Chuck Palahniuk on the Joe Rogan Experience #1158

Rogan bores into Palahniuk’s work process and ethic, raises questions about the limits of darkness in literature, and Palahniuk’s financial problems due to embezzlement. At one point, Rogan asks Palahniuk how he feels about not being able to recuperate the money that an accountant had run away with and he responds, “Between you and me, I don’t care anymore.” Just to clarify, Palahniuk doesn’t care about $35 million.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson on the Joe Rogan Experience #1159

This came right after the episode with Palahniuk. For people who want to listen to BB-8s flawed physics, the fact that two basketballs can almost fit into a basketball hoop side by side, the impact of flying cars on traffic, and why maybe a Space Force is necessary.

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Sally Rooney’s Conversation With Friends

In a novel exploring a particular type of 21st century relationship, Rooney looks into how flawed we can be and despite the awareness of that, we (choose to) do little to fix it. She nails the way people talk through emails and texts but seems to miss the mark when it comes down to face-to-face dialogue. Or maybe I am just out of touch from both the worlds depicted: poor Irish writing students mingling with rich Irish bourgeois. Still, it leaves me intrigued, and I’ll be looking for this year’s Normal People.

Sebastian Barry’s Days Without End

A serving of intricate language and a gripping storyline. I never thought I could care about fiction set in wartime until I read this book. As the phrase goes, war is in indeed hell. Barry shows that in the darkness love finds places to grow too.

UFC Lincoln

Cory Sandhagen on how he beat Thiago Alcantara, despite the latter getting a pretty deep arm bar in the first round: “I went in to this fight telling myself I was not losing this fight. I do not care. I felt a pop, I felt a break, it didn’t matter to me.”

Sen Morimoto’s Cannonball!

Hip-hop and jazz meet on this Chicagoan’s album, pretty easily making my top ten list for the year. There’s no flexing but plenty of muscle. The jazz flourishes without overindulgence.

Goldmund’s All Will Prosper

This album accompanied me on my trip through Barry’s novel. On its own, a previous listen barely sparked an interest. Consequence of Sound’s Frank Mojica quite rightly summed up the demand for an album of instrumental pieces of Civil War era songs as negligible. If anything, the guitar’s tone leans too far towards chamber music and after fifteen or so minutes, the stark contrast between one’s own electric-lit environment and the era evoked by the music is a bit stifling.

In using it as an accompaniment to Barry’s descriptions of queer playhouses, seasonal landscapes of pre-cement America, and card games before the battle, it’s perhaps a suggestion that sometimes music just needs a context in which to bloom.

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