Friday, May 25, 2018

Turn on, tune in, drip out

Image via Reddit.

Local Man Who Believed Saddam Hussein Had an Advanced Nuclear Weapons Program and Still Thinks Lincoln Unified the United States and If We Show Respect to Rightwingers It Will End School Shootings Among Other Things Complains that Under Trump America Is Descending Into Fantasy

In "Donald Trump's Magical Fantasy World", New York Times, 24 May 2018,  and with reference to the recent deaths of the writers Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth:
I’d say the crucial pivot was in the early 1960s. Hugh Hefner created a fantasy version of masculinity. Ken Kesey created a fantasy image of an acid-dripping New Age.
The two great writers who died this month tracked the explosion of fantastical thinking. In 1961 Philip Roth wrote an essay for Commentary called “Writing American Fiction,” in which he endorsed Benjamin DeMott’s observation that America was then experiencing a “universal descent into unreality.” Roth would go on to make the most of it. “Making fake biography, false history, concocting a half imaginary existence out of the actual drama of my life is my life,” he told The Paris Review.
I'd say if it happened in the early 1960s you probably shouldn't be blaming it on Trump. I never expected to be defending Trump against the vicious assaults of David Brooks, but fair is fair.

"Acid-dripping" is superb, though. If you figure out what it means drop me a note.  Or drip me a note.

And perhaps what he really meant was to blame it on Roth, caught in that quote deliberately confusing himself with the non-existent Nathan Zuckerman, who in turn confuses himself with "Philip Roth", and literally profiting from his imposture. Don't speak ill of the dead, but maybe Roth, alongside Ken Kesey, Hugh Hefner, and Tom Wolfe, was the key agent in creating the conditions in which the rise of Trump, a glamorous international businessman/jewel thief who disguises himself as president in order to insinuate himself into the company of his fabulously wealthy but gullible marks, was virtually inevitable.

Then again, you know what else happened in 1961. It's just possible that our genuine and severe problems derive from the fact that for the past 57 years we have all been perceived by David Brooks, and our connection to reality has become more and more tenuous as a result, day by day. That's so heavy, man.

Driftglass suggests "fantasy" may not be exactly the right word.

No comments:

Post a Comment