To a child, the adult world is oppressive in part because of its apparent competence, its air of knowing what ought to be done and when and what to call everything. The unending, dogged, elaborate, even painstaking failure of Plan 9—the way it seems to go out of its way to fail—was tonic to the imagination, a kind of carnivalesque reversal. I needed to see adult inadvertence, and name it as such; I needed to observe the little hole it made in the world.
- I have a substack
- New pieces on Rivette and Oyeyemi
- New essay: The Strange Undeath of Middlebrow
- New column for Plough
- Updates: Radio appearance, Fisher essay, column, Frank conversation, book order info
- Las Vegas Book Festival appearance/conversation with Thomas Frank
- A lot of updates at once
- Two “appearances”
I started your article because I am a fan of Mystery Science Theater, but your last two paragraphs were really meaningful to me: the importance of political dialogue but the inevitable pointless pain it causes those in conversation. You expressed perfectly what has been bothering me in these divided times (I am a leftist).