Barbenheimer is happening. But I’m not in the cinema watching either movie. I’m not on Twitter or any of the socials so I’m not even able to get the takes as they come in. I’m a beachcomber, picking up lumps of discourse as they wash up along the shore of the New York Times and New Yorker. Reading a review by a professional critic, like a shark that is entirely aware that the prehistoric world it belongs to is long gone, yet persists being a shark, nonetheless. Instead of cinema, instead of the film du jour, I’m reading The Radetzsky March by Joseph Roth, and it’s great. One dramatic conceit after another in a world pre-bomb and pre-Barbie.