A Note From G

G.G is the hero of the novel G. by John Berger. G is a bit of a picarro wandering through Italy before the Great War and racking up sexual adventures. Along the way the narrator (presumably the aforementioned G) tells stories of the events and characters he meets (or seduces) in his travels around Italy and parts of Europe. The narrator also stops and makes editorial comments on those activities and on the developments going on in Europe.

I find that most historical fiction nowadays is best accepted less as a reflection of the past but moreover as a comment on the present, especially as the present leads into the future. In G. we have several such passages; here is just one:

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Women Hold Up Half the Sky

womenI realize that until fairly recently women were viewed more as possessions than as human beings. If men were able to create life themselves, I’m sure women would still be indentured servants at best, and possibly even go the way of the passenger pigeon.

This makes sex the most primary human activity, more important even than making money.

But now that women are no longer dying young in childbirth or being raped and pillaged during border disputes and range wars (this doesn’t apply to all parts of the world), men have been forced to pay attention to women for other than pleasure and procreation. Women have become an important economic and political force in the world, even though the angry old white men in the United States are dragging their feet to recognize this fact. Many men cannot wrap their feeble little minds around the concept that women should be treated as equals.

Why is that?

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Upton Sinclair

Upton SinclairMost people know Upton Sinclair for his “muckraking” novel, The Jungle, and now a few more know of his novel Oil! which was made into the critically successful movie, There Will Be Blood, but very few people know just how prolific Sinclair was: he wrote fiction, essays, even a few dramas. To give you an idea of his impressive output, here is the list from Wikipedia:

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American Exceptionalism

GOP

There is a questionnaire going around soliciting each American’s analysis of the reasons for the decline of the once admired civilization known as The United States of America. The first question tells it all:

What is the main reason for the demise of the United States?

  1. Income Inequality
  2. Guns
  3. Reproductive Rights
  4. Human Rights
  5. Sex & Nakedness
  6. Socialism
  7. The GOP.

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