IT’S A GORGEOUS DAY—AND SPRING, AND THE SOUND OF LEAF BLOWERS, IS IN THE AIR
You can debate heaven and hell all you like, but I know there is a Devil, because who else could have devised a more hideous machine than the leaf blower. It’s a truly vile invention, guaranteed to remove tranquility for impressive distances—guaranteed to make it near impossible for a writer to write. This is not a culturally friendly device.
I once had the experience of trying to edit a book in Brooklyn—in high summer—with two leaf blowers screaming away nearby. In addition, apart from the fact that it was hot enough already—my hosts turned the central heating on accidentally (or so they said). Now, when I see scenes on TV or in movies about being captured and tortured, I can relate.
But why should someone be using one in early March? I have absolutely no idea. I encountered it as I was on my daily walk today. And yes, it was accompanied by a figure that looked vaguely human—but I could have sworn wore horns and had a tail. Hard to be sure amidst the swirling dust.
Leaf blowers apart, Seattle is rather wonderful in good weather, and pretty tolerable even in the rain. Today, I could see the snow-clad top of Mount Rainier in the distance. This is quite a city.
The above—very striking and rather creepy—illustration is from the New York Journal of Books—not to be confused with the New York Review of Books (though of course it is). I’m delighted to see it. Traditionally, print media reviewed books, but poor old print is taking a hammering, and though blogs have taken up the slack—some very well indeed—I still feel there is something to be said for the magazine format, even if in electronic form.
I wish the New York Journal of Books well. They are making us all more aware of books—which has to be a good thing—and what I have read from them so far has considerable merit. They have also evolved a rather neat way of reviewing books on Facebook. Check them out.
But surely I am biased in favor of anything—preferably without horns and a tail—that promotes books?
I would like to think I have some discrimination—but I plead guilty.