Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on Twitter, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for last week’s post. Feel free to share this with friends, offer suggestions via the comments, or connect with me on Twitter @bradbravard. Let’s begin!
Lars Eighner passed away this past December (for some reason, the often-unreliable New York Times only reported it last week). Eighner is best known for Travels with Lizbeth, the extraordinary chronicle of his experience with homelessness. Travels with Lizbeth (Lizbeth being Eighner’s dog, who was central to both Eighner’s life and the book) explores much of what’s wrong with America – class exploitation, suburban sprawl, a culture of consumption and waste – but entirely from a first-person perspective that is never preachy. I doubt I could have endured the way Eighner did, and his devotion to his dear friend Lizbeth was an inspiration.
I’m re-reading James Michener‘s 1978 novel Chesapeake and pondering where Michener fits in the landscape of American literature. Sprawling, blockbuster novels are a rare thing these days, making Chesapeake and other such Michener novels a rare treat. Like so many revered creative types, he can be a problematic figure: widely rumored to have worked with ghost writers, Michener rarely talked about his personal life, which was far from perfect but also not as scandal-ridden as many. The fact remains, Michener asked us to be patient in tracing the path of history, a patience we sorely need today. He showed us the breathtaking beauty of the natural world and our duty to exist in that world peacefully. If, like me, you appreciate well-written, century-spanning tales, give any of Michener’s big books a try: Chesapeake, Centennial, The Source, and Hawaii are good places to start.
I did not enjoy living in Stockton, California, and was happy to leave. But circumstances have got me revisiting my past haunts, and one bright spot in Stockton was El Señor Frog’s, where I was a lunch-time regular all those years ago. These contemplations call to mind Reflections on Time and Place: 2000 – 2018, a project I published in 2020. El Señor Frog’s is the same restaurant, but of course it’s also not the same more than twenty years after my last visit. If you happen to find yourself in California’s Central Valley, try to pay a visit to El Señor Frog’s. I can’t promise the food is still as good, but any restaurant that can hang on 34 years (according to their social media accounts) in such a place deserves a little credit.
4) Twitter Wisdom:
Paul Krugman is that rare economist who thinks in real-world terms, not ideological abstractions. Follow him on Twitter at @PaulKrugman for insight into what MSM headlines often get wrong, including his analysis of why it’s dangerous to compare largely peaceful BLM demonstrations (peaceful aspirations for equality) with the violent right-wing extremists trying to take over Ottawa (intent to cause bodily, property, and economic harm).
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.