He Who Should Not Be Named

Pseudo-Review of The Premonition and The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

It was hard to imagine anyone wading into that passage voluntarily, much less giving it a second thought. The words mattered less for what they said than for what they could be made to say. Like the words in the Holy Bible or the U.S. Constitution, they invited the problem of how they might be interpreted, and by whom, and for what purposes. -Michael Lewis, The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

Just finished reading two Michael Lewis books back to back. And boy did I eat them up, dear worst-reader. The thing is, Lewis has an incredible knack for story telling even though his subject matter is far from fictional.

In The Premonition Lewis chronicles not only the covid-19 pandemic but also covers in great detail SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, which we’ve been battling for the past few decades in one form or the other. He also compares our current response to the 1918 influenza pandemic and how times may or may not have changed very much. The crux of this book, though, is how Lewis details the lives of those working in the wings of not only pandemic control but pandemic prevention and/or mitigation–and he only mentions Dr. Fauci a few times. Without being too science-see or getting bogged down in details, Lewis provides clarity in how Covid may or mayn’t have been better controlled. Indeed. With a lot less politics and more faith and trust in the science, things could have been different.

The Fifth Risk was written a few years before The Premonition. Having read the latter first, it is clear that both books are related. In The Fifth Risk Lewis indirectly and with masterful subtlety chronicles the election of former prez pee-pee-hair, including the buffoonery that coincides with his election. Instead of focusing on he who should not be named, Lewis writes about the ramifications of not just an inept, privileged man-child that glows like a cheeto-jezus winning the electoral college–and losing the popular vote bigly–but how that man plans to dismantle the U.S. government by systematically installing inept cronies whose only achievement in life is to admire the dear-leader or the wealth of others and thereby wear a badge of STUPID as though they’d just won an Olympic gold medal in a sport they’ve never heard of.

Ignorance allows people to disregard the consequences of their actions. -Michael Lewis, The Fifth Risk

What’s important about these books is how Lewis tells the story of American scientists, civil servants, government employees, etc. All these people deserve praise and admiration which they obviously never get–especially in these times/days of government and political fail-upwardness. It’s certainly better than telling the story of how a moron like former prez piss-hair could fail his way to the highest office of THE LAND OF FREEDOM TO BE STUPID. What a boring story that would be, eh?


Rant and read on, baby.