Where Is Our Literature of the Crisis?

In Spain, there is a whole genre of the literature of the crisis, and writers are producing great works of literature that readers are actively discussing. There is very a vibrant and rich cultural life happening around the literature of the crisis.

And here in the US there’s nothing of the kind. All we get is either sensationalist garbage or novels about bratty rich people endlessly nitpicking their way through extremely trivial problems. Even Toni Morrison ‘ s recent novel is about rich people. Always and forever, rich people.

Of course, our recession was nothing like Spain ‘ s crisis but let’s look at the big picture. We are all undergoing an enormous societal transformation. The nation-state is crumbling for Americans just as much (and actually more) as for everybody else. But where is our literature about real lives of real people? Hello, literature, where are you?

But no, there’s nothing but boring old escapism here. I’m very happy I didn’t choose to specialize in American literature because I would have perished of tedium.

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Who Pays for Fat Acceptance?

I never considered the possibility that the idiotic Fat Acceptance Movement might be sponsored by corporations that peddle junk food but the idea makes a lot of sense. There is so much cynicism behind the movement’s tenets that somebody has got to be making a packet from it.

OXI

Of course, this whole problem started when it occurred to some idiot to invite Greece into the Eurozone. Greece was obviously not prepared, either economically or ideologically, for being a responsible member of Europe. And now the entire EU is trying to coddle and pacify the stupid Greeks while Putin rejoices and celebrates.

What a stupid debacle this is.

And I only wish that Spain uses this as an example of a very dangerous road that is to be avoided at all costs.

Critical Scrutiny

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a brilliant writer but his most recent article in The Atlantic made me cringe. People who are incapable of approaching their family history critically should just abstain from mentioning it altogether, in my opinion. Otherwise, it all becomes about justifying Mommy and Daddy (whom nobody has even accused of anything), and the whole piece turns into a dialogue of one’s terrified five-year-old persona with an older version of the self that is still too scared to break free.

Here are the paragraphs from the article that I’m referring to specifically:

My father was so very afraid. I felt it in the sting of his black leather belt, which he applied with more anxiety than anger, my father who beat me as if someone might steal me away, because that is exactly what was happening all around us. . . What I know is that fathers who slammed their teenage boys for sass would then release them to streets where their boys employed, and were subject to, the same justice. And I knew mothers who belted their girls, but the belt could not save these girls from drug dealers twice their age.

You’ll say that the essay is not about this at all. But for me, the second I see child abuse mentioned, everything else fades away. And if you can’t find it in yourself to say “My father was a stupid piece of garbage who brutalized kids because he derived pleasure from torturing human beings,” it’s better not to mention it at all. These snippets poison the entire long article, making me think that it is all about justifying the child-beating daddy, and everything else is just fluff that hides this tragic truth.

I also hope that the article’s title of “Letter To My Son” is just a rhetorical device and isn’t directed to a real child.

A Great Development

On a positive note, it’s becoming unfashionable in Ukraine to be anti-feminist, homophobic or racist. These attitudes are associated with the Russians, and nobody wants to be like the Eastern neighbor any longer.

“Why are you saying this racist shit?” people ask. “What are you, a Putinoid?”

“In Ukrainian, female forms of nouns denoting professions don’t carry a pejorative meaning like they do in Russian, so just use them. Or are you a Putinoid who despises women?”

And that’s a great development.