In more than a decade on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, American forces have never been routed. American combat units have suffered extensive casualties, but they have never disintegrated into a helpless mass of individual soldiers, capable of nothing more than a desperate flight for safety.
“I’ve got a little list,” sang Ko-Ko in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado. I have got—or, more accurately, I am on—about 20 of them: Email newsletters to which I subscribe, and which appear in my inbox throughout the day. How I made it through life without all of these lists, which bring me the latest news on economics, politics, literature, foreign policy, defense, and media, I do not know. I am not quite sure how I will make it through life with them, either.
“Email newsletters, an old-school artifact of the web that was supposed to die along with dial-up connections, are not only still around, but very much on the march,” writes David Carr of the New York Times. And newsletters, in my experience, are not lone wolves. They overwhelm.
If you take away one message from Snowpiercer, let it be this: If we panic about global warming and rush forward with a half-thought-out solution, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all loaded onto a massive, world-circling locomotive and murdered by egg-delivering psychopaths on the orders of a mystery man in the thrall of a train engine.
As I sat down for lunch at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, and Stone Crab in downtown D.C., with my friend Vic Matus to discuss his new book, there was little question about what would accompany our meal.
We were there to talk vodka and Vic’s new book, Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America. We figured we might as well get some first-hand experience with the subject matter.