Joan Didion’s 1961 Essay on Self Respect

Was reading through a recent edition of MG Siegler’s newsletter where he shared what appears to be (i.e. I’ve never read it or heard of it before, not that my ignorance should be any marker of its importance) a seminal 1961 article in Vogue Magazine from Joan Didion titled ‘On Self Respect’, which I found to be as seminal as advertised.

There is a common superstition that “self-respect” is a kind of charm against snakes, something that keeps those who have it locked in some unblighted Eden, out of strange beds, ambivalent conversations, and trouble in general. It does not at all. It has nothing to do with the face of things, but concerns instead a separate peace, a private reconciliation. Although the careless, suicidal Julian English in Appointment in Samarra and the careless, incurably dishonest Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby seem equally improbable candidates for self-respect, Jordan Baker had it, Julian English did not. With that genius for accommodation more often seen in women than in men, Jordan took her own measure, made her own peace, avoided threats to that peace: “I hate careless people,” she told Nick Carraway. “It takes two to make an accident.”

Like Jordan Baker, people with self-respect have the courage of their mistakes. They know the price of things. If they choose to commit adultery, they do not then go running, in an access of bad conscience, to receive absolution from the wronged parties; nor do they complain unduly of the unfairness, the undeserved embarrassment, of being named corespondent. If they choose to forego their work—say it is screenwriting—in favor of sitting around the Algonquin bar, they do not then wonder bitterly why the Hacketts, and not they, did Anne Frank.

Joan Didion, 1961

It is a short essay that packs a punch. Worth the read.

Rare Mustang For Sale on eBay

A very rare 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 is up for sale on eBay for a cool minimum bid of $185,000. Under 1,000 of these model Mustangs were ever made back in 1969.

Atop the Mustang food chain that year was the legendary Boss 429, of which only 858 were built during the car’s two-year production run. Truth be told, these models weren’t even built by Ford, which already had a plate full of ongoing special projects. Instead, the build of the Boss 429 Mustang was farmed out to Kar Kraft.

Building the Boss 429 from a production Mustang was no minor task, since engine mounts, suspension mounts and even shock towers had to be moved to accommodate the 429 cubic-inch V-8. While rated at 375 horsepower for insurance purposes, it’s widely believed that the 429 cranked out closer to 500 horsepower in stock trim.

According to the article, the car is capable of breaking an 11.0 second quarter mile, which seems a little unrealistic to me when modern Corvettes can’t even break 12.0 seconds.

via Motorauthority