Me elsewhere: I'm reviewing the first episode of all the new shows again this year. First up: The Bastard Executioner. Also: teasers for Miss Peregrine and Allegiant.
I saw this Ted Cruz scorpion ad on TV for the first time last night and it was SO bizarre. And I did NOT get the message at all - when it was talking about harmful people striking again, and showing cowboy boots, I assumed he meant Bushes. Or Clintons.
I'm sure everyone has been telling you to read Ta-Nehisi Coates's new piece, but seriously: The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration
Here's the National Book Award nonfiction longlist (including the aforementioned Coates). I feel like there's more personal writing and less history than in previous years? Not that that's BAD, necessarily, but there were fewer things that made me think "Ooh, I want to read that" than usual. (Fiction longlist out today.)
That said, I loved this piece on writing in cafes, which combines personal history with history history. The most productive writing spot for me ever was the cafe at the Borders where I used to work. Like 2k words an hour good. Discounted drinks, people I knew around ALL THE TIME if I needed a moment of interaction, some say over the music, it was basically like being at home and in public at the same time. RIP Borders. Anyway, this has made me conclude that I need to find a good local writing cafe. (Though if you're near Cheshire, CT, let me take a moment to recommend Cheshire Coffee, which my dad and I discovered this weekend when we had a crumb cake/coffee emergency while driving home from New Haven.)
This story about Putin (not) chatting with Elton John is amazing. Did someone just . . . prank call Elton John? That's what's going on here, right? I want it to have been, like, Ringo. Ooh, or Prince Harry.
An important thing to keep in mind during refugee discussions: For Those Who Remain in Syria, Daily Life Is a Nightmare
Ooh: CIA declassifies collection of cold war-era intelligence memos (Actual conversation I had at dinner the other night: How the End of the Cold War Ruined Everything. [Okay, maybe not everything. We were talking mostly about the Olympics and the space program and spy fiction.])
Speaking of: Do real spies write the best spy novels?
"HELEN: I personally prefer to live alone
GILBERT: is this some sort of code
I just don’t like company
AN ENIGMA WRAPPED IN A RIDDLE AND CLEVERLY SEWN INTO A PUZZLE"