29 September 2008


A double-edged obit for David Foster Wallace is in this month's PROSPECT.

Back in Texas, I often wondered if people in Europe felt left out that not all our movies got European releases. Since being here I understand why most aren't given a go. A few every year make a stab at the teenage market, but they couldn't be more American; excercises in adolescent silliness.

A most interesting point about the insular and self-serving American psyche has never been put into words better:

They waste time on America's debased, overwhelming, industrial pop culture. They attack it with an energy appropriate to attacking fascism, or communism, or death. But that culture (bad television, movies, ads, pop songs) is a snivelling, ingratiating, billion-dollar cur. It has to be chosen to be consumed, so it flashes its tits, laughs at your jokes, replays your prejudices and smiles smiles smiles. It isn't worthy of satire, because it cannot use force to oppress. If it has an off-button, it is not oppression. Attacking it is unworthy, meaningless. It is like beating up prostitutes.
This coming a month after Liz Forgan professed her hatred for Sarah Palin on Radio 4 citing, among other things, her "candy coated philistinism".

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