I’ve had a weird series of annoyances in my life lately. Nothing catastrophic. Things like the windshield wipers on my car not working and seemingly no mechanic on earth being equipped to fix them. Or things like back-to-back expensive vet trips for a big dog with knee problems and a little dog with stomach issues that keep her—and me—up all night.
No one writes novels about this stuff. No one is going to pay to see the movie of my life. They’d cry into their popcorn with boredom. It’s been a lot of the mundane stuff that unfortunately seems to permeate too much of all of our time. Which is exactly why I like escaping with books, podcasts, and shows like these—and I’m betting you will too.
The cover story of the current issue of The Atlantic magazine, The Last Temptation, tells the story of evangelical Christians and Trump. You know how when you’re thinking something and then someone says it so much more eloquently than you ever could? That’s me and this article. Michael Gerson, a columnist for The Washington Post and former Bush (43) speechwriter, dives deep into the issue of how evangelicals have elected a President with values far from their own. It’s fascinating and disturbing. Which could really be said for anything to do with the current administration.
If you’re not listening to The Daily, the podcast from Michael Barbaro at The New York Times, you’re missing one of the coolest current news sources. I’m obsessed. But that’s not what I wanted to tell you about. Last week, The Daily featured the first of a new mini-series called Caliphate. It’s a podcast with Rukmini Callimachi, who covers terrorism for The Times, that follows her to the front lines with ISIS. I’ve only listened to one (because I am cheap and refuse to pay for the subscription required to listen early to more), but they’ll be releasing them for free over the next few weeks. If the first one is any indication, this is going to get really good.
I was in Oregon last week for work and for fun. I love the West Coast. Like, really love it. But I love it in the same way I love other countries. Because the Pacific Northwest and the American South might as well be different planets sometimes. Anyway, I keep thinking this while watching the new Netflix docuseries, Wild Wild Country. The show is about the Rajneesh movement and commune in Oregon in the 1980s. The group clashes with the locals. It’s an interesting series. There’s criminal activity and free love—all the fun stuff with cults, you know? But it’s mostly just a really interesting look at that period in history.