John Pistelli reviews The Silence, the new novel(la) from Don DeLillo that is currently sitting in my Amazon account, waiting for a cryptographically authenticated exchange to unlock it and trigger the download over the radio waves to my iPad.¹ He didn’t love it (and from the early reviews, I’m…hesitant?), but I liked this bit in particular about how DeLillo saw all of this already.
The nowhere beyond consciousness and its devices has always has been DeLillo’s cheif interest. He didn’t have to wait for social media and the smartphone to comment on the transformation of the human by surveillance and control grids; he saw it already, long ago, not only in the shape of corporate power and government conspiracy, but in the everyday currency of the consumer culture. … With DeLillo as with an earlier Italian visionary, the way out is the way down: a passage out of the grid and into the ineffable numinous can be found in the technoculture as in language — especially in language. …
If you have HBO or HBO Max, then you owe it to yourself to queue up American Utopia, the film of David Byrne’s Broadway show directed by Spike Lee. It’s just chock full of joy…and beautiful gray suits. I loved this bit from Rachel Syme’s piece in The New Yorker, comparing the suits of Utopia to The Suit of Stop Making Sense.
In “Stop Making Sense,” Byrne was prominently placed onstage, an outsized front man in that eye-catching big suit, while the rest of the band often receded into a shadowy blob. It is striking how the gray suits of “American Utopia” accomplish the very opposite, telegraphing a rare kind of harmony, and a lack of hierarchy, within the group performance, even if that performance is Byrne’s brainchild. Each member of the company gets a chance to solo, to stand out, to fly separately from the flock.
Moxie Marlinspike, in a profile by Anna Wiener in The New Yorker. If you want more words by Moxie, might I recommend his story of how he almost died of hypothermia while sailing, and his 2012 blog post “The Worst.”