Monday, March 7, 2011

Of Americans

This has been a very trying twenty-four hours.

I made the mistake of purchasing Twilight of the Assholes by Tim Kreider at the Emerald City Comic-Con yesterday. Like most of my best literary finds (The Myrkin Papers, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, et al.), I picked it up based mostly on the strength of its title. The accuracy and truth of the obese hag replacing Lady Liberty on the cover merely sealed the deal. This is a theme that would repeat itself throughout the book; Kreider has an uncanny knack for drawing the ugliest parts of this country.

It represents, essentially, the concerted efforts of a thinking person to keep himself from going completely batshit insane during a time when his country has already lost that fight. And I do mean his country, because it is clear that, despite all the vitriol he flings on the idiot public and our elected officials, he has a deep respect for the ideals that this place ostensibly stands for. In one essay, one downright harrowing essay, he asks what happened to the country that he grew up in. Typically when people ask this, they are wondering why it is that Kids These Days wear their pants so gad dang low, or why Them Faggits are suddenly allowed to touch each other in public. When Kreider asks, he wants to know how we went from a country where an anti-war comedy was the most beloved program on television to a country where people routinely suggest that 150,000 confirmed Iraqi civilian deaths are acceptable losses in the War on Terror.

It is a salient question.