I found out about the wonderfully named “Soylent” only a week ago. It’s a meal replacement drink created and funded like a crowd-sourced app. Let me say upfront: I long for it. I’m one of those people who are food-indifferent. I find cooking boring beyond belief and eating a duty rather than a pleasure. Obviously, not all the time, although my few British foodie passions – like rhubarb crumble or steak and kidney pudding – have long since been ruled out of bounds by my allergy to wheat. But a lot of the time, it just takes up time I’d much rather be doing something else. You can watch a good short doc about it here, and ponder how it could alleviate global hunger and environmental destruction. I think it’s cool to watch someone replace food entirely with it, but I don’t see why it has to be that extreme. As a way for me to eat breakfast and lunch while blogging, it appeals. Too many days, in the hours and hours of intense interaction with my laptop, I forget to eat either. And that’s no good. I’ll try to get some and report back.
On the other hand, Buzzfeed continues its relentlessly thorough campaign to turn all journalism into advertizing, with its no-negative-reviews book-review policy. Even those companies actually selling books, like Amazon, are unafraid of blistering critiques. Now, I understand the desire not to engage in trolling hatchet-jobs – that can be left in the capable hands of the culture police at, say The New Republic‘s back of the book. But no trenchant criticism at all? It doesn’t get more whorish to book advertisers than that. I guess we’re lucky we don’t yet have “native advertising” book “reviews” by the publishing houses. Takes out that irritatingly unpredictable character called the independent critic.
Some acute observations: Kurt Vonnegut on plot; James Baldwin’s piercing sanity; Wittgenstein on what religion really is; Saint Paul, who turned Christianity into a theology; a neuroscientist reflects on his own Parkinson’s; and a rare insight into what faith really means – and how it is given shape and nutrition and substance by doubt. After all, if you’ve never doubted something, have you ever truly believed it?
We spent the weekend introducing Bowie to Eddy. A few growls, some snarls, but also: play! At one point, all four of us were curled up, passed out on the bed, like a pack. Never used to happen with aloof Dusty. I can’t help feeling I’m being taught how to live by these creatures. Which makes sense, when you think about it.
See you in the morning.