The Deluge, noun
1: an (almost) weekly stream of consciousness rant about art, politics, and whatever else is in my mind.
2: an excuse to weed my mind's garden of errant thoughts and get back to working  on the novel.

As far back as 2016 I was aware of how politics was devouring a not insignificant chunk of my life, perhaps not as much as others but enough to make me uncomfortable with how much this interfered with long-term goals of mine (being someone with perpetually out of reach long-term goals, I wouldn't necessarily take up the offer of eternal life so much as an extra three hundred years) but these tumultuous times we have been living through and the subsequent news deluge were severe enough to warrant my attention for the time being while consequentially remaining more interesting than any tv show or novel I happened to pick up (reality outstrips fiction wherever it models the things fiction could never sell, believability being a liability to fiction that the real world is never bound to).

The previous administration never rose to the level of an existential threat (though never for a lack of trying and though they seriously bungled the pandemic response) but it did chip away at this country's civic order consistently over a period of years that finally bore nasty fruit in civil strife this year. The things that took place in 2020 are things I feared for at the start of 2016: the possibility of a real emergency, of civic disorder, colliding with the intellectual shortfalls of fundamentally unserious man.

I maintain that populism, whatever shape it takes, is a nasty and pernicious force through which untold horrors are channeled and unleashed upon its designated scapegoats by a lazy and unimaginative people. That their targets never change, are never updated, that they shadowbox the same phantom constructs now as they did centuries ago, speaks to this never being an ideology of innovative or original thought. It is an authoritarian tendency, only concerned with power in how it can be wielded like a cudgel against those it disfavors with an ever present conspiratorial fervor. I am against this in all its forms.

But for now this unique and dodgy bullshit is on the lull in American halls of power and I am left with a level of media consumption I've always been uncomfortable with. And so a grand reconfiguration is in order. This isn't to say I'll unplug completely, or not remain more informed than the average person, but the doom scrolling needs to be dialed back a bit in favor of reading less books worth of articles and more actual books.

Time to reckon with that worrying trend line: is reading prose fiction for me?

Hot Wet & Sassy by TOBACCO
I Don't Love Me Anymore by Oneohtrix Point Never
Gideon Falls Volume 1: The Black Barn by Jeff Lemire
Deerskin (directed by Quentin Dupieux)
The Undoing (directed by Susanne Bier)