How to Draw Nothing
Plus, Tim’s 2022 Music Year in Review
Recently in The Bulwark:
BILL KRISTOL: A (Surprisingly) Happy New Year.
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
TIM HUNT: How to Draw Nothing.
Halfway into Nick Drnaso’s newest graphic novel, Acting Class, a protagonist named Thomas passes a woman in a hallway. She’s unfamiliar to the reader; maybe Thomas knows her from his modeling job. He smiles at her, and she smiles back. Then he stops smiling.
The interaction occurs over five panels. The woman’s expression gets a full panel to itself—as if to say, remember this face. Thomas has already had a rough evening, and now, after exchanging glances with this woman, he’s clearly unwell. He tells his boss he can’t pose nude anymore; he’s “suddenly uncomfortable.” He looks down in silence when his boss asks him why.
The woman does not appear in the novel again.
During his four years in office, Trump kept testing the weaknesses in our Constitutional system — and January 6 was the culmination of his war on the institutions of American government. Susan Glasser and Peter Baker’s book, “The Divider” captures the threat Trump posed. But as they told Charlie Sykes, their book is not just history: It’s also a prologue if he returns to power. This encore episode was originally released in September.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
TIM MILLER: Tim’s 2022 Music Year in Review.
It was an uncharacteristically balmy night in the desert and I was still in the afternoon’s shorty shorts, paired with knee-high tights for a little extra protection from the windblown dust. My husband and I were pushing up through the crowd, past the soundboard, stage right. We had lost our friends who had seen their fill of Harry’s House and preferred to beat the crowd back to the after-parties in Palm Springs.
Harry had just finished a One Direction singalong to the delight of both the Gen Z TikTokers and millennial moms in our midst who were passing joints and awaiting the next number, anticipation building. And then came the seven notes.
Bah bah buh bah bah bahp bahp.
ADDISON DEL MASTRO: Do Androids Dream of Electric Stoves?
I regret to admit I was wrong about something: electric stoves are, in fact, usable.
For years—the five years that my wife and I lived in a unit with a gas stove—I had thought I could never use an electric stove again. While we were searching for a house, we considered a gas connection one of our few musts. We barely bothered even looking at all-electric homes. When people said that electric stoves had gotten pretty good, I thought, yeah, yeah, you probably don’t cook much. (I’m talking about conventional electric, not induction, which sound great but cost about twice as much.)
2022… The year in search.
A parent’s typical day… As envisioned by my kids’ pre-school.
New Years Eve… Is for the believers.
The top 100 political clips of 2022… Watch at your peril.
The surprising turnaround… Of Barnes & Noble.
The Quitter of the Year Award goes to…. Ben Sasse!
The rise of… the scented-candle industrial complex?
This is the last Overtime for 2022. I hope it was a good year for you, reader, and I’m hoping for an even better 2023. Thanks for reading us, sharing our work, and for your support. We’ll be doing a lot more events next year, and I hope to meet you at one of them. See you on the other side. Be safe, and Go Buckeyes!
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.