IMPORTANT QUESTIONS OF OUR TIME  6:15 pm November 16, 2011

Do Novels Cause Old Person Terrorism?

by Greer Mansfield

Incorporating Washington Post Book World.A bunch of decrepit rednecks fantasizing about mass murder is a common enough occurrence in North Georgia (your Wonkette bookman knows this from lifelong experience). What’s different about the alleged plot by this AARP IRA is that they had the misfortune to run into an FBI informant who actually challenged them to put their brain-damaged program into action. Thus, a “bucket list” of gubmint/corporate/media folk to kill, plus an imaginary Knight Rider car that spits ricin all over I-85. It’s good to know that novels can still inspire people to change the world

Haha, you thought your reviewer actually took a look at Absolved by Mike Vanderboegh? Life is too short, sirs and misses. Let one make oneself clear, though. Your reviewer spends most of his time in the South’s largest and smoggiest outpost of anti-American librulism, faggotry and hippity-hop, and he strongly doubts he would have enjoyed a ricin attack.

This threat to our freedom/civilization/existence can’t go unanswered, even though the weaklings in our gubmint won’t do what is Necessary. A drone campaign against the counties of North Georgia, plus a decade-long occupation (with side excursions into random parts of Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee), is the only solution. This is one’s informed policy advice, though it will probably go unheeded, and we’ll continue to fight this war with one I ADOPTED A LEMUR wrist-banded hand tied behind our back.

Oh, and we should outfit all old people with Gitmo jumpsuits. Your reviewer will be forming a think tank soon to discuss further Solutions to Terrorism. We’ve invited Newt Gingrich to be our mascot.

Now then. A new book you should actually read, maybe, is Vivian Gornick’s sharp new biography of the great Emma Goldman. Now there’s a lady who wouldn’t have seen the point of killing everyone with biological weapons, despise the State (and the corporates) though she did.

A snippet from Gornick:

The right to stay alive in one’s senses, and to live in a world that prized that aliveness, was, for [Goldman], a key demand in any struggle she cared to wage against coercive government rule. The hatred she bore for the centralized state was rooted in what she took to be the government’s brutish contempt for the life of the individual. Fellow radicals who exhibited a similar contempt were held to the same standard. Comrades were those who, in the name of the revolution, were bent on honoring the complete human being.

Although Mikhail Bakunin, that fiercest of Russian anarchists, was one of her heroes, his famous definition of the revolutionary as a man who “has no interests of his own, no feelings, no habits, no longings, not even a name, only a single interest, a single thought—the revolution” was as abhorrent to her as corporate capitalism. If revolutionaries gave up sex and art while they were making the revolution, she said, they would become devoid of joy…the world would be even more heartless than it had been before.

It’s interesting, even though it’s a bit silly, to imagine what Emma Goldman would make of the current scene. We’re pretty sure that 90% of the political bloggingsphere would despise her, as would 100% of mainstream journalists. She wasn’t respectful of the Achievements/Depredations of the Wealthy, nor did she care much for politicians from either of America’s two favorite parties, nor did she yearn to be part of any kind of majority.

Anyway, try Gornick’s biography, or even better, Goldman’s essays. They’re much more fun and valuable than reading comment threads on zeitgeist-y blogs full of stuff along the lines of “b-b-but the Occupy people can’t really be anarchists, can they? Let me be the first to tell you, anarchy is NOT KOOL, guys. What would our world be without the police? Horses rampant on the subway, pissing on strangers’ iPads, that’s what.”

Finally: your reviewer would like, if he may, to congratulate Tomas Tranströmer on that fancy Nobel Prize for Literature. A great poet and a deserving feller, we think. The Politics don’t come up too often in his poetry, but when they do, it’s usually in oblique or philosophical ways like this:

Radical and Reactionary live together as in an unhappy marriage,
molded by each other, dependent on each other.
But we who are their children must break loose.
Every problem cries in its own language.
Go like a bloodhound where the truth has trampled.

BLOODHOUNDS LOLWUT. SAY AGAIN, SVEN?

Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life (Jewish Lives) by Vivian Gornick, Yale University Press, 160 pages, $12.50

Anarchism and Other Essays by Emma Goldman, Dover Publications, 304 pages, $9.95

The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems by Tomas Tranströmer, New Directions, 288 pages, $12.21

 
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{ 70 comments }

nounverb911 November 16, 2011 at 6:17 pm

"Do Novels Cause Old Person Terrorism?"
Only if they all starve to death in Galt's Gulch.

flamingpdog November 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I can snark on this ad for books, but not on the broadband ad?

Joshua Norton November 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thank you!! I thought I was the only one who saw that ad.

PubOption November 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

No, it's been hanging around for days. If we were allowed to snark on it, Wonkette's bandwidth would have been exceeded by now.

chascates November 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm
Plowmon November 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm

The Visa, MC and Discover paper-trail might lead the black UN helicopters to your bunker though…

ShitFilledExistence November 16, 2011 at 6:31 pm

I think ‘The Covert Group’ should be made into a wacky comedy starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Clint Eastwood, and Jack Nicholson.

CrankyLttlCamperette November 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Don't forget Betty White!

BerkeleyBear November 16, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Nah, too young and vibrant for the target demographic. Let's dig up a few corpses (I hear Charlton Heston's is especially popular with this crowd), make 'em into life size muppets and have at it.

Pat_Pending November 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Can we just dig up the cast of Cocoon?

Biel_ze_Bubba November 17, 2011 at 7:17 am

"The Far Right Stuff"?

elviouslyqueer November 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Shorter Tranströmer:

I am the IKEA of poetry.
Suck it, Robert Bly.
Ode ode ode.

paris biltong November 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Also:
Gravlax, meatballs
Cold as hell up here
Take that Robert Frost

Callyson November 16, 2011 at 6:36 pm

Do Novels Cause Old Person Terrorism?
Wingnuts read now? Since when?

tihond November 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Someone has been buying those Glenn Beck books.

edgydrifter November 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I can tell you from experience that Powell's World of Books will not.

finallyhappy November 16, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Did their cat die yet?

crybabyboehner November 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm

If there's a fight brewing in Georgia, you can be sure Saxby Chambliss is at the front of the line.

chascates November 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm

He was just in a clip on PBS announcing he and his fellows "had the Super Committee's back" to do what needed to be done.

End democracy I suspect.

MrFizzy November 16, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I think the true meaning is "we're behind the super committee and will eventually see santorum pouring forth"

fuflans November 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

front of the line with deferral papers for a bad knee.

ttommyunger November 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Yes, if that line is an open bar.

LowProfileinGA November 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Sackless Chambliss - Fixed

Rosie_Scenario November 17, 2011 at 10:06 am

And Zell Miller.

coolhandnuke November 16, 2011 at 6:38 pm

….Your reviewer spends most of his time in the South’s largest and smoggiest outpost of anti-American librulism, faggotry and hippity-hop,
With that pertinent info, I've narrowed your hometown to 159 possibilities.

nounverb911 November 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

Stone Mountain, GA?

Nothingisamiss November 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

We're less faggotry-ness and more anti american hippety-hop, but who knows? I may be sharing my county (ish) with a Wonketteer! Huzzah!

MzNicky November 16, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Is that a suburb of Hot 'lanta?

Jukesgrrl November 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Athens? God knows those dangerous, heathen radicals who called themselves R.E.M. were hatched there and destroyed the minds of an entire generation of young Amuricans.

Well … maybe they destroyed the half of the mind that wasn't fried from listening to too much of Mum and Dad's Allman Brothers records during childhood. Drugs, motorcycles, and two drummers. Who could come out of that normal, even in Macon? Huh??

Plowmon November 16, 2011 at 8:14 pm

He ain't down here in south alabamastan, I can tell you that much…

LowProfileinGA November 16, 2011 at 8:42 pm

All 159 Counties?? Second only to Texas.

Biel_ze_Bubba November 17, 2011 at 7:23 am

The faggotry says Miami, but the smog says Atlanta.

pickletickle November 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Wouldn't it be ricin dispensed by a Scootaround?

paris biltong November 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Rumor has it that Bakunin lusted after his sister and didn't very much like the Jews, facts which would naturally have turned off old Emma.

SaintRond November 16, 2011 at 6:45 pm

I admit that I often think of how nice it would be to sink my teeth into a Republican's liver. But that doesn't make me an unhappy person. In fact, I'm a very happy person. I like sharing laughs. I like to screw. It's just something that makes me feel all warm and treacly inside. What can I say? I guess I'm just a big pervert.

Peace… God bless…

Geminisunmars November 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Clearly you read too much.

SaintRond November 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Yeah, I got that imagery from "The Thin Red Line," years ago, depicting a GI talking to a dying Japanese soldier who'd just had all the gold in his mouth yanked out, telling him "I'm gonna sink my teeth in your liver."

It just stayed with me. Thinking about Republicans always evokes the memory. And when it does, I always feel like making spoons with wifey.

MrFizzy November 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I love the innate sickness of Wonkette. Only here can you find someone who gets a boner thinking about eating the liver of a Japanese soldier.

SaintRond November 16, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Oh, come on. If it was up to me, the Japanese would have won the war ten times over. I firmly believe their incredible cruelty during that conflict would have been mitigated later on.

My warm feelings come from thinking about sinking my teeth into a Republican's liver. I could not, nor would I devour a Japanese person.

Peace… God bless…

Pat_Pending November 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm

I'd be concerned about the built-up toxins before feasting on that. Might be best to just throw most of the organ meat into a concrete, sealed bunker. But maybe keep the tripe and intestines. Menudo and chicharones… ironic, south-of-the-border fare…

Arken November 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I once tried to read a Newt Gingrich novel and it made me want to commit acts of terrorism against his ghostwriter.

Beowoof November 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Some had to read it to them, prosecute that fucker.

edgydrifter November 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Criminy, Mansfield, you'll never be taken seriously in the GOP primaries if you keep fooling around with all these fancy books. There's only one book that matters, and you don't even need to read it yourself–just find someone who says he talks to God to tell you what it says. That's good enough for most folks.

tihond November 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Let's just hope none of these people read the Tom Clancy novel where Jack Ryan takes a second amendment solution against the Muslim president.

owhatever November 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I want better broadband.

Geminisunmars November 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I want a better broad.

flamingpdog November 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

I like to hang with a band of broads.

LowProfileinGA November 16, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I want a badder broad.

ShitFilledExistence November 16, 2011 at 7:05 pm

I had to open Internet Exploder to see that..

BlueStateLibel November 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm

I call dibs on leading the Sherman-style slash-and-burn raids into Alabama.

Plowmon November 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm

C'mon over sweetie, I got a new tube of udder-balm and ain't got laid in weeks…

Joshua Norton November 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

What ever it is, it's all Sean Penn's fault.

tihond November 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Harry Potter is part of the 99%

JackObin November 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Crap, crap and more crap. And to think this fading species once produced Dostoyevsky and Joyce.

Blueb4sunrise November 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Knew a Joyce Dostoyevsky back in Ohio.
HAWT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OneYieldRegular November 16, 2011 at 7:32 pm

It's a human relief to know that you read Emma Goldman and the amazing Tomas Transtromer in addition to all those bleak political celebrity books you manage to wade through so that the rest of us don't have to.

As for the power of literature to change the world, after reading "The Da Vinci Code," I felt like using my copy of it to beat its author senseless (or rather: more senseless). Does that count?

Jukesgrrl November 16, 2011 at 7:51 pm

What? You don't approve of three-paragraph chapters and action that couldn't possibly be completed within the time-frame the author has established for his story? Makes readin' easier and the action more "packed." Nobel Prize!!!!11!

Biel_ze_Bubba November 17, 2011 at 7:30 am

I don't care if the characters assemble an F-18 overnight from parts shipped in FedEx boxes… it was the simple idiotic wrongness of the nonfacts and urban legends that made me toss the book about half way through. (Yeah, I tossed it … didn't want to be responsible for spreading more stupidity around.)

BarackMyWorld November 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm

How can I be expected to read books when I could barely make it through that literary review without my atten….

…boy, that Kortney sure loves her veggies….

…oh, look an x-box ad….

….what was I saying again?

flamingpdog November 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm

If I wanted to wade through posts like this, I would never have cancelled my subscription to The Nation.

finallyhappy November 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I'm reading the novel about the Collyer brothers and the Hunger Games series. Got the olds and the youngs covered. I also have Oliver Sacks latest book but I am afraid to read it lest my personal craziness is chronicled there.

faster_kittycat November 16, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Again, O/T but please send out feelers if you can:
http://www.rumproast.com/index.php/site/comments/

Mr. Strange is a regular commenter here on the Wonk spot. Many, many thanks.

HobbesEvilTwin November 16, 2011 at 8:09 pm

get on with it!

Jukesgrrl November 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Akhmatova's poetry seems especially apt these days, too.

Penguin Classics Paperback: Anna Akhmatova, Selected Poems.

fuflans November 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

i thought you were a bookWOMAN greer.

a thousand apologies.

ttommyunger November 16, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Don't know how one could write an article which waxes literary and not mention Bill Orally and Sarah Nobody.

fuflans November 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm

we’ll continue to fight this war with one I ADOPTED A LEMUR wrist-banded hand tied behind our back.

yeah that's some powerful snark right there.

An_Outhouse November 17, 2011 at 9:15 am

It wasn't any old novel. It was an INTERNET novel. Fuck you, Al Gore.

sbj1964 November 17, 2011 at 10:34 am

First of all ,They have libraries in Georgia ? Wow, those librarians must be more lonely than a Maytag repairman.

MrFizzy November 17, 2011 at 9:44 am

Only kidding dude! I do think you'd be nuts to eat a Republican liver – imagine the toxins in there. If I was going to devour anyone, it would probably be a Japanese – they are very healthy, small and clean for the most part. I have no plans in that regard at the moment though. Take care SR and see you on the W!

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