The Communal Mind, Patricia Lockwood
A few choice sections from Patricia Lockwood travels through the internet:
White people, who had the political educations of potatoes (lumpy, unseasoned and biased towards the Irish), were suddenly feeling compelled to speak out about injustice. This happened once every forty years on average, usually after a period when folk music became popular again. When folk music became popular again, it reminded people that they had ancestors, and then, after a considerable delay, that their ancestors had done bad things.
This new paradise was much like the original: a place with a big snake in it where everyone could be weird about women.
lmao what if video games really did lead to the downfall of society, her little brother texted her. But she was thinking of something much further back. What if it really had been a mistake to start writing things down in the first place?
The more closely we could associate a diet with cavemen the more we loved it. Cavemen were not famous for living a long time, but they were famous for being exactly what the fuck they were supposed to be, something we could no longer say about ourselves.
There was, after all, no paradise like the past. It was a place where she knew what was going to happen, a place where she would always choose the right side, where the failure was in history and not in herself, where she did not read the wrong writers, was not seized with surges of enthusiasm for the wrong leaders, did not eat the wrong animals, cheer at bullfights, call little kids ‘Pussy’ as a nickname, believe in fairies or mediums or spirit photography, blood purity or manifest destiny or night air, did not lobotomise her daughters or send her sons to war, where she was not subject to the swells and currents and storms of the mind of the time — which could not be escaped except through genius, and even then you beat your wife, abandoned your children, pinched the rumps of your maids, had maids even. She had seen the century spin to its conclusion and she knew how it turned out. Everything had been decided by a sky in long black judge robes, and she floated as the head at the top of it and saw everything, everything, backward, backward, and turned away in fright from her own bright day.
I could do without the third-person gimmick, and some of it tries too hard, but if I have to keep reading “pieces” about The Trouble With the Internet, then more like this would do.