“Occasionally, societies fall apart. These are the voices of those caught in the current American vortex of disconnection and angst.”
“A sign of just how bleak the country’s sense of the future is can be found in Max Brooks’s World War Z. Although the speculative novel — which rather cleverly reimagines Studs Terkel’s The Good War as an oral history of a world-spanning zombie onslaught — spends much of its time in rather bleak scenery, it also contains a clear trumpeting of hope. Because after Brooks gets done reporting how different nations respond to the assault of the undead, the interviewees (particularly the Americans) talk about how they fought back. Not only do they restructure a shattered nation, they recapture the concept of purpose, of collective action, of citizenship.”
“As I write this, legislation is wending its way through Florida legislative committees that will enable Gov. Rick Scott to appoint a new Florida state poet laureate. State Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, is the sponsor of SB 366, and state Rep. Dan Raulerson, R-Plant City, is sponsoring the House version, HB 589. With luck, and some public support, the bills will pass by April, National Poetry Month, and a new laureate could be named to begin a four-year term by June 1.”
- David Axelrod makes the case for Florida’s poet laureate.
Welcome to another night in the life of Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court justice, current queen of the best-seller list and suddenly the nation’s most high-profile Hispanic figure. She may be a relative newcomer to national life, plucked from circuit-court obscurity less than four years ago. But the release of her new memoir, My Beloved World, suggests that she has broader ambitions than her colleagues, to play a larger and more personal role on the public stage.
“Six thousand books is a lot of reading, true, but the trash like Hell’s Belles and Kid Colt and The Legend of the Lost Arroyo and even Part-Time Harlot, Full-Time Tramp that I devoured during my misspent teens really puff up the numbers. And in any case, it is nowhere near a record. Winston Churchill supposedly read a book every day of his life, even while he was saving Western Civilization from the Nazis. This is quite an accomplishment, because by some accounts Winston Churchill spent all of World War II completely hammered.”