I Didn't Write That!
Tell It, Sister
As usual, Carol Lay illustrates my exact sentiments on this rotten, stinking year better than I ever could...
Susan Sontag 1933-2004
Today Susan Sontag died of leukemia at the age of 71, having survived her breast cancer of the 1970s (about which she wrote Illness As Metaphor, which decried the mostly subconscious but sometimes, as with AIDS, conscious association some make between a disease and the type of person who gets it, which she saw ceated self-fulfilling datalism among cancer patients) by about three decades.
Sontag was possibly one of the biggest influences on my thinking. Under the Sign of Saturn, particularly the essay "Fascinating Fascism," notorious for its attack upon the disingenuous Nazi director Leni Reifenstahl, is one I still re-read to this day. Styles of Radical Will changed my notion of such disparate genres as science fiction, pornography and political writing (the three of which aren't so far apart as you might think), and if it weren't for Against Interpretation, particularly the title essay and Notes on Ionesco, my play Suspension of Disbelief (which used to start with a quote from her) and my writings on film would possibly never have taken the form they did. Whether that's a good or bad thing, you tell me.
And of course, she was one of the few to have the courage to speak the plain truth after 9/11, and she and indeed much of her intellectual generation (which also included such figures as Stanley Kubrick, Norman Mailer, and Gore Vidal) makes us look pretty cowardly and pathetic now. Essayists like herself or Orwell, who could speak plainly and to the point about complex ideas in a manner anyone could understand, are almost nonexistent now. We've lost something.
I honor her as she was one of the true greats and gave me and many, many others new ways to look at culture that were not weighed down by ideology and not written for a tiny elite in the Hamptons. If you haven't read any of her works you should pick up one of these right now.
Thank you, Ms. Sontag, and may you rest in peace.
Christmas is early this year, I see.
Networks Reject Anti-Hate Ad
I suppose the networks only kowtow to religious people if they're hateful.
Well, that makes sense. What's the worst the reasonable ones could do to you? Whereas the crazy right-wing ones send you bombs.