We start this episode with Matt immediately blowing out the microphone with his holiday cheer, which didn't, this year, for him, include the solstice, but he did watch The Treasure of Pancho Villa, which was good. Hilary had a fire, but missed the Great Conjunction due to clouds.
In this chunk of chapters, as The Ministry for the Future begins its denouement, we discuss mourning and loss, the inevitable winding down into death, in spite of, or maybe as a part of, all the progress that's also being made.
What are we mourning, and how do we suffer? What is our relationship to the present--to America, to capitalism, to progress? What is Mary's relationship to Frank--one of care, of obligation, of happenstance? How (and why) do we mourn the loss of a myth of a world that has been the cause and condition of our suffering?
This is a time of stocktaking and accounting, of repair and reparation, of Pyrrhic defeat that beggars all comparison and once again demonstrates the failure of analogy while simultaneously succumbing to its inevitability.
We reflect on left melancholia and self-delusion and the utopia of scientific conferences. We reflect on the impossibility of measuring the scale between the loss of a life and the loss of an ocean. We solve the riddle of Chapter 95. Well, Hilary does. Matt is too doped up on holiday cheer.
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