There’s no formal newsletter this week. I was going to make a valiant effort, on the theory that some issues of a weekly column will inevitably be kinda half-assed, but when someone at a meeting I attended this weekend said “Newton invented calculus during a plague,” and someone responded to my tut-tutting with, “I’m too busy to be depressed,” something in me snapped. The idea that you can hustle or busy your way out of grief and/or depression is one of the most toxic ideas in American life. In that moment, I decided, no, the absolute last thing anyone needs is a display of my commitment to the artificial discipline of a weekly Substack.
Productivity under pressure is a complicated thing—some people find it comforting, some people find it necessary, and some of us, like this writer for Vox, and, let’s be honest, me, find it nearly impossible. My brain, and perhaps yours, is processing information very, very slowly at the moment. Fortunately, no one’s making me write this newsletter but me. So, I’m taking a little breather.
But we can still catch up in real time tonight, at the Quarantine Book Club discussion of Freedom’s Laboratory. If you’ve ever wanted to see the expression on my face when someone says, “But Audra, what about Lysenkoism?!,” this is your chance! Use this link to register (use code ALLAREWECOME if $5 is a hardship in these financially stressful and uncertain times), and you’ll receive a Zoom link two hours before the start time of 8 p.m. EDT/5 p.m. PDT.
Join us if it sounds fun, or don’t if it sounds like work—you need rest, too.
Thanks for your patience, see you next week (most likely), and be well.