August 15, 2021

MARK JUDGE: Kavanaugh in the Suburbs.

The true end of the world, however, arrived in September of 2018. The Smash-Up takes place during the confirmation battle of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. As the world knows, Kavanaugh was accused of sexual misconduct when he was in high school in the early 1980s, a charge that was not proven even after an FBI background check. Zo has pronounced Kavanaugh guilty, and is consumed with her feminist women’s group, the ironically named “All Them Witches.” All Them Witches meet in the Fromes’ living room “to make posters and write postcards and process the dumpster fire that is the news these days.” Zo addictively buys furniture they don’t need, spends a lot of time lecturing representatives from companies that have any whiff of sexism, racism, or “transphobia,” and taunts cops to arrest her. Zo and Ethan’s 11-year-old daughter Alex has severe ADHD and they’ve hired twenty-something Maddy for help, who is the only thing that makes Ethan feel alive.

Before exploring how the story in The Smash-Up unfolds, some full disclosure. I myself was near the center of the insanity that overtook America during the Kavanaugh hearings. His accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, claimed that I was in the room when Kavanaugh assaulted her. A different woman claimed that Kavanaugh and I, as high school kids, had drugged and gang raped girls. Ford’s accusations were never proven, and the lawyer who made the later charge is now in prison for extortion. While it’s reasonable to conclude that I cannot be objective in writing about what happened, I think that I can be fair. Benjamin is a marvelous writer. I haven’t enjoyed or been absorbed as much by a novel in years. It’s understandable why her previous book, The Thing About Jellyfish, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her talent is enormous, at times even staggering.

Read the whole thing.

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