Buy! Buy! Buy!
Seriously, I reread this the other day for the first time since its revision, and I gotta tell ya...it veritably soars.
I have no idea how I wrote it. Got lucky, I guess, and I can only vaguely recall the ideas flowing at the time like good beer between me and the muses.
Was I drinking at the time? Good God yes, but never during the actual writing. I thrust it into the face of every barroom bookworm I knew. I was delivering furniture at the time and attending PSU on the side, unloading my baggage concerning the Iraq War.
I knew far too many people who blindly followed that savagery, verily seemed proud of it, too. I wanted to kick ass, place their stupidity under the heavy bombs of my own version of "shock and awe."
I gave it to a coworker who called me an "idiot savant." He was that impressed with the prose! Amazing! He was a real-live idiot calling me a savant.
Rare air, indeed.
"Impressive, but you know I don't agree," said an ultraconservative friend whom I secretly hoped to piss off with its politics and polemical breadth.
Score one for RBP.
It is mostly smooth sailing as the actual writing goes, no matter its clumsiness in places (I've reworked it as much as I care to, I'm done with it). Like any great tome, its ideas resonate.
Before it was done and polished to its present sheen, I gave it to the editor of the online journal, Oregon Literary Review.
To my astonishment, CD published the manuscript in its entirety. I had hoped that at best one or two of the essays might strike the right chord.
To this day, I am grateful for the man's largess and belief in the work.
It happened at the right time, as such thing tend to do. Until then my writing had mainly been a matter of starts and stops as I struggled with both my discipline and voice.
Then it spewed forth, attended by the rigors of academia. So thanks to you as well, PSU. (Now where is my honorary PhD?)
So I say to you, Buy! Buy! Buy!
You talk about giving? There can't be a better gift sent by you with a cold eye to someone you know who needs a thrashing this Christmas.
With love, of course.
The title essay at CounterPunch.