Hope your Veterans’ Day included no warring.
I feel fairly guilty about missing a post (in case you haven’t noticed, The Contrarian is a daily affair), but I had a busy non-holiday. I’m in no way suggesting that Vets’ Day isn’t a *real* holiday, but rather pointing out that yours truly did not have the day off.
Instead, I attended a training seminar about communications strategy. I was among some heavy hitters in the municipal broadband and media reform scenes, but I think I held my own. And I even learned some stuff!
By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that the potentate of pugnacious prose, Norman Mailer, has gone to the Great Whiskey Bar in the Sky.
Referencing the afterlife seems appropriate. For a non-Christian, Mailer’s writing was profoundly Catholic. He certainly hated contraception, calling it an "abomination." But he was also unafraid to tackle the Big Questions of Being, pinning man’s struggle for self-definition on the Cross of free will. Soul was not something gifted; it had to be earned the hard way. Mailer’s words pierced like the Lance of Longinus — well, the good stuff, anyway. Yet he just as often produced insurmountable exegeses of Ego. Mailer was a man of a certain time — a pre (and post)-war intellectual with a hard-on for existentialism and a sense of justice reinforced by battle and political oppression. But he shouldn’t have stabbed his wife at that party. Perhaps that’s why this Guardian UK blogger believes Mailer was an irresponsible monster. I dare say she’s got a point.
Still, when individuals such as Mailer die, it’s as if a piece of America is lost forever. Thankfully, all you gotta do to reestablish the connection is read one of his greater works. May I suggest Armies of the Night?
Oh, and one last thing, just for Norm: Why did you never give us that sequel to Harlot’s Ghost, you jerk?