Books

Damning with faint praise

From the PR for another one of these lefty books that tells us we need more state because coronavirus.

“The best thing I’ve read about how we got into this mess, and how we get out.”
Frankie Boyle

You’re using Frankie to do the blurb on a book of economics? Jeez, what did people who actually understand the subject say about it?

This is fun

French serial-killer expert admits serial lies, including murder of imaginary wife
Stéphane Bourgoin, whose books about murderers have sold millions, says he invented much of his experience, including training with FBI

OK.

An online investigation has exposed French author Stéphane Bourgoin, whose books about serial killers have sold millions of copies in France, as a serial liar.

Bourgoin is the author of more than 40 books and is widely viewed as a leading expert on murderers, having hosted a number of French television documentaries on the subject.

A profitable career then.

“I am profoundly and sincerely sorry. I am ashamed of what I did, it’s absolutely ridiculous,” he said.

No news as yet on where he’s going to send all the money illicitly gained…..

Well, yes, sorta, well, maybe

I am a fiction writer, an Ivy League adjunct professor, a mother to two kids. I was meant to write about all the ways there was no longer space for people like me to make a stable living; all the ways this country’s lack of safety net – it’s merciless adherence to late capitalism, the gig economy, the broken healthcare system – were grinding so many of us down. I wrote, both before and after Covid-19, about my lack of health insurance. I might also have written about our lack of dental insurance, the pain I feel and have for years, each time I chew.

Well, yes. Although having a look around:

To be clear, I believe that to be poor and broke are different – and my husband and I are not poor. Poor implies generational precariousness and instability, and though our lives are filled with financial uncertainty, we also have educations, credit cards and people we could call in dire circumstances.

What we are is people who were brought up to believe that wealth is intrinsically connected to one’s inherent worth, only to find, with two kids and in our late 30s, that, if that’s the case, we’re not worth much.

Well, ya know, sorta.

Two kids, stay at home father – who works on his novel at times apparently. Living in New York City, even if it is Brooklyn. Two literary novels to her name, one not even released yet (the average sale of a first novel is 300 copies).

What’s the surprise about poverty here? And, other than the idea that self-proclaimed artists get to live off the rest of us, what is to be done about it?

I’d love to write more non-fiction books. I’ve notes lying around for several of them in fact. My non-fiction books sell perhaps 500 copies a time. Thus something else has to be done to pay the bills. Shrug.

What other solution is there?

The things you learn

Via Guido I’ve just found out that Palme Dutt was a real person – commie party of GB or whatever.

So that’s where half of Dutt- Pauker comes from, what’s the other part?

Elsewhere

What’s the difference between social democracy and a social market economy? Aren’t they not broadly identical?

Tim Worstall, former Journalist
Answered just now
Very similar indeed. Which isn’t much use if you’re Anthony Giddens and want to sell everyone your new idea. So, you propose what is social democracy, call it a social market economy and go count your book royalties.

Sure, that’s cynical but not all that far from the truth either.

Helping out David Friedman

You should go here.

If you have any of the required accents then record the quotes and send them in.

Although there is a confusion there about the King James. Surely even Americans know that God is an Englishman?

Books to avoid

Taking on fear, motherhood, friendship, activism, and the joys and perils of being alone, Kern maps the city from new vantage points, laying out an intersectional feminist approach to urban histories and proposes that the city is perhaps also our best hope for shaping a new urban future. It is time to dismantle what we take for granted about cities and to ask how we can build more just, sustainable, and women-friendly cities together.

From the email offers of free books I’ll not bother to get sent to me…..

Sounds good Rod

You might want to flesh out this syllabus into a fuller version:

On Tuesday, in chemistry, my daughter will learn how you can set fire to a photograph of Greta Thunberg using only a small cube of sodium and a bowl of water. The gender studies module will be incorporated — with great brevity — into a maths lesson on binary numbers. In geography she will be asked to challenge the belief inculcated into her seemingly every week that poverty in Africa is solely the consequence of colonialism, with special reference to Ethiopia and Liberia (never colonised) and Singapore and Malaysia (colonised for some 140 years).

This is indeed a grand chance to reverse the programming.

I know, let’s write a book, right here!

There’s a moment in one of the Andy Rooney (Hell, maybe all of them) where he looks up and says “I know, let’s put on a show. Right here, in the barn!”

At which point, let’s do a book. On the subject of Love in the time of coronavirus. As back here. Take a book, a film, a video game, anything like that. And redo the plot, or a description, or an extract, to reflect today’s troubled times.

Ecksie’s “Great Expectorations” is a super example.

“”Jamie’s Coronavirus Cookbook” – come on, we know it’s only a matter of time.” could be another.

We’ve all got more than a little extra time right now. Poetry, song lyrics, why not?

And can we get 200 pages by Monday? Stick it up on Amazon and see what happens. If it sells 5 copies (there will be a week of free downloads so we all get a copy or three) which is the likely outcome then OK, pays the server for a bit. If it actually sells then we’ll work out something reasonable on copyrights.

” Smokey and the Bandit – Burt Reynolds smuggles hand sanitizer across state lines.”

“Lysistrata – Democratic women withhold sex until their husbands bring in paid family leave to solve the crisis. Of limited effect given the sexual tastes of, respectively, D women and D men.”

Rules. No wild swearing. Other than that, well.

Entries in the comments here or email them direct.

Donations

Just a heads up.
We have been getting a few reports of people receiving emails asking them to donate to TimWorstall.com and ContinentalTelegraph.com via Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency with offers of rewards (of the payment variety, not sexual (sadly). We only process donations through DonorBox using Visa, Mastercard and PayPal.

Rich

PS.
Donors should have received a copy of:
Tim Worstall – Fact Checking Pollyanna
Kristian Niemietz – Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies
Dr. Eamonn Butler – The Condensed Wealth of Nations

If you didn’t get your links, let us know.

We will be issuing free resource each month from January 2020. 

Huanglongbing

Umm:

Orange juice could be saved by dogs who have been trained to sniff out a devastating disease in fruit trees. The blight known as huanglongbing – or citrus greening – has already caused an 80 per cent drop in citrus fruit production in Florida and if not curtailed, it is predicted to destroy the entire industry.

Why do I suspect that Sir Pterry is alive and well and working in a disease naming lab somewhere?

What is this bullshit?

she is a white Latina, and received a seven-figure advance for the novel.

This is a tale as old as time. White novelists have always borrowed the voices and experiences of others to tell stories that they don’t have the access and insight to accurately tell. Where does the responsibility lie, here? Is it with the publishing industry, which has consistently opted to publish these culturally lacklustre stories from unequipped authors? It would be easy enough for them to seek a novelist who could write an authentic American Dirt. Or is it up to the author to say: “This story isn’t mine to tell”?

Of course, writers should explore a multitude of narratives. We should be inclusive and reflect the society around us. But the Mexican community is large, and Mexican writers have stories to tell. Let them earn the seven-figure advances. It’s a small amount of compensation for the trauma that comes with a life so sensational it’s worthy of being fictionalised.

It’s fiction you idiot. Made up stuff. Where is this drivel coming from?

Candice Carty-Williams was born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver and a dyslexic Jamaican-Indian receptionist. She is a journalist, screenwriter, and author of the Sunday Times bestselling Queenie, a book described as ‘vital’, ‘disarmingly honest’ and ‘boldly political’. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) Short Story Prize, the first inclusive initiative of its kind in book publishing.

Massive, eh?

Amazingly, they’ve found a writer worse than Jessica Valenti

It’s become a grim ritual among the women I know: as soon as there is news of another mass shooting, we wait to hear the inevitable story about the shooter’s history of hurting women. (The shooter is always a man.) Sometimes he’s been violent to his mother or grandmother. More often, police reports reveal his history of abusing his girlfriend or wife.

But almost always he practiced his violence on a woman long before he planned his massacre, and within a day of the slaughter we’re sharing this history with impotent grief, asking again and again, what will it take to take women’s lives seriously? If we took women’s lives seriously, if men who abused the women in their lives faced any kind of real consequences, would the people we are now preparing to bury be alive today?

That’s a complicated question, tangled up with gun politics and our failed criminal justice system. But the core reality remains stark: it’s impossible to contain the suffering that stems from discounting and disbelieving women.

If we refused to accept the daily suffering of women and girls at the hands of men who claim to love them, we would have a federal policy removing guns from abusers, and we would ensure that it worked in practice. And we would have a lot fewer gun deaths. Period.

True, she’s written a book with Valenti but still, imagine being compared to Jessica and coming off second?

Noodle armed or what?

M*A*S*H is a rare example of a movie that has been eclipsed by its television adaptation. The 1983 finale of the long-running sitcom about a medical unit near the front lines of the Korean war was the highest-rated single television episode in history, with 125m viewers tuning in. It’s understandable that Robert Altman’s 1970 film, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month, lives in its shadow. The subversive anti-war comedy avoided sentimentality and teachable moments in favor of cruel pranks and a more hardened cynicism. Coming at the start of cinema’s most famous decade, it is a seminal film of New Hollywood, and it bears all the hallmarks of its era: a strong anti-establishment sentiment, the foregrounding of morally ambiguous protagonists, and, unfortunately, a deep and unexamined misogyny.

Eh?

and while one could argue that this misogyny is in some ways the subject of the movie – that the men are reverting to their primal selves amid the throes of war – the film itself tips its hand in the closing credits,

Y’know, that could be it. War and men….

I’ll tell you what’s wrong with this novel

So, new novel out. Oprah book club etc. ‘But Mexicans and violence and – and it’s wrong, d’ye see?

Gurba says the most frustrating part about the attention around American Dirt and the large advance Cummins received is the scant attention Chicano narratives, written by Chicano people, receive. “The machine that is supporting this book is dystopian in nature. Meanwhile, I have published three books through indie presses and have not made more than $5,000 on them. That gives you a sense of what value is being ascribed to authentic voices.”

It’s selling more than my books.

Jealousy is, of course, very human but it’s not all that attractive, is it?

This doesn’t bode well, does it?

Vicky Pryce’s new book. About why capitalism causes gender inequality.

Sigh.

Look who blurbs it:

“Superb. An authoritative manual for the men upholding capitalism while holding back women and the economy, and a guidebook for women who want to change the world.”– Ann Pettifor, author of The Production of Money

“A long overdue dissection of the vital subject of gender equality, through Vicky Pryce’s forensic economic lens.” — Polly Toynbee, The Guardian

“A shocking, lucid account of how capitalism holds women back. If we are all to have a future, government policy must fundamentally change. Now.” — Danny Dorling, University of Oxford; author of All That Is Solid and Peak Inequality

“Vicky Pryce lends an eloquent voice and a forensic analysis to the growing worldwide realisation that capitalism needs to change.”– Kate Pickett, co-author of The Spirit Level

“Vicky Pryce is one of Britain’s most distinguished economic commentators. Her impassioned criticism and rich analysis argue powerfully that women’s economic equality is both a moral question, and good economic sense. A clear-sighted call for change.”– Rachel Reeves MP

“Gender equality is an ongoing struggle fought on several fronts. The economic case presented here by Vicky Pryce has never been made so well or so vigorously.”– Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, author, columnist and broadcaster

It’s gonna be tosh, isn’t it?