The aristocrats at the National Book Award Foundation aren't going out of their way to advertise this year's black-tie ceremony, held as before at the Marriott-Marquis fortress in newly Disneyfied Times Square. Are they afraid I might show up again with my camera, my protest signs, and my flying bird hat? (As of now it looks like I'll be unable to make it-- look for my shadow in the cold regardless.)
This year, the rich people who control the thing have allowed to be nominated for the fiction prize two token populists. Safely predictable Leftist novelist E.L. Doctorow will be carted out, with wheelchair or walker, IV tube or embalming jar. He's very "radical" as long as being so doesn't conflict with his cushy New York University professor job! (Mr. E.L.-- ever read the ending of "Animal Farm"? Snort, snort. Enjoy the swanky dinner!)
Along for the ride as well is one-time street writer Mary Gaitskill, who used to pen great stories when she was living among real people, before trading in authenticity for the posing trust-fund crowd. (I optimistically look forward to reading her novel.)
Look folks-- all the cover, the glitter and glitz, the black ties and $10,000 tables doesn't change the fact the "National" Book Awards ceremony representing a sliver of American society and literature is a sham-- just another con game perpetrated by the puppet-masters of American culture. Outside last year's event I hung out with a small group of low-rent working class rebels there to protest the nomination of the 9-11 Commission's Official Report for a book award. The passage of one year has shown the protestors to have been right-- the Commission's Report was a whitewash. This has been demonstrated by the recent Able-Danger revelations in which at least seven credible government employees have testified or attempted to testify that segments of the federal government knew about the Al-Queda cells in this country before 9-11 occurred. The Commission panelists didn't want and DON'T want to know anything about Able-Danger-- neither does the bulk of the establishment media both "Right" and "Left" (two sides of the same coin)-- though the revelations about advance government knowledge are likely only part of the story; the tip of the iceberg.