We're back, after an unexpected and unexpectedly long hiatus!
This chapter finds Nirgal trying to find himself, to locate and perhaps localize himself on the planet Mars, amid the network of force relations constituted by his family, the Martian political system, the changed and changing environment, and the mythology of his own existence.
Matt starts by making a joke about blackface, which is so last week. Hilary is teaching Aurora for the first time, and it's a very emotional book! It doesn't help that it's Winter Quarter at the University of Chicago, the longest and most stressful quarter there is. They also talk about the Green New Deal and how important and good and awesome it is.
Then they get into it. Mars is, as predicted, working as a kind of psychological safety-valve for the people of Earth, or that's how it seems to William Fort and his crew. This chapter is about scale and scalability in many ways--how the problems of a single person, or two people, or a bunch of weird micro-micro-microorganisms no one knew existed might just amount to a hill of beans, or at least marmots, in this crazy mixed-up world(s).
Nirgal is unrooted. He has a problem with Jackie raising a child alone, for some reason, but he has no problem with fleeing from any role in the official politics of Mars. He's still on the hunt for some sort of parental anchor, listening to John Boone's A.I. He runs into Coyote on a park bench.
Matt and Hilary try to figure out what "the green and the white" means, or rather what it's for, what its use is. Does it make sense? To whom? What sense does it make? It seems like a conceptual framework that at least makes sense to Nirgal, kind of like a screen he can project onto. Of course it's ideological. But that just presents him with another problem: how to make that concept manifest in the world. How can he use it to organize his material reality?
He becomes an ecopoet. That doesn't work out so good. But Hilary's hellebore and euphorbia seems to be making it through our harsh Chicago winter!
This chapter has breathtaking landscapes seen from really cool jetgliders. Nirgal floats around the world like a dandelion spore, living in fairytale time, "looking for an image of himself." We are all just tubes of sentient worms.
Then Matt and Hilary try to figure out our finances, and conclude that you should all get 5000 of your friends to give us one dollar every month. (Just kidding!!!!) (But seriously, thank you for your donations!)
This, in my view, was a good episode, even though we’re both audibly yawning at various moments.
Hello Australia! Stay cool!
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