Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Read any Karl Shapiro lately?

"The entire world has become aware of the pervasiveness of American violence.  The Americans were the last to discover it.  This is as it should be.  A betrayed husband is the last to know his situation.  America is shocked at itself;  someone has handed it a mirror.  Instead of the young and handsome heir of all the ages, with his bathing-beauty consort, winners of Olympic games, we see the soft and rotten killer (almost Hemingway style) with his call-girl WASP girlfriend,wearing a tiny crucifix between her scientifically measured bosoms.  Wars are staged and televised on the battlefield;  all sports are openly and avowedly big business;  all books sell according to the amount of money deposited for advertising;  countries are bought and sold in the stock market like cattle.  Not that any of this is particularly new.  What is new is that it is all now public knowledge.  And what is awesome is that nobody cares.  Everyone wants a share of the rot, the faisandage.  Ours is a gamy culture from top to bottom.  Books about the gaminess are best-sellers." (p 14)

"America is the child society par excellence, and possibly the only one ever politically arrived at.  It is the society of all rights and no obligations, the society of deliberate wreckage and waste, the only society that ever raised gangsterism to the status of myth, and murder to the status of tragedy or politics.  The American adulation of the child mentality leads to an industrialized hedonism, on the one hand, and a chauvinistic psychology of greed, on the other.  In advertising, anyone over the age of twenty-one or twenty-five is portrayed as an idiot who has got behind in the science and commerce of rejuvenation." (p 21)

From the book To Abolish Children and Other Essays, by Karl Shapiro.

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