A pretty good week for cultural consumption, if not necessarily for the culture:
In addition to the new Broken Record episode with Jason Isbell from earlier this week, my favorite show was the third episode from the second season of Michael Lewis’s Against the Rules.
The premise of the entire show — the feeling of the loss of fairness in American life — is fascinating, and I’ve particularly enjoyed this season’s ongoing look at the rise of coaches following the disappearance of refs (season one).
There’s a throwaway line in S2E3 about how the explosion in the popularity of coaching first required the culture to view everything in market terms. That’s a fascinating assertion I’d like to hear more about (and it reminds me of a friend’s thesis that coaches are the priestly class of the new “religion of work”).
Book on CD (!!), actually: a delightful second listen to George Saunders’s amazing Lincoln in the Bardo. Sure, the text is excellent, but it’s the full cast of 166 narrators — many of whom you know of — that makes for an audio experience like none other.
The rise of coaching might be new, but the unfairness of American life isn’t.
Two from the Oxford American, without further comment: