by Matthew Specktor in New Trends on Friday 23 October 2009

Sometimes pessimism is more encouraging than optimism, because more is true. I’m a huge fan of Straw Dogs, but the English counter-Humanist philosopher’s Heresies is just as bracing: ‘Belief in progress is the Prozac of the thinking classes’. Living in Los Angeles, where a brittle, self-obsessed ‘hopefulness’ is everywhere, I might need this writer (who certainly shouldn’t be confused with the Men Are From Mars guy) even more than you do. But you do, you do.