Figured out my housing situation from a random opportunity that came out of the blue from another graduate student. The place is super nice and is an upgrade in almost every way from my current situation. The only downgrade really is that the view is not as nice as what I currently have, but I’ve been pretty blessed with my current situation in that regard. I think what I am most excited for is a kitchen that far more than 1 person can comfortably be in as well as in unit laundry. No more quarters!
The Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix felt very American. Quick shoddy construction of a track around a stadium and manufactured beaches and yacht clubs to give it a more luxurious feel. I don’t know why this is such an American thing to manufacture illusions of grandeur, but it has never really not been a part of America. You visit the mansions of Newport and they’re trying to illicit Versailles and other european mansions without trying to have any character of their own. Pure fabrications to attempt to build a status and vibe by mimicking those who have it. I the other US grand prix in Austin feels a lot more normal as its a great track with no attempt to cultivate any sort of strange atmosphere other than racing. It’s cheap to attend to and makes no attempt at exclusivity. Maybe it’s just a Miami thing. I’ve never really been there so I can’t really comment, but I wish America could try to be more authentic to itself instead of continuing to being this strange kitsch culture.
A daily mix of music that Spotify changes daily (duh) so I cannot share it, but it was all pretty dream pop based.
Finished The Rings of Saturn. The book wraps up with a discussion on the proliferation of silk production through the world and how various european powers tried to industrialize it or prevent the industrialization of it in various ways. I think it was the French who had an official who opposed it as he felt that it would remove a large portion of the laboring class from their current position, and that this would be problematic since the army drew their best musketeers from them. It was interesting to see how these officials considered potential changes to the working culture and what downstream effects it would have on their nation as a whole. We see various forms of this happening today. In the US it is subtle in the various ways people are encouraged to perform various tasks (military recruitment and advertising although is a little sketchy - the hollywood and video game ties in particular). In the late 1700s and early 1800s the germans got caught up in the craze, but it ultimately failed to catch on. A century later the Nazis tried to bring up silk production again because of the purity of the silk they could produce which was now being tied to the cultural purity. Sebald was good at drawing various connections like this to events across time and it was pleasant to read in general.