Author’s note: I read my first Joan Didion book this week. (I know, I know. I knooooow.) Naturally, as is to be expected when people say things like “What do you mean you haven’t read Joan Didion?” it was everything. Sheer elegant perfection that I have absolutely no idea how to review. How does the apprentice critique the master? The parishioner judge the pope? So instead I just wrote this.
The center was not holding. It was a time of celebrities and sensationalism, 24/7 news coverage, mob-like vitriol and profound cultural change. Debt begat debt begat debt. Politics devolved to the starkest red and the muddiest blue; together they became a bruise. I decided to go to Williamsburg. Brooklyn was where they congregated, the mustachioed intellectuals of the next generation, the Great Young Hope, self-named guardians of a nostalgic ethos that valued art and fashion, but also social justice and making things by hand. Williamsburg was a leading franchise of the post-2000 hipster revolution, the era of artisanal bath products and ironic suspenders. Continue reading