Saturday, March 17, 2007

Fine Line

Apparently everyone's talking about this article in Salon by Garrison Keillor (via kottke).

Here's a choice sample:
Monogamy put the parents in the background where they belong and we children were able to hold center stage. We didn't have to contend with troubled, angry parents demanding that life be richer and more rewarding for them. We blossomed and agonized and fussed over our outfits and learned how to go on a date and order pizza and do the twist and neck in the front seat of a car back before bucket seats when you could slide close together, and we started down the path toward begetting children while Mom and Dad stood like smiling, helpless mannequins in the background.

I read the piece at first with shock ("what? Garrison? But I thought we were friends...") and then again with uncertainty. Is this a joke? Satire? What the hell?

If it was supposed to be satire it doesn't immediately come off that way. It's only Mr. Keillor's vocally liberal history that made me certain that it must be. Divorced from his admittedly large personality, it comes off as the same as all the bullshit those conservatives are always spouting.

But I still want to argue with it, even if it's satire. Is that the point? Garrison, what are you doing?

The self-absorption of the children of that generation (GWB's!) has caused incredible pollution the earth, impoverishment a bunch of non-western countries in the cutthroat pursuit of global capitalism, and participation in 4 (?) wars! Plus a continuing self-absorption that is (perhaps?) in turn responsible for the narcissism of the children that they raised.


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