I first saw “Give ’em Hell” Harry S. Truman on my grandfather’s flickering round nine-inch television set in glorious black and white. My granddad was a big Truman fan. He often explained that he was a Third Degree Mason but Harry was a Thirty-Third Degree Mason which was one of granddad’s measurements of greatness.Continue reading “I Voted!”
I read that Inherent Vice was Thomas Pynchon’s sequel to Vineland and cringed. Inherent Vice was a silly, weak-assed fictionalization involving the sub-cultures surviving in the Los Angeles area, including the surfer crowd and lots of drugs. Vineland was about the survivors of sixties subculture in California but there the comparison, stretched as it is, ends. Vineland is a well structured novel with a narrative that is varied by character, loops back regularly on critical events, and involves just enough otherness to leave the reader with some concern for the generally realistic elements of the narrative.
Like so many novels, Vineland is enhanced if you have some experience with the events and locations that it presents. If you have no experience with Hippies or the lure of Northern California communes (now very newsworthy for the quality of the bud grown on the foggy mountainsides), then parts of Vineland are going to be less immediate than they would be to a Wavy Gravy (for instance).
But Vineland isn’t a novel of the sixties with the Merry Pranksters and love beads; it’s a novel covering the start of the Reagan era of greed and mendacity involving overly zealous government types and aging hippies. The cover writeup from the Penguin edition gives a good summary:
Now as I understand it there was a very popular and influential politician in Texas that had all of the right-wing qualities that would make him a good candidate for the continued destruction of this country if he was doing his damage in the Senate. But along the way he was trounced in a run-off election because he wasn’t enough to the right. Now the Republican’s have a weak candidate offering no experience but a strong affiliation with the Tea Party.
Has anyone stopped to remember that the original Tea Party was basically a terrorist group out to destroy things and scare people. Then again, that’s an excellent understanding of the current Tea Party. I am hearing in some more progressive areas that this is a wonderful opportunity for the Democratic party. Open the doors and welcome all the traditional Republicans to come on over to sanity. Do they really think sticking with Mitt Romney is a good idea? When is Mitt the Twitt going to blurt out the really bad gaff and destroy his own candidacy? Is Harry Reid on target with his speculation about Mitt’s tax returns?
To me people will vote Republican if they are