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Briefly: I don’t know why I trust Rolling Stone and PopMatters anymore. Maybe it’s because I Want To Believe. In this case, I wanted to believe Springsteen had made yet another staggering return to form in the vein of Magic (his last truly great album, now five years old). I was heartened by reports of a bold new sonic template and new energy fueled by the economic collapse. Instead, it’s a 50/50 mix of slowed-down rewrites of “Devils & Dust” (a great song, but not with the new pandering lyrics of the handful of Wrecking Ball songs that ape it) and bland Irish drinking songs with new lyrics about blue-collar jobs. In effect, Springsteen has turned into a stereotype of himself, which is disappointing.

Last week, I had a vacation. Even though I spent far too much of it taking care of Adult Responsibilities I’ve put off, I did manage to find some time to relax. Longtime readers know I’m not very good at relaxing, so this is a bold new step undoubtedly constructed by the pyramid power of Cymbalta, therapy, and paleo. I feel better than I’ve felt in a very, very long time (possibly ever), so even though the week brought some disappointments—I intentionally flooded the job market with my résumé in hopes of nabbing some interviews during my vacation week, but that didn’t happen; also, I’m almost comically poor and had to accept an exorbitant loan to finance grad school—I feel pretty good about where I am. But I’m not content to stay there. I’m just not despairing about it—looking toward the future, not the decisions that got me to this lowly state.

I’ve been reading a controversial book—so controversial, indeed, that I don’t really feel like mentioning the title, because I’m not interested in arguing about it—that, I’m surprised to say, has begun influencing my thinking. I can see how easily its views can be and have been corrupted by retards—which isn’t new; see also: organized religion—and it’s not even that the views are new to me. It’s just a fresh perspective on things I already knew, wrapped in my preferred guise (a novel) to make it easier to digest. I guess because I’m not thinking, “How does this apply to me?” I’m reading about characters going through things, and it helps my own issues snap into focus.

I know this will depress you all, but I don’t have a ton to say. This is pretty much it for this week.

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