Thursday, December 21, 2017

Don;t Get Too Comfortable (your life's course is changing). Essays by David Rakoff

     David Rakoff. Don’t Get too Comfortable (2005) Rakoff died in 2012. He wrote pieces about culture, mostly about examples of excess, such as the last essay in this book, which reports on cryogenics. (A technology to freeze you so that at some point many centuries hence you can be unfrozen and resume your life. Though why people many centuries hence would want to unfreeze you is a question that apparently never occurs to the believers).
     That parenthetical remark is the kind of thinking Rakoff does, and as often as not triggers in the reader. That makes him a valuable analyst of our times. He was revered as a humourist, but he’s really a satirist. The occasional one-liners and jokes are as on-topic and often as biting as his analytic comments.
     Many of these pieces were written during the Bush years, and some refer back to Reagan. Rakoff was one of the first to recognise that the Republicans were going down a road of self-destruction. As always when a dragon self-destroys, the thrashing of its tail in ita death throes causes damage around it. That’s what’s happening now.
     There I go again, thinking like Rakoff.
     He writes about food, fashion, plastic surgery, politics, flying on the Concorde, and many other topics, trivial and significant, mundane and exotic. The title applies to all of them. There’s an undertone of existential panic, a how-did-we-get-here apprehension of unknown and unexpected consequences.  You can see why I recommend this book. ****

No comments: