David Kirkpatrick

April 17, 2009

I now understand …

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:58 am

… why Hunter Thompson offed himself. Well I’m not going that far, and certainly not into Hunter’s psyche, but his last work for ESPN was far, far beyond subpar. I read that sporadic Page 2 column as it came out and was just saddened. Hunter had lost it. He lobotomized himself, but he’d lost it, whatever that “it” is.

George Will has hit that same wall. Will’s fall from written word grace has come from age against Thompson’s well-documented heavy drug (both licit and illicit) use, but it has come.

The evidence? This is the literary equivalent of, “GET OFF MY LAWN SONNY!.”

From this link:

On any American street, or in any airport or mall, you see the same sad tableau: A 10-year-old boy is walking with his father, whose development was evidently arrested when he was that age, judging by his clothes. Father and son are dressed identically — running shoes, T-shirts. And jeans, always jeans. If mother is there, she, too, is draped in denim.

Writer Daniel Akst has noticed and has had a constructive conniption. He should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has earned it by identifying an obnoxious misuse of freedom. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, he has denounced denim, summoning Americans to soul-searching and repentance about the plague of that ubiquitous fabric, which is symptomatic of deep disorders in the national psyche.

It is, he says, a manifestation of “the modern trend toward undifferentiated dressing, in which we all strive to look equally shabby.” Denim reflects “our most nostalgic and destructive agrarian longings — the ones that prompted all those exurban McMansions now sliding off their manicured lawns and into foreclosure.” Jeans come prewashed and acid-treated to make them look like what they are not — authentic work clothes for horny-handed sons of toil and the soil. Denim on the bourgeoisie is, Akst says, the wardrobe equivalent of driving a Hummer to a Whole Foods store — discordant.