Might the Blogosphere Meet the Bill?

“American creative energy has always teetered on the brink of insanity. ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ and ‘The Night Chicago Died’ have, alas, common DNA, the DNA for ‘joyfully reckless confidence.’ What I propose as an antidote is simply: awareness of the Megaphonic tendency, and discussion of same. Every well-thought-out rebuttal to dogma, every scrap of intelligent logic, every absurdist reduction of some bullying stance is the antidote. Every request for the clarification of the vague, every poke at smug banality, every pen stroke in a document under revision is the antidote. This battle, like any great moral battle, will be won, if won, not with some easy corrective tidal wave of Total Righteousness, but with small drops of specificity and aplomb and correct logic, delivered titrationally, by many of us all at once.”

— George Saunders, title essay from The Braindead Megaphone


  1. How pray tell is George Saunders a tool? Because he writes for the New Yorker? Because he’s a MacArthur genius grant? I’m genuinely curious.

  2. It’s tough to call “tool” off of such a short passage, but as someone who has progressively enjoyed Saunders’ writing less and less (though I would put CivilWarLand in my top 5 books), this bit sends some off the rails warning signals for me. It’s got that liberal scold tone that’s just totally distasteful, even to a liberal (which I believe myself to be). I remember Saunders’ tsk-tsking over the Borat movie too, and his take was just preachy and lame. That novella, something, Phil, something, that tried to lampoon totalitariansim had a core about as deep as Free to Be You and Me and was an embarassment his publisher should’ve quashed.

    Seems like he might have caught Young Foagy Syndrome, though lord knows I’ll be picking up the book.

  3. Pardon me but I did not participate on January’s theme kasi I want to focus na lang sa aking true love heehhe.. Ayaw ko ng balikan ang noon lol..

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