Better late than never: after spending the evening on the phone with a few friends of mine working the quest to find a trumpet for my daughter (just turned 14 last month; JEEZ, how the heck did THAT happen?), today’s Substackery, Origins of the Culture Wars: who’s winning, and why, is finally live and kicking. This one discusses the American traditional nuclear family and the values it both embodies and promulgates, the origins of the Left’s ongoing campaign to destroy it utterly, and Norman Podhoretz’s early-days confrontation with the leading literary lights of the Beat Generation who did so much to get that dirty, underinflated, out-of-round old shitball a-rolling. Sample ‘graphs:
I read Kerouac’s On the Road was back when I was in college, not as part of any formal classroom assignment but on my own hook. I remember being excited about finally getting my hands on a copy, looking forward to a rowdy, rollicking road-tale full of bold adventure, take-no-prisoners iconoclasm, and devil-may-care rebelliousness and individualism. To my everlasting disappointment, I found it to be a flaccid, soggy dishrag of self-obsession, aimlessness, and…well, quite frankly, it was fucking boring, okay?
And alakazooks! Just like that, I was all done with the Beats and their drivel, as narcissistic and dull a bunch of piss-ant pedants as ever threw a bucket of cold water over a lively party just by their very presence. OTR was the first of the Beats I ever read…and the last, too. Trust me, folks: as a voracious reader all my life, I can say without fear of contradiction that anybody who can make sex, drugs, and road trips that dull simply ain’t much of a writer.
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