The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 November 2004

Land of the freaked

Where have I heard this before?

Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America. An excellent historian thinks Americans are "the most frightening people in the world," and a foremost philologist sees America as "the most aggressive power in the world, and the greatest threat to peace and to international cooperation." Others call America a "pig heaven," "a monster with 200 million heads," "a cancer on the body of mankind."

Novelists, playwrights, poets, essayists and philosophers depict America as the land of the dead. It is a country where sensitive souls are starved and flayed, where nothing nourishes and everything hurts. Nowhere, they say, is there such a boring monotony: monotony of talk, monotony of ideas, monotony of aim and monotony of outlook on the world. One American writer says "America is no place for an artist. A corn-fed hog enjoys a better life than a creative artist." One intellectual maintains that "the quality of American life is an insult to the possibilities of human growth."

2004? 2000? Nope. Eric Hoffer wrote that in 1970; it's in his book First Things, Last Things.

(And John Hudock remembered it, for which I thank him.)

Posted at 9:21 PM to Almost Yogurt

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