05w46:1 Modern Times

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 46 number 1 (modern times)

——————————————————————— We Now Live in a Fascist State | Lewis H. Lapham
“We’re Americans; we have the money and the know-how to succeed where Hitler failed, and history has favored us with advantages not given to the early pioneers. We don’t have to burn any books. The Nazis in the 1930s were forced to waste precious time and money on the inoculation of the German citizenry, too well-educated for its own good, against the infections of impermissible thought. We can count it as a blessing that we don’t bear the burden of an educated citizenry. The systematic destruction of the public-school and library systems over the last thirty years, a program wisely carried out under administrations both Republican and Democratic, protects the market for the sale and distribution of the government’s propaganda posters. The publishing companies can print as many books as will guarantee their profit (books on any and all subjects, some of them even truthful), but to people who don’t know how to read or think, they do as little harm as snowflakes falling on a frozen pond. “

Writers and the Golden Age | Allan Massie
“Of course, the idea that art necessarily finds expression in protest, or is essentially a means of protesting, whether from the Right or the Left, is itself, comparatively speaking, modern. It dates from the Romantic movement. Before then, much art was a celebration of the established order, and inasmuch as it was critical, the criticism was directed at those who would disturb that order. Satire, for instance, was generally conservative. Its anger and contempt were aroused by folly and the vanity and vices of the present day; the satirist harked back to a (doubtless imaginary) Golden Age. […] The Left, ever since Rousseau, has seen man as essentially good, in chains only on account of the institutions of a cruel and corrupt society. Loosen his chains, strike off his fetters, and the natural benevolence of his nature will be free to flourish. For the Left the Golden Age is still to come. The Right, however, sees our nature as essentially flawed. […]Left-wing artists, however angry, are optimists; right-wing ones, however serene or witty, are pessimists. Yet the same man may be of the Left in his politics, opinions, and daily life, but of the Right in his Art. Graham Greene is a good example: politically on the Left, nevertheless on the Right in the view of man’s nature which informs his novels.”

What’s a Modern Girl to Do? | Maureen Dowd
“‘What I find most disturbing about the 1950’s-ification and retrogression of women’s lives is that it has seeped into the corporate and social culture, where it can do real damage,’ she complains. ‘Otherwise intelligent men, who know women still earn less than men as a rule, say things like: ‘I’ll get the check. You only have girl money.” Throughout the long, dark ages of undisputed patriarchy, women connived to trade beauty and sex for affluence and status. In the first flush of feminism, women offered to pay half the check with ‘woman money’ as a way to show that these crass calculations – that a woman’s worth in society was determined by her looks, that she was an ornament up for sale to the highest bidder – no longer applied. Now dating etiquette has reverted. Young women no longer care about using the check to assert their equality. They care about using it to assess their sexuality. Going Dutch is an archaic feminist relic. Young women talk about it with disbelief and disdain. ‘It’s a scuzzy 70’s thing, like platform shoes on men,’ one told me.”

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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 15 November 2005 @ 11:17 PM

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