The Failure of Satire – The Cockroach by Ian McEwan

My lack of understanding of British politics might be a factor but I was unimpressed by this supposed masterpiece of satire. The concept-a reverse Kafka if you will-is intriguing, hence my picking it up at the library, and in many ways well done. But I think the problem is that if you don’t believe that Brexit is an on its face stupid, disastrous policy then the satire es off not as ic genius but as another example of the mindset that leads to populist revolts.

Continue reading

You can have enlightenment for ninepence but you prefer ignorance

C. S. Lewis’s old tutor, whom he called Kirk or Knock or The Great Knock, was an irascible old Ulsterman who would regularly get exasperated by people who lacked intellectual discipline and even basic curiosity. He would sometimes say to such people, “You can have enlightenment for ninepence but you prefer ignorance.” That’s you. You can do better, and God help your sorry-ass soul if you don’t try.

Continue reading

The elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature.

I’m still not above watching vapid reality shows about meth-addicted Tiger tamers. Nor am I dismissive of the pelling fare we find on streaming media — we are living in a golden age of middlebrow culture. Certainly the world doesn’t need another writer praising the virtues of?Moby-Dick. And that’s not my point. Sitting here in isolation, I e to praise the elemental beauty and depth that can be found only in great works of literature.?Moby-Dick demanded my attention, imagination, and time. — David Harsanyi on reading Moby Dick