Tuesday, August 29, 2006

So Are The Jerks Of Our Lives

I've long felt that The Corrections was the great American novel of our culturally-hideous times. Now Jonathan Frazen shines that infamous, squirmy laser beam on himself.

From today's NYT:

In his new memoir, “The Discomfort Zone,” Mr. Franzen turns his unforgiving eye on himself and succeeds in giving us an odious selfportrait of the artist as a young jackass: petulant, pompous,obsessive, selfish and overwhelmingly self-absorbed.

He tells us that as a child he was “a small glutton for attention, forever turning conversations to the subject of myself.” He tells us that he felt put upon by public entreaties to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. (“Why should I pony up for this particular disaster?”)

And he tells us that he used to find it difficult to enjoy nature’s beauty: a hike up to a spectacular summit was never enough; instead he would imagine himself “in a movie with this vista in the background and various girls I’d known in high school and college watching the movie and being impressed with me.”

Full review here. I'll spare myself the indulgence of reading this one. I could fill several books with tales of the parade of whiney jerks and assholes in my family and life. Hell, I'd fill a goddamn subdivision with a shit heap of the whiney, indulged, utterly self-absorbed, alcoholic, mean, addicted, useless, worthless, pompous, hopeless, sadistic, socially and culturally myopic, weak, sexist, cowardly, precious, beautiful, brilliant men I've known. Why bother? They're a plague on America as it is.

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