How to Spend 42 Days Stuck in Your Room

From Lithub:

A Journey Around My Room was written in 1790 by a young French officer named Xavier de Maistre, who had found himself in some trouble over a duel (illegal) and was sentenced to house arrest. (I read it in a translation by Andrew Brown). In the centuries before ankle-monitoring bracelets and the like, the authorities relied on the honor of young noblemen to fulfill their sentences after they had misbehaved. De Maistre, then 27, was a man of honor and did, indeed, stay inside his Turin room for the full 42 days the court had ordered. With nothing else to do, he wrote a guidebook to his room, visiting over the course of those weeks various bits of furniture, paintings, his bookshelf, letters he’d kept, and his own memory of a charming and slightly rakish life—albeit one studded with war and loss as well.

De Maistre makes a case for traveling around his room as the truest kind of travel—and also the most democratic type of travel that has or will ever exist:

The pleasure you find in traveling around your room is safe from the restless jealousy of men; it is independent of the fickleness of fortune. After all, is there any person so unhappy, so abandoned, that he doesn’t have a little den into which he can withdraw and hide away from everyone? Nothing more elaborate is needed for the journey.

There is No Bottom

I woke up from a nap earlier and heard people saying that Trump was crowing about his BIG RATINGS for his press conferences. And, sure enough… Yep. He’s proud that the pandemic, where thousands of people have died so far, and hundreds of thousands of more are estimated to die in the US alone, is getting his daily lie-filled pressers, big ratings. Holy shit.