Today’s guest is historian Sarah Milov, the author of a fascinating new book about the history of the cigarette and its role in shaping American commerce and polity.
I find it’s a little hard to go to sleep at night during this particularly chaotic moment in history. New information, breaking news, news alerts – my phone dings me at all hours, not once but at least twice (I get messages from the Washington Post and the New York Times in twos.). It’s hard to keep up. Sometimes sleep seems pointless. It’s not that I think I need to know everything immediately because I can do something about it. I don’t have those delusions. Sometimes I find myself missing pieces of stories, and then have a harder time catching up. Complicating all of this is that news only is extruded through partisan filters. I know it. You know it. And we’re being told not to believe what we see or hear. These are crazy times, but we will plough through. Right?
We have to locate our true selves and our true norths, and try not to get too swept up in the events of the day/hour even though we are paying attention. We can try to avoid the news, but realistically I just won’t be doing that. I like to know. Like Chauncey Gardner, in “Being There”, I like to know.
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This week I appreciate my five things even more than usual.
1. Learning to write a little more personally. I have resisted the trend to write memoir and until recently haven’t had this itch to scratch. However, I’ve been dipping my toes through this blog, and it’s not always horrible, and I don’t feel I’m giving too much away.
2. Dresses. I find myself becoming more attracted to wearing dresses. Yes, I throw on jeans most days of the week, but a dress is so easy. No figuring out what goes with what, what shoes go with that, and so on.
3. My very verbal #Exhibits ™. They know how to express themselves, which is a great gift. Each has a distinctive voice, both in their written and spoken expressions. It’s been noticed that talk has been somewhat competitive in my family of origin. For worse (not really better) I may have passed that along to my spawn.
5. Nancy Pelosi. Our Speaker of the House. What a cool leader, and by cool I mean calm, in control, and focused. I have a lot of faith in her.
Here are some links to learn more about SARAH MILOV
THE CIGARETTE: A POLITICAL HISTORY - Harvard University Press - (Pub date: October 2, 2019) - https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674241213&content=bios