amazing, as expected.
Highlights include observations on television: “And I’m not saying that television is vulgar and dumb because the people who compose Audience are vulgar and dumb. Television is the way it is simply because people tend to be extremely similar in their vulgar and prurient and dumb interests and wildly different in their refined and aesthetic and noble interests. It’s all about syncretic diversity: neither medium nor Audience is faultable for quality.”
the use of irony in same “Irony has only emergency use. Carried over time, it is the voice of the trapped who have come to enjoy their cage.”
the title essay puts into words exactly how I feel about hotels in way I hadn’t been able to “if pampering and radical kindness don’t seem motivated by strong affection and thus don’t somehow affirm one or help assure one that one is not, finally, a dork, of what final and significant value is all this indulgence and cleaning?”
And his trip to the IL state fair (though silver medal to his account of the lobster festival in “Consider the Lobster”) and accounts of sub-pro tennis, of which I didn’t highlight anything but were still great.