Saturday, December 13, 2008

Model of a Movement

In hindsight, it was naive of me to expect honesty and truthfulness from McSweeneyites, when truthfulness is the antithesis of everything they stand for. Not telling the truth is their aesthetic and philosophical foundation.

The Philosophy of the Lie. For readers like me who seek the truth from literature, fictionalized or not (fiction is often truer because it digs deeper), the past ten years of mainstream lit has been an utter waste. The many books, journals, ultra-expensive and thick copies of McSweeney's produced by this crowd has nothing to offer. Their literary era has been a lost decade: a gigantic accummulation of posing, lies, UNwisdom; untruthfulness. It may as well be consigned to a trash bin, the entire mountainous overpriced mass of it, for all its worth.

In hindsight, McSweeneyism is the perfect parallel to what's happened in this nation's financial realm: a massive expense of money; a brief, glittering Manhattan lifestyle, resulting in: nada. Nothing. No value. Utter worthlessness. Worthless bonds. Worthless literature.

The face of their literary movement should be John Hodgman, since his work so perfectly embodies it: anti-truth. The intentional Lie. The complete artistic and intellectual Fraud.
Unlike the Hodgmans and Handlers of the world-- whose every feckless and childish thought finds print-- I've had very little actually published. One essay I wrote in 1994 for North American Review I'm particularly proud of: "Detroit: Among the Lower Classes." In it I tried to speak the truth about a major American city. The essay gives necessary background for what's happening in Detroit now and is MORE relevant today than when it was written, which should be the goal of literature.

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