I grew up in the Washington, DC area and in the first 20-something years of my life, I don’t remember the power going out. I vaguely remember it going out once—but I may be just giving Mother Nature the benefit of the doubt.
But then also, in those days when the most sophisticated electronics I had were a transister radio, and later, a stereo system, a TV, and a Smith-Corona typewriter, we weren’t as dependent on electricity, so maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal.
Then again, I’ve always been dependent on food, and I grew up with an electric stove. So….
But the real point of this post is that even if we could prevent 95 percent of the power outages in the DC metro area, I don’t think we would. If we had wanted to, we would have. Continue reading
When I started looking for a job in publishing after moving to New York many years ago, the reason was simple. I wanted to know how it worked. It seemed a sensible thing for a writer (who at that time had written two unpublished novels and was working on a third) to know.
At that very early point in my literary career, my sole publishing “success” was a letter to the editor in Harper’s magazine. The letter, which I still have somewhere, was in response to a piece by Madison Smartt Bell (wow, Dragon Dictate got the correct spelling of his middle name) on “brat pack” fiction.
Personally, I really admire Blake Gopnik at the Washington Post for trying to be reasonable in a culture that is mostly not reasonable — see Blake Gopnik – Reaction to National Portrait Gallery’s ants-and-crucifix controversy — but it seems entirely pointless. I don’t mean it’s pointless to try to be civil. I mean it’s pointless to try to be reasonable with inherently and determinedly unreasonable people. Continue reading