Many things in this period have been hard to bear, or hard to take seriously. My own profession went into a protracted swoon during the Reagan-Bush-Thatcher decade and shows scant sign of recovering a critical faculty—or indeed any faculty whatever, unless it is one of induced enthusiasm for a plausible consensus President. (We shall see whether it counts as progress for the same parrots to learn a new word.) And my own cohort, the left, shared in the general dispiriting move towards apolitical, atonal postmodernism. Regarding something magnificent, like the long-overdue and still endangered South African revolution (a jagged fit in the supposedly smooth pattern of axiomatic progress), one could see that Ariadne’s thread had a robust reddish tinge and that potential citizens had not all deconstructed themselves into Xhosa, Zulu, Cape Coloured or ‘Eurocentric’; had in other words resisted the sectarian lesson that the masters of apartheid tried to teach them. Elsewhere, though, it seemed all at once as if competitive solipsism was the signifier of the ‘radical’; a stress on the salience not even of the individual, but of the trait and from that atomization into the lump of the category. Surely one thing to be learned from the lapsed totalitarian system was the unwholesome relationship between the cult of the masses and the adoration of the supreme personality. Yet introspective voyaging seemed to coexist with dull group-think wherever one peered about among the formerly ‘committed’.Traditionally then, or tediously as some will think, I saw no reason to discard the Orwellian standard in considering modern literature. While a sort of etiolation, tricked out as playfulness, had its way among the non-judgemental, much good work was still done by those who weighed words as if they meant what they said. Some authors, indeed, stood by their works as if they had composed them in solitude and out of conviction. Of these, an encouraging number spoke for the ironic against the literal mind; for the generously interpreted interest of all against the renewal of what Orwell termed the ‘smelly little orthodoxies’—tribe and Faith, monotheist and polytheist, being most conspicuous among these new/old disfigurements. In the course of making a film about the decaffeinated hedonism of modern Los Angeles, I visited the house where Thomas Mann, in another time of torment, wrote Dr Faustus. My German friends were filling the streets of Munich and Berlin to combat the recrudescence of the same old shit as I read:This old, folkish layer survives in us all and to speak as I really think, I do. not consider religion the most adequate means of keeping it under lock and key. For that, literature alone avails, humanistic science, the ideal of the free and beautiful human being. [italics mine]The path to this concept of enlightenment is not to be found in the pursuit of self-pity, or of self-love. Of course to be merely a political animal is to miss Mann’s point; while, as ever, to be an apolitical animal is to leave fellow-citizens at the mercy of Ideolo’. For the sake of argument, then, one must never let a euphemism or a false consolation pass uncontested. The truth seldom lies, but when it does lie it lies somewhere in between.
Christopher Hitchens
God saw Hansen tighten his chokehold on Day and he could see his lover fighting to breathe. Day’s ears and neck were bright red. His lips were turning a darker color as his body was deprived of oxygen. Hansen pressed the barrel in deeper and yelled.Two minutes and fifteen seconds before I get to zero and I provide the great state of Georgia the luxury of one less narc.God’s mind exploded at the thought of not having Day in a world he lived in. He looked into his partner’s glistening eyes and saw he was turning blue and possibly getting ready to faint. Day was still looking at him, looking into God’s green eyes.No, no, no! He’s saying good-bye.God closed his eyes and released a loud, gut-wrenching growl cutting off the SWAT leader’s negotiations.Godfrey, get yourself under control, his captain said while grabbing for him.God jerked himself away from the hold and stepped forward, his angry eyes boring into Hansen’s dark ones. Hansen stared at him as if God was crazy. Little did he know God was at that moment.Godfrey, get back here and stand down. That’s an order, Detective! his captain barked.God’s large hands clenched at his sides fighting not to pull out his weapons. He ground his teeth together so hard his jaw ached.Do you have any idea of the shit storm you’re about to bring down on your life, God spoke with a menacing snarl while his large frame shook with fury. In your arms you hold the only thing in this world that means anything to me. The man that you are pointing a gun at is my only purpose for living. You are threating to kill the only person in this world that gives a fuck about me.God took two more steps forward and was vaguely aware of the complete silence surrounding him. Hansen’s finger hovered shakily over the trigger as he took two large steps back with Day still tight against his chest.God growled again and he saw a shade of fear ghost over Hansen’s sweaty face.If you kill that man, I swear on everything that is holy, I will track you to the ends of the earth, killing and destroying any and everything you hold dear. I will take everything from you and leave you alive to suffer through it. I will bestow upon you the same misery that you have given to me.Hansen shook his head and inched closer to the door behind him.Stay back, he yelled again but this time the demand lacked the courage and venom he exhibited before.You kill that man and you’ll have no idea of the monster you will create. Have you ever met a man with no heart…no conscience…no soul…no purpose? God rumbled, his voice at least twelve octaves lower than the already deep baritone.God yanked his Desert Eagle from his holster in a flash and cocked the hammer back chambering the first round. Hansen stumbled back again, his eyes gone wide with fear.God’s entire body instinctually flexed every muscle in his body and it felt like the large vein in his neck might rupture. His body burned like he had a sweltering fever and he knew his wrath had him a brilliant shade of red.I’m asking you a goddamn question, Hansen! No soul! No conscience! I’m asking you have you ever met the devil! God’s thunderous voice practically rattled the glass in the hanger.If you kill the man I love, you better make your peace with God, because I’m gonna meet your soul in hell. His voice boomed.
A. E. Via
Now give me some advice about how to take full advantage of this city. I’m always looking to improve my odds.Just what I’d expect from a horny actuary.I’m serious.Carlos reflected for a moment on the problem at hand. He actually had never needed or tried to take full advantage of the city in order to meet women, but he thought about all of his friends who regularly did. His face lit up as he thought of some helpful advice: Get into the arts.The arts?Yeah.But I’m not artistic.It doesn’t matter. Many women are into the arts. Theater. Painting. Dance. They love that stuff.You want me to get into dance? Earthquakes have better rhythm than me…And can you really picture me in those tights?Take an art history class. Learn photography. Get involved in a play or an independent film production. Get artsy, Sammy. I’m telling you, the senoritas dig that stuff.Really?Yeah. You need to sign up for a bunch of artistic activities. But you can’t let on that it’s all just a pretext to meet women. You have to take a real interest in the subject or they’ll quickly sniff out your game.I don’t know…It’s all so foreign to me…I don’t know the first thing about being artistic.Heeb, this is the time to expand your horizons. And you’re in the perfect city to do it. New York is all about reinventing yourself. Get out of your comfort zones. Become more of a Renaissance man. That’s much more interesting to women.
Zack Love