Strung Out

One thing I find frustrating in contemporary American literature is the endless procession of strung-out characters. Between yesterday and today I moved from the highly postmodern Goon Squad by a 60-year-old female writer to a neorealist novel Ohio by a male author 20 years her junior. But in both novels there are page after page after repetitive page describing the characters ingesting all sorts of drugs and experiencing their effects. I don’t understand what the point is supposed to be. None of this is shocking or original any more. It’s repetitive and boring, that’s all.

Both are great novels, by the way. But I’d enjoy them more without the exhausting drug scenes.


3 thoughts on “Strung Out

  1. “all sorts of drugs … I don’t understand what the point is supposed to be”

    Are there sex scenes? Maybe drug scenes are replacing sex scenes…

    The modern zeitgeist seems to be making sex as repulsive as possible and drugging oneself to deal with the ugly modern reality….


    1. “making sex as repulsive as possible ”

      Also sex is a very dangerous topic now… who knows what currently normal practices will be retroactively declared criminal in the future… but drugs, even when the result is bad, remain above criticism.


  2. That’s because the writers who work in sordid sex scenery are working in television now.

    Maintaining an erection across twelve pages in print, now that’s really quite unbelievable. πŸ™‚

    The point is that there is no point: little evil synthesized vocoder machine elves provide the laugh track to the conspicuous consumption of pills for thrills that also provide the chorus, “Are we cool yet?”

    Don’t give into astonishment, they’re just grocery clerks for the Death of the Cool, mere errand boys who work for a devilish proprietor sent to collect the bill.

    And yet they still try to fake it.

    But they don’t care if you notice, just as long as you let them continue to stuff their blunts full of the jazzy remnants of Miles Davis so they can have one last good toke of something in which they may find some meaning before it fades away.

    Straight, no chaser indeed. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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