I finished reading Tom Hayden’s Reunion: A Memoir, the day Abbie Hoffman was found dead at the age of 52 in his Pennsylvania apartment, an apparent suicide. Reunion, which was completed prior to the break-up of Hayden’s 16-year marriage to the aerobics entrepreneur and sometime actress Jane Fonda, has a sort of happy ending – the title refers to Hayden’s reconciliation with his father following a decade and a half of alienation. Hoffman’s end was evidently not so happy. It is a difficult metamorphosis, this one from celebrated young firebrand to middle-aged, sociological footnote. Change, settle down, or make any attempt at milking your arc of fame in the pursuit of another career, and you are branded a pathetic loser, a sell-out. Stay the same, and like Hoffman you become a grizzled embarrassing fossil with an entourage of fringe loners and assorted nuts.
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The minimalist Fumio Sasaki 'confesses that as he began to purchase fewer consumer goods, his meals shrank in size. He decluttered and lost weight. Accumulation is not just an economic way of life but a form of embodiment too. Enlightenment is reduction.'
'The river’s desecration mirrors Colombia’s long history of violence: "for years we treated it like a sewer," says Ahmed, a survivor of a particularly brutal paramilitary massacre, "just like we treated each other".'
Patrick Wilcken on the Magdalena.
It's 'all lively and entertaining but rather too black and white. Her account of British politics and the success of the Brexit campaign verges on the cartoonish.'
@David_Goodhart on Anne Applebaum's 'Twilight on Democracy'.