Monday, 4 August 2008

The endless days of the relentless locusts.

In these rather dog days, even nineteen locusts can reduce perhaps almost any massive positive achievement to a burnt out stalk and within hours. All they need is the support of a vast and disgusting nest, such as the insect Kingdom of Saud. The proven solution to stopping locust hordes, once you foolishly have allowed them to grow to massive proportions, is to burn them while they're still on the ground. The alternative is to be left with nothing.

"If I could just find the nest!" Chuck Heston in The Omega Man.

Dear sports, I dedicate this post to the very, very well done Wolf Howling blogspot. Da Wolf graciously said something very nice about me and linked me among such exalted company as Blazing Cat Fur, the happening Ezra Levant, Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury, and fellow Aussie Dr. John Ray at the incredible library-like resource of analysis at Dissect Left. In this instance, Ray of light is posting a great piece on Left hate speech and aggravated assault now up at A Western Heart. Hey, they’re all such great links, so go not just West, young man!

Zer Volf: “...Col. Robert Neville, possibly the most eclectic in thought of any blog on the net, posts on a wide range of topics in his post, "In the Ninth Circle of Hell with the MSM, Obama, Mohammad and the Mythical Moderate Muslims". He starts off by noting that the MSM puts their money where their biases lie”.

Pretty nice? Ya can't grumble at that. As the great GM Roper says, I like being a hip Conservative, kid. Ditto. If millions of teenage boobs wearing Che the child killer Guevara t-shirts are enraged by us, hey, that’s merely a solid gold guarantee of our own quality control, baby!

GM has recently had the decorators in and they did great things with the curtains! Man, there are many great blogs around, but regards reliable and insightful empirical quality, they do seem to come down to the same few hundred, at least regards the themes we Conservatives are hip and swingin’ to. I dig my online Conservative pals, sports. Really.

The world is most resonant at night. And even during the day, the same effect can be achieved if conditions are er, right due to being entirely wrong and askew. As with the turn of the intellectual screw, a sort of awful epiphany, that comes with discovering the relentless dread of Islamism and the living dead and inhuman sleight of hand of Leftist ideology. But dig.

One can often find connections in the most seemingly disparate. But they ain’t really. F’rinstance, I found some very good reviews of the two Nathaniel West novels, Miss Lonely Hearts and The Day of the Locust. Hey, the old locust and the great trick of having a strong title that is not literal. Who’d want to see a film about a locust’s boring day?

“Dear diary: Hatched. Waited. Swarmed. Ate like a crazy bastard, mated same, wrote to Mother and died en masse”. Tony the locust.

And the threats we face are a lot like locusts. Mass, mindless, parasitical and swarming to no good purpose. And like a repugnant insect kingdom, they're of one conforming group think mind and utterly destructive. Leftism and the innate infighting obsessions of Islam, are oddly doomed to annihilation too, as they devour and exhaust their source of er, nourishment.

So consider, dear reader, this little piece from a young Stanley at Amazon Books. His illumination of the ah, central premise is much of our er, conservative and aware conundrum. Where does one start with people who are alternatively diseased and indoctrinated with Left cant? Yeah, the one that has clueless nihilism inbuilt, even when people don’t or can’t see it. Cos’ Hell, it seems like a positive thing. Odd eh, when all the tenets of PC Left Liberalism are essentially envious, negative, absurd and unworkable and thus naturally seek to limit human potential.

Stanley H. Nemeth: “In both of these stunning novellas, one set in New York, the other in Los Angeles. Nathanael West shows us a world without a centre, one in which the various characters are therefore free to pursue their own idiosyncratic notions of bliss. Conspicuously absent is any widely accepted code of manners which might have a tonic influence in shaping character and aspiration, or even at lowest ebb in keeping people more recognizably human than grotesque.

Thus the considerable element of the distorted which figures strongly in each of these pieces. Shrike in "Miss Lonelyhearts" and Faye Greener in "Day of the Locust" are each self-absorbed to a freakish degree, though West's point in such satiric but painful drawing is to bring contemporary readers to see the frighteningly normal in such freakishness, the unacknowledged bizarreness in modern everyday behaviour”.

Colonel Neville: “Great eh? Seen a better description of the Leftard malaise, I mean lately? A classic”.

Avant Captain Nemo: “Nathanael West was well practiced in the arts of revelation and cruelty that go way beyond what we normally think of as satire. "Miss Lonelyhearts" alone is a dark and disturbing jewel in his very strange crown. It bites the reader softly and injects moral venom into the reader giving her over to experiences of psychological subtlety and derangement that make ordinary psychological novels seem pedestrian exercises in mere cataloguing. "Miss Lonelyhearts" is a visionary experience.

I wonder if Thomas Harris, the author of "Silence of the Lambs" got any of his inspiration for Hannibal Lector from the character of Shrike. Shrike is very bad. He is a sort of demonic being who cares enough about his victims to give them the very best in a form of torture that interrogates their souls and illuminates every last particle of illusion he finds in them. He doesn't eat their livers with fauva beans and a nice Chianti because he doesn't need to. Showing them the nature of their souls in the hellish light of his inquiry is more than enough nourishment for him.

He is happy. He finds it no sin to labour in his vocation.

Miss Lonelyhearts himself is an abusive Christ figure who dies for no one's sins other than his own. He is a directionless victim full of lust and malice disguised as compassion. He was born for ruin and his death is the exact opposite of anything we would ever call an apotheosis. No one's sins are redeemed. They are confirmed.

Nathanael West apparently was a self-hating Jew, but his moral rigor is so savage and extreme methinks he might be best thought of as a literary Satanist come to torment and educate us all through demonic revelries that move in slow motion. I can't remember if there are very many colours described in this little poisonous novel because the whole effect on my inner eye is a dark wastescape composed of tones in black, false-white, and endlessly arranged shades of gray.

Surely "Miss Lonelyhearts" was one of the best novels of the twentieth century but hardly anybody has heard of it. I recommend it strongly to those who prefer their humour as black as the pit of hell, but hidden behind sunlight that tortures the ground until spikes of grass grow up”.

Colonel Neville: “Now here’s the thing. I have a rather good sense of darkness, being a researched, empirical and humorous kinda guy. And thus I tend not to turn away from er, unpleasantness just because they may be a drag or lack a laugh track. Like the truth of Hamas Air AKA Emirates, Tariq Ali, Al Gore, Sean Penn and macramé etc.

A problem for sadly, many that I meet, is that they can believe utterly in useless and poisonous cliché’s that make them seemingly incapable of appreciating what we have, how essential it is and how very fragile. That it’s not permanent and can be taken away. And it is being taken away, but mostly by increments.

The remorseless, unnoticed ratchets and one way slide rules of the PC Left and our gradual Islamisation for example. Never mind an economically resurgent totalitarian Communism via China, rebranded by Putin in Russia and in the madhouse of North Korea, Chavez and Hamas, the rotten sources of support from the Saudi dump, Iran, Pakistan, Africa, Indonesia, North Thailand and many, many more. Never mind the global socialism of global warming and the hideous blocking in of the rotten UN by 57 Islamist shit piles, African cannibal kingdoms and other dangerous and insidious garbage.

So many folks I meet lack any realistic understanding, perspective or learning regards the mechanisms and evil swirling about them. And yet, the same folks have no real interest in learning the subjects on which have they have merely second hand opinions on and thus strongly held. Still, it’s a larf, init?”

Debbie Lee Wesselman: “Nathanael West had a brief, barely noticed career before his sudden death in 1940. These two novellas MISS LONELYHEARTS and THE DAY OF THE LOCUST, stand as his best-known contributions to literature, classics that are now widely taught in American high schools and universities. MISS LONELYHEARTS is the more bitter of the two: a newspaper columnist (a man, but always referred to as Miss Lonelyhearts) suffers a crisis of conscience and spirit under the emotional weight of the mail he receives.

His colleagues make fun of the correspondents, who are mostly women, but Miss Lonelyhearts sees the pathetic futility in their seeking help to escape their bleak lives. His editor, Shrike, tries to energize Miss Lonelyhearts with long-winded diatribes satirizing religious beliefs, but their shrillness pushes Miss Lonelyhearts toward the edge. Using Christian imagery as well as irony, West evokes a world of alienation, futility, and human failings.

THE DAY OF THE LOCUST comes across as more satiric than shrill, perhaps because there is no Shrike here, although West's trademark themes of alienation and futility are fully evident. Tod Hackett is new to Hollywood; he is lazy but ambitious, a painter who hopes to earn a living as a set designer. Tod finds himself drawn to the outsiders of Hollywood, the lower classes, those for whom success is always out of reach. The characters are almost surreal in their quirkiness.

Aspiring actress Faye Greener lives in the same building as Tod; by introducing Tod to the vapid decadence of Hollywood, she awakens Tod's violent impulses. Iowan Homer Simpson is a listless, repressed man who has come to California not for show business but for health reasons and to forget what little sexuality he has. West is not a writer to grant the wishes of his characters, but, like Harry Greener, many of the characters "seemed to enjoy their suffering [. . .] the sort that was self-inflicted."

West's philosophy in these two novellas seems to fit into a single line in THE DAY OF THE LOCUST, "Few things are sadder than the truly monstrous." These works display a dark, almost desperate humour that exposes the human condition as West saw it. If you don't think you can take an abundance of hopelessness, you should select another book to read. Still, these are important works, especially for those interested in modern American literature”.

The Banshee: “You'll probably never see this, Jonathan, but a comprehensible plot has *always* been important to people who do a lot of reading. I happened to like the two West stories in this book, but maybe it was only by comparison: by the time I read this, I had recently read novels by Barth, Barthelme and Pynchon.

"Complex, surrealistic fiction" may have snob appeal, and I suspect that the writers you mentioned fail to give readers "characters we can care about and plots which fascinate" simply because they are unable or unwilling to do so. And I think they're writing not for readers, but for self-expression. And if that in fact is the case, I hope they found themselves more interesting than I did...

...that is, unless someone (say, an English Lit professor, one of that nefarious cabal whose mission is to take young minds, and suck out of them all enthusiasm for, and pleasure in, reading) is making you do it.

These two stories can stand on their own, without anyone's help. They're that good.

I sincerely wish everyone knew West's name. That man could write. It's been almost 35 years since I read these stories in college, but I still remember them and how they affected me”.

Joseph Davis: “Wow. Much like Paul Bowles, this author takes no prisoners. May I suggest that you be in a stable frame of mind before reading this novel, lest it prove to be one unsettling factor too many for you. I found myself to be none too comfortable to be counted as a member of the human race at the end of this book. Written at about the same time as Raymond Chandler's early novels and set in the same real estate, The Day of the Locust is about five times as sordid.

It is totally original and totally unpredictable, except for the scent of doom that pervades it from the opening page. You know that the author was writing about what he saw. Los Angeles and Hollywood were rotten seventy years ago. What must they be like now? West covers so much ground, with such economy, and it's all so readable. This devastating work is a remarkable achievement. What a staggering loss that Nathanael West died so young. And what a surprise to find Homer Simpson hiding out in such a fine novel. Highly recommended”.

Colonel Neville: “So dig. Were not these reviews groovy and perceptive, with some great lines? Bravo and kudos to ‘em all, says I. These are two very cool books, being dark satire, one of my favourite styles. It’s not just an English thing.

I find them cathartic while others may wallow in the miserable while they are actually comfortable, a peculiar trait of the affluent and semi-educated. Semi in that they maybe stopped at the theoretical and abstract. Yep, there’s much to be said for the proven and workable, a core value of Conservatism.

That’s along with valuing the free individual above all, free speech, private property and being able to keep your own damn wealth. And spanking a Dallas Cowboys cheer leader... Or is that just me?

And even regards the inky blackness, a true Conservative doesn’t try to straighten the “bent planks” of humanity and yet we aim to improve by tested increments. The bogus and sly rebranding of Left Liberalism as er, “progressive”, a total misnomer, tries to infer a natural and ongoing improvement, but usually means no such thing. More often it means a destructive dismantling and a vacuum of meaning.

Think progressive and see a largely destructive and controlling regressive, who likes neither real humanity, the light of evidence and reason, nor appreciates the meaning and purpose of a true dark night of the soul. Funny people your Leftard progressive’s. Not always ha ha funny, but often good for a gasser.

Here's a final great piece by Gary F. Taylor:

Largely unknown during his brief lifetime, Nathanael West is now regarded as one of the finest authors of the 1930s--a writer whose slashing satires of American decay are so dead-on accurate that they are often painful to read. This is particularly true of his two best works, MISS LONELYHEARTS and THE DAY OF THE LOCUST. Both novels are short and intense, and both present horrific visions of American society choking to death on its own mass-media fantasies.

Probably West's most powerful work, MISS LONELYHEARTS concerns a nameless man assigned to produce a newspaper advice column--but as time passes he begins to break under the endless misery of those who write to him for advice. Unable to find answers, and with his shaky Christianity ridiculed into destruction by his poisonous editor, he tumbles into a madness fueled by his own spiritual emptiness. First published in 1933, MISS LONELYHEARTS remains one of the most shocking works of 20th Century American literature, as unnerving as a glob of black bile vomited up at a church social, empty, blasphemous, and horrific.

THE DAY OF THE LOCUST is the best known of West's works, and presents the story of a Hollywood art designer as he drifts through the California dream factory, a place in which reality exists only as something to subvert into a saleable commodity: an addictive series of dreams that won't come true for the increasing numbers of malcontents that crowd Los Angeles in search of the fantasies seen on the movie screen. And their seething disillusionment proves more deadly than even Hollywood could ever imagine. First published in 1939, THE DAY OF THE LOCUST is still considered the single most scathing novel ever written about Hollywood.

Like much of West's work, these two novels are written in a comic style that the author deliberately and quickly sours: laughter quickly gives way to despair, despair to surreal horror, and all of it condensed into tightly written, noirish, and double-gritty prose that has the impact of a wrecking ball. West is not a writer for every one, not by a long shot, but his power is undeniable, and these two works are his best, essentials in American literature. But brace yourself: they offer one-way tickets going straight down all the way".

1 comment:

GW said...

Thank you for the link and kind words, sir. You have a very well done blog and, having found it last week, I look forward to being a regular visitor in the future.