I had a pretty good winterval; holding satanic lesbian black masses with me and my Muslimonazi comrades dancing around a bonfire comprised of the canonical works of English Literature. That kind of thing. And I can tell recent and soon to be fathers that bending down over the cot every night and whispering ‘buy me a bottle of single malt for Xmas when you grow up, you mewling little sod’ into the dozing infant’s delicate ears actually works in the long run, big time. Plus, it stimulates ambition and an entrepreneurial attitude.
However, I seem to have lost my book buying nous. First offender: Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade History of America. Now, I’m all in favour of corrections to the historical record pointing out that many of Our Freedoms, including especially the ones that are fun to do, come from a bunch of ne’er do wells persisting in their habits in the teeth of official opposition. But writing about this presents a false equivalence problem between the various kinds of authority rebelled against; and a comparison between Nazi concentration camps and the assimilationist tendencies of Jewish Hollywood magnates is the most spectacular instance of false equivalence I’ve ever come across. Ech. Russell’s a libertarian of the North American type, and his book tends to confirm a conviction I have that the only people around actually incapable of imagining what dictatorship is like call themselves libertarians. ‘I know exactly what you mean, Mr Solzhenitsyn, we have speed cameras.” Stick to Linebaugh if you want your heroes louche.
Second offender: Morris Dickstein’s Dancing in the Dark. Billed as a cultural history of the depression years, this book is in fact a cramped, narrow and detailed analysis of Professor Dickstein’s favourite books and films, which happen to be products of the 1930’s. It’s the longest book ever on the subject of why my favourite things are important; the longest and least convincing.
Anyway, my last seasonal choice was Daniel Okrent’s book about Prohibition. I’m almost scared to crack it open.