Wednesday, April 15
Not every day can be taken up with anxiety about the pandemic. The global sickness is exhausting. Statistics, inflated or deflated, are exhausting. (New York City has raised its death count past 10,000 by adding 3,700 more dead who were never actually tested for COVID-19.) Trump, Fauci, Cuomo, and so forth are exhausting, just as Trump, Schiff, Mueller, Pelosi, and those now-forgotten impeachment actors were once exhausting. Could Biden win an election just because people of all political stripes are beyond sick to death of that raspy, hollering, Mar-A-Lago-located larynx? Wouldn’t the MAGA types rather attend a Klan rally than bother to go to the polls?
Yesterday on Twitter, some dissenting soul posted a satirical, Establishment-mocking bumper sticker: BIDEN/Clinton. I almost hurled my Mac Powerbook against the wall.
Did our current troubles really begin with someone eating a bat or a pangolin? Or is it politically incorrect to ask this question? According to the website dawn.com (https://www.dawn.com/news/1485298) the pangolin is the most trafficked animal in the world: Many Chinese like to eat its meat, and its ground-up scales are valued for alleged aphrodisiac properties and as cures for muscular and joint pain. Just how many other animals are out there posing both dietary temptation and the potential extinction of the human race? And how does one prepare pangolin—stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and oyster sauce? Pangolin with pomegranate molasses? Pangolin marinaded in palm oil and pistachios?
The Times food writers are trying their best, but to quote the Four Tops, their best just ain’t good enough. Today’s culinary treat: “5 Fast Pastas for Long Days.” I know some folks out there have all of the needed ingredients on hand—and the writers say one should feel free to make substitutions. But…pecorino and mint? Chorizo and kale? Garlicky spinach and buttered pistachios? At this point, we’re lucky to have butter alone, and our supply of pecorino was never so very huge.
Yesterday afternoon, Emily and I discovered a silly, edge-of-the-seat thriller on Kanopy, The Night My Number Came Up featuring Michael Redgrave, Denholm Elliott, and several now-forgotten Ealing Studios veterans. A guy has a dream about a plane with eight passengers flying into trouble over Japan. He tells a couple of people about it. Then, of course, the dream begins to come true, as one detail after another falls into place. The plane is lost over sea, the radio fails, fuel runs short, it gets dark and stormy, one obnoxious passenger begins shouting, and…
…and we forgot all our troubles, being absorbed in the passengers’ phony ones.
…and then it was time for dinner!
Dinner tonight: corkscrew pasta with roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and charred walnuts, plus the inevitable green salad with cucumber and the remains of an avocado.
Entertainment: Jazz at Lincoln Center’s streaming video of a Worldwide Concert for Our Culture: musicians from across the planet perform, many from their living rooms. Then another, increasingly unsatisfying episode of Bordertown.