Clapton. I said I would have more to say about that later. Well, what I meant to say was that anyone who is interested in the sort of flash guitar (I don't know where I got that term but I guess it's reasonably clear) that Clapton represents really should check out Jeff Beck Live at Ronnie Scott's. It's available as an audio CD, but I really recommend that you watch it on DVD. There's more music on the DVD, and watching Beck and his three bandmates (bass, drums, keyboards) is terrific. Here's an example, in which you get to see bass prodigy Tal Wilkenfeld at work. She looks like she's about fourteen but actually she was twenty-one when this was recorded in 2008.

I do wish Beck had not worn that sleeveless shirt and given the audience so many glimpses of his armpits. And does anybody know who that woman in the audience at the very end is? She seems familiar. I did recognize several people in the audience, including Jimmy Page (not in this clip), and there were several others on whom the camera focused, leading me to believe that I was supposed to recognize them.

Rock fans (at least those of a certain age) have a tendency to argue about which of the three former Yardbirds guitarists--Clapton, Beck, and Page--is the greatest. Well, if that discussion is limited to the music of the '60s and '70s, it could go on forever. But if the question is who's the most interesting now--well, in my opinion it's clearly Beck. Clapton himself said once that "When he's on, there's nobody better." Agreed. 

This concert has a guest appearance by Clapton, by the way. Also Joss Stone and Imogen Heap. The DVD includes some interviews which I found quite interesting. One gives the impression that the old rivalries of the Yardbirds days still have a bit of life in them, at least in Beck's mind.

It looks like the entire concert is available on YouTube at the moment. Not an official page so it may not be there indefinitely.


A building somewhere in Belfast. I just liked the image.



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The executive power thing with Kavanaugh, along with his temperament after listening to him rant and bring up the Clintons does have me prefer that he not end up on the Supreme Court. If it is not him it will be another conservative, so nothing changes.

I happen to agree with what you say about Me Too. Seems like there are two big baddies: Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, and everyone else's total destruction of career is a little dubious to me.

The scene with Woody and his small girls, and the scene with Frances McDormand + daughter and son. I don't particularly care about swearing in movies, I was just surprised and felt that the words used were "wrong" within the context. Then I think Grumpy mentioned that the director (who wrote the film too, I think) was British so it made more sense to me.

I actually take more offense at his pretending that we were looking at Missouri! My folks live there, I went to college there, I've been all over that state. The movie was filmed in western NC, another place I am familiar with, so why pretend it is in MO?

Chrissie Hynde thinks Jeff Beck is the best, so that's good enough for me. :)

I will listen to that Beck concert when I'm well enough to be cleaning up the house!

I think the abortion question should be settled state by state, or 'federally.' That slow but steady tightening of the screws by the states seems to be helping to cut the number of abortions year by year. The states are, individually, making their own laws. Recently Ohio passed a law saying 'no abortion once there is evidence of life'. That's pretty early, apparently. This messy and inconclusive way of doing it is less divisive than using the supreme court to win the culture wars.

I don't think there is evidence Kavanaugh attempted to rape Ford. On my corridor at work everyone was behind locked office doors watching it on their computers. It seemed as if we were looking at different things. One guy who is a great scholar and preacher responded 'Kavanaugh is a slime ball! The devil doesn't get to be president because he's pro life.' That person is one of my most esteemed colleagues! His comment makes it clear that for him its about Trump. It seems as if the two halves of the country watched different trials. With such a divided country its not a great idea for the Supremes to be involved in these culture wars issues.

heading out to the doctor, hope he has a miracle cure!

Well, I will admit to preconceived notions about the guy as well, but that is all they are. He apparently likes beer, and he worked his butt off to get where he is!

" With such a divided country its not a great idea for the Supremes to be involved in these culture wars issues."

Exactly. I've been preaching this for a long time. So have a lot of other people. Abortion should have been left to the states. RvW is part of the reason why both sides feel like they have to get total control. Looking at two different things indeed. A progressive friend said a while back that there were two different realities in this country. Of course he meant that his side is the "real" reality, but he was more right than he knew.

Re Kavanaugh's anger--that's a good example, actually. One side says "He's too angry, obviously not fit to be a judge." The other says "Of course he's angry at being slandered, I'd be fighting back, too." And if he hadn't been angry, side 1 would have said "Look at how cool he is, if he were being falsely accused he should be furious, but he just takes it in stride--obviously guilty!" Side 2 would have said "Look how gracefully he handles it, refusing to descend to their level."

I'm impressed with Chrissie's judgment.

Re the movie: I thought the choice of Missouri was a little odd, too, but from what I've heard I think that's accurate for parts of the state. Winter's Bone iirc is also set in Missouri. The culture we think of as sort of mid-South has extensions into the Midwest.

Re Me Too: I long since got sick of Garrison Keillor, but from what I read it seemed like total career death and erasure was not warranted by what he was accused of. Though I didn't follow it that closely so maybe I missed something.

Good luck with the medications, Grumpy.

Garrison Keillor also likes beer, and worked his butt off!

Okay I'm making that up, but it was fun to type.

re: Kavanaugh's anger. I mean in particular his lashing out at the Democrats and Clintons (which seemed a little wacky). This shows before he is even on the SC that he will be partisan. I take great issue with the partisan nature of the court, on both sides. They should at least try and hide it until they are a member.

Doc prescribed antibiotics! Going to get them then lie in bed listening to the concert

I hadn't planned on listening to the hearing, but I was in the car and it was on the radio, and and hour later when I got home, I came in and turned on the radio and spent the rest of the day listening.

Of course, I agree with what you say.

It really makes me this of this episode of This American Life. It takes place in Mississippi and Louisiana in 1912 and is about two missing boys. The similarity between this and the Ford/Kavanaugh situation is that the truth was so much more complicated than anyone would have imagined, and that no one really had the whole story until someone put all the pieces together in 1999. This is an hour long but it is really worth listening to. I've listened two it at least twice. It was as good as--maybe better than--any TV show or movie I have seen.

Anyway, the situation IS so complicated, and I think that they could both think they are telling the truth. And it's horrible that so many people--some of them quite innocent--are being torn apart by this fiasco is horrifying.

About Three Billboards--I wasn't shocked by the language, I'm just sick to death of it, and it makes me mad because I know whoever wrote that could have done better. The bootheel of MO is really in AR. ;-)

And it was really the last part of the movie that redeemed the first. Not what one would expect.


"I think that they could both think they are telling the truth."

Yeah, that's pretty much my view. I doubt either of them is just flat-out lying.

We recently bought an exercise bike so maybe I'll try listening to that podcast while I'm "riding" it.

Grumpy, I don't think I'd enjoy listening to Jeff Beck while sick in bed.

Stu, partisanship is the whole game now, unfortunately. My impression is that Kavanaugh was as you say at least trying to hide it until this extremely partisan attack began. Though I agree even in his anger he should have left the Clintons etc. out of it.

My problem with the language wasn't so much with the F-word, which is pretty much ubiquitous nowadays, alas, but with the C-word. That's one that our UK brethren tend to use more freely than we Yanks do.

At first I wasn't particularly excited by Kavanaugh because of his strong pro-executive and pro-corporate views. But seeing him savaged as he was has made me more sympathetic, and now I'm kind of hoping he makes it in.

That's sort of a perfect example of our partisan divide, what Rob just wrote. Since I am on the left I would happily see Kavanaugh relegated to the dust-heap of history (see R. Bork). I realize that I am a perfect example of the other side, not trying to be critical of Rob, as I am deserving of the same criticism.

I actually lean slightly in the other direction--wish they had nominated someone else, like say Amy Barrett. Though something similar probably would have been done to her--not sexual assault but something to prove she's a psycho Christian restorationist. Something.

A bit surprisingly, I'm inclined to agree with this piece in America:


Thing is, though, part of this whole game on the Dems' part is to make it impossible to confirm another appointee anytime soon. So I remain only "inclined."

Sounds like I somewhat misconstrued y'all's comments about the language in the movie. The C-word was a bit...jarring.

Cross-posted with Stu, I was replying to Rob.

And it's not the use of the F-word; it's the pressed down, shaken together, and running over use of it.


I don't remember there being any problem at all with Neil Gorsuch, was there? So why suddenly are the Dems (and Clintons) going to go crazy?

Yes the C-word, and then Woody talking to his two very small children and continuing to use the GD word. I was like, huh?

I thought overall his statement was fairly persuasive, but that Clinton thing . . . augh!

Then, it's been interesting to listen to the spin on NPR, because during and right after the hearing, I thought they were okay, and basically fair. Since then, though, I hear things like this. "When asked, Christine Blasey Ford said she was 100% sure that it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her, but when asked whether or not he assaulted Dr. Ford, Kavanaugh said he had always hired women to work for him. In fact, Kavanaugh's answer to that was that he was 100% sure he had not sexually assaulted Ford or anyone else. Their answers were almost word-for-word the same.



The difference is that Kavanaugh is the swing vote, and perhaps, Gorsuch didn't have any vulnerabilities. But what I've heard, or read, is that they did not know that Kennedy would retire during Trump's administration.

I may be wrong, but that's one reason.


I don't want to say that I wish he wasn't so outspokenly Catholic, but goodness . . . . It's like, this is all we need at this point in time.


Janet, I had exactly the same reaction about Kavanaugh's at this particular time being so "outspokenly Catholic". Calls for an "oy".

About Amy Coney Barrett getting a rough treatment if she'd been nominated. Yeah, Senator Feinstein would have played up big time what she said last year at Barrett's hearing for another judgeship -- "the dogma lives loudly within you". But at least the Democrats wouldn't have been able to build on the #MeToo movement, which is so very powerful right now.


But, of course, the worst thing he could do for his own sake is to stop being an outspoken Catholic.


"the Democrats wouldn't have been able to build on the #MeToo movement, which is so very powerful right now"

True. Seems like she would have had a better shot, but then who knows what the Dems have in their pockets about her? If not her, some scandal involving a family member or something.

Re Gorsuch: yes, the fact that he was not changing the ideological balance of the court is the difference. It's easy to lose sight of now since the Ford accusations but the Dems were going wild against Kavanaugh before that ever came out.

I recieved Learning to Crawl by the Pretenders from alaxon. What a great voice Chrissie Hynde has. I tried to listen to the Ronnie Scott concert in bed this afternoon but its not for people with a headache

Right, I apparently failed to click 'post' on a comment warning about that. Almost gives me a headache to think about listening to it with a headache.

Stu talked me into listening to the first Pretenders album (self-titled?), which I had never heard. It's *really* good, though not really the kind of music I'm most drawn to in my old age.

Thinking more about what Marianne said about the synergy between Me Too and the attempt to block Kavanaugh, I think it's a very good point. It was, so to speak, sort of a godsend for progressives that that particular stick became available for the Democrats to beat Kavanaugh with.

If Kavanaugh had been chosen to replace Scalia he would have sailed through just like Gorsuch did. But the replacing of Justice "Sweet Mystery of Life" Kennedy by Gorsuch (or any other conservative) would have raised the same hue and cry, and we'd be witnessing a similar brouhaha. Lord knows what'll happen if Ginsberg dies or retires while DT is still in office.

Just as a matter of rhetorical logistics it will be difficult. There's no headroom there. :-)

Rob, I guess what will happy is Amy Barrett. People in the midwest are saying they don't want her to go through this.

When Kavanugh was chosen, I thought he would be easier to get through than ACB. Wow!

what will happen will be Amy Barrett. It won't be a happy experience.

Kavanaugh seems to have lied about his drinking habits. Even if he did nothing to CB Ford, if he lied under oath he should be disqualified.

On the question about 'why the brouhahha' I would add that with the Hollywood Tape, and the general 'Riders on the Storm' atmosphere of the presidency, Trump has rattled the cages pussy hat wearing type feminists, normal women type feminists, and a lot of 'men who see themselves as feminists'. He's riled up all women. He's made the pussy hat wearing types of both sexes feel under seige. Then he picks a SCOTUS nominee who was perhaps a bit of a drunken carouser as a prep school boy. All hell breaks loose.

Are all of the Supreme Court justices either Catholic or Jewish? I know at one time they were. Which is of course quite odd since we have had one Catholic president, and no Jewish ones.

I think so.

Don't be so quick to assume that BK is lying about drinking. The reporting on this whole thing by most of the media has been extremely tendentious to say the least.


"People in the midwest are saying they don't want her [Amy Barrett] to go through this."

As well they might.

I can tell when someone is lying, Mac. Those people who write for the National Review are biased!

:-) :-) :-)

What evidence would someone have from 30 years ago? I unfortunately drank too much when I was living in a college dorm, and probably did some silly things of which I do not remember. Thankfully this was the same era as KAV and people were not walking around with small computers in their pockets enabling them to take pictures and post permanently for the world to see. The current generation will REALLY have a hard time with judicial appointments.

Did he lie about his drinking? The one impression I got was that he really drank way too much. He said he drank often and sometimes too much and that he had had enough to put him to sleep.

It's the fact that what happened (or didn't) on one night, at some unknowable place and time, between two teenagers (and she was especially young) is having these horrible repercussions for them and for the whole country--or the whole world--that is getting to me.

And I keep thinking about my own children, who are all working hard and leading upright lives, having their pasts drug out in public.


What's going on is sick.

Talking about Amy Barrett reminded me of the way Sarah Palin was treated. Being a woman is no protection. "She's so tacky! Her daughter's a slut! She's not actually a woman! She gave birth to a retard!" Granted, Palin set herself up for a lot of that, and should never have been in that position in the first place. Still, the class contempt was intense.

I saw Three Billboards about a month ago and thought it was mostly a waste of time, but three or four moments were really very funny.

Has anyone watched Eureka?


The SyFy Channel series?

"Kavanaugh seems to have lied about his drinking habits. Even if he did nothing to CB Ford, if he lied under oath he should be disqualified."

I have no idea whether he did or not, since I'm not following all this, but I agree with Stu on this.

Can we discuss 3 Billboards now with spoilers?
**Spoiler Alert**
It was very memorable, I'll give it that. I did think that the deputy being redeemed at the end due to Woody's letter to him was a little neat and tidy.
The scenes that stick with me:
- Deputy throwing guy out of the window. This was very Quentin Tarantino in that the director somehow made it a funny scene despite the very grim violence that occurred. I laughed out loud in the theatre when he punched the woman in the face after throwing the dude out the window.
- Marge and daughter casually calling each other the "C" word, maybe the son got in on it too can't quite remember. Which sounded more American version of this word to me than British version. American, as in most awful thing you can say about a woman.
- Woody casually using the "GD" word while picnicking with his family, which included (if I remember correctly) two very young children. Not that I did not hear this growing up, but it was at moments of extreme upset by my parents. Of course, it is never good to say or hear.
- Marge fire-bombing the sheriff's office. I thought this was way over the top and crazy, and more of a plot device to have the deputy in there becoming injured.
I enjoyed the movie a lot, but was a little dumbfounded at the awards it won.

re: The Pretenders
I've apparently lost my mind because I really listen to them and nothing else for the past several months. I guess I'll get over it and return some time to the other 1100+ CDs I have.
The first album "Pretenders" and the third "Learning to Crawl" are two of the best rock albums ever. However, I also love "Alone" the newest from 2016. Pretty much everything she does is great, but there are a few clunkers, mainly this one she made with a guy named JP that is not a Pretenders album. The other solo project, "Stockholm" I'm sorta starting to like, but it is very un-Pretender-ish.

Replying to Robert above: me too, with emphasis on the "if." The media are pretty much being open and dishonest advocates in this whole thing. So although there is a whole lot of shouting going on about him lying under oath I wouldn't believe it without looking into it very carefully.

I've noticed for a long time now that partisans use the word "lie" to mean any incorrect statement of fact. And sometimes just to mean a statement of fact that they dispute. We are really back in the age of yellow journalism.

I actually have a copy (LP) of Learning to Crawl, acquired many years ago and hardly listened to. Didn't dislike it but wasn't carried away. On the basis of my one listen to the first album, I think I might like it better. Seemed very fresh and lively. I probably would have liked it a lot more when I was young but I never heard it then.

Yeah, I think spoilers are ok now.

I also was struck by those scenes, but I did NOT think that one was funny. I was just horrified. I'm not sure whether the director meant for it to be funny or not.

I did think the g-d in front of the children was very strange, almost bizarre. Though I knew families when I was growing up where it probably happened. At least I heard the fathers "cuss like sailors" pretty often.

At some point I think I stopped taking the plot events as realistic. The fire-bombing in particular. Never mind whether she might have done such a thing, there were several aspects of that where my realist-skeptic voice just said "That's impossible". That the deputy just sat there without noticing while the whole place became engulfed in flames? Come on.

I also thought his redemption was implausible but at that point I wasn't too worried about plausibility and was taking it as a semi-magical story in a real setting.

That's a good way to look at it, Mac. I will watch it again some time soon. Saw it in theatre, so it was long ago.

I do not often laugh at violence in movies, but one scene that I in particular remember is "Pulp Fiction" - Bruce Willis rams Ving Rhames's car, who then gets out staggering with a gun shooting an innocent woman by mistake. There was a lot of laughter at that in the theatre. Why? Who knows. But I do think the director of 3 Billboards was trying to create something similar. It's hard to get nervous laughter out of violence - we're laughing at this and don't quite know why.

I think I've figured out my reaction to that 3 Billboards scene.

It is so awful what is happening to the kid who rents out the billboards, that when the deputy turns to the door and a woman is shrieking at him and he just punches her you are relieved that this is all that happens. Thus, laughter.

That makes sense.

Replying to Robert above: me too, with emphasis on the "if." The media are pretty much being open and dishonest advocates in this whole thing. So although there is a whole lot of shouting going on about him lying under oath I wouldn't believe it without looking into it very carefully.

I do not know why y'all won't believe me--I listened to every word of his testimony except the few minutes it took me to get from the car and turn on the radio in the house-- but he did not lie. He talked about drinking beer incessantly. He said he sometimes drank to much to the point where he fell asleep. He just said he didn't black out, which is different. He all but convinced me that he is an alcoholic.


I believe you. I think there are other things which people (so to speak) are describing as perjury.

Well anyway, I also meant to say that I don't know anything about Eureka being on the SyFy channel, but that would make sense.

I am watching it on Netflix, or maybe Amazon Prime. It is funny and quirky, although things can get serious, and kind of dumb, but I like it. It feels like Stranger Things with Lynchian undertones.

It doesn't have anything to do with current politics, so that makes it great.


I didn't like it as much as you seem to, but I did enjoy it. It was on the SyFy channel...how long ago?...I don't know. We had a lot of cable channels then. We watched I think at least two seasons of it. At some point we got kind of tired of it. But it's fun. I don't remember anything I'd call Lynchian but Stranger-Things-ish, yes. Less scary as I recall.


I can see that it could get old, but I have only watched three. I don't like it as much as Stranger Things, but I am in escapist mode and it fits the bill.


Stu, I will ger Alone

None of Three Bs is realistic. It bugged me at first but Id read Teachout’s review down to Where he starts narrating the story and he said it was allegorical so I thought OK it’s allegorical. I enjoyed the ending very much and found it cathartic.

I thought the firebombing was OTT

The thing about Billboards is that anyone talking about forgiveness and redemption at present is a gift.


I need to go back and read that Teachout review. Also will read that Commentary link above. Been busy today.

Grumpy, have you had the chance to watch Nocturnal Animals yet?

NO I've been too sick to sit up and watch tv for over a week.

Ugh. Hope you get well soon.


I just went to the National Review website, which I do every now and then for fun. Jonah Goldberg shows up on some TV shows I occasionally watch, and I like him. But it is mildly alarming to me how much today I disagreed with every single article posted there. I really don't consider myself at all an unhinged leftist partisan. So it goes.

I haven't read anything currently on their main page except Goldberg's piece, which I pretty much agree with. So it goes...:-)


Rob G, I watched Nocturnal Animals and I thought it was good, though I was surprised by the ending.

Me too. Rather more understated than I was expecting, but very appropriate in its way. The more I thought about it the more I liked it.

Re Three Billboards and its non-realism. Was thinking about this and wondered if maybe there's something in this director (and his brother) along the lines of what you find in Southern and Russian literature at times -- a sort of exaggerated realism that approaches caricature but doesn't quite cross the line. This isn't the "winking" ironic exaggeration that you get in Tarentino, the Coens, and even Lynch at times, but something similar that serves a very different purpose. I think there's some of the latter in Nocturnal Animals as well, which is one of the reasons I brought it up. It's what you get in O'Connor and Dostoevsky for instance.

"I really don't consider myself at all an unhinged leftist partisan. So it goes."

Well, just as all conservatives are not warmongering money-grubbers, not all liberals are "unhinged leftist partisans." I'll take a thoughtful liberal over either of those any day. The problem that I see with the Kavanaugh thing is that it's the radical SJW types that seem to be calling the shots and getting the attention.

There seems to be reason to think that those tactics have backfired.

The comparison of the wilder elements of Three Billboards to O'Connor is very apt. There's nothing intrinsically impossible in, say, Enoch and his gorilla suit, but it sure is unlikely.

And of course O'Connor was a great admirer of Dostoevsky, who admired Gogol....

I like all of these Dostoevsky, O'Connor, "3 Billboards" comparisons. Does make me want to re-watch the movie and delve into those two authors again!

I want to read The Idiot. I'm hoping it will give me some insight into what's going on in this country.

Actually, Demons is probably more apropos of the moment.


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