Stewie Griffin Depicts the Winter of Spenglers Discontent
Oswald Spengler predicted a protracted winter in The Decline of The West. Spengler wasn't alone in his depiction of a distopian society where fashion reigns over utility, luck is dominant, bureaucracy squelches progress and the rich have a firm hold on the reigns of an incipient global culture. Spengler was one of the first to be taken seriously.
Stewie's Guide to WORLD DOMINATION [sic] is a ray of sunshine for a winter day of our decline. In Spengler's seasonal taxonomy of decline, winter is the final phase. Spengler writes that one cue of a culture in winter is an increasingly authoritative government. In an authoritarian government, clearly stating your perception is not a fiscally sustainable option.
"?if I were to confess to knowing that the entire enterprise is a sham, then that delicious stream of cold, hard cash that appears under my pillow following the loss of a tooth gets suddenly cut off, doesn't it?"
Transcribed by Steve Callaghan
Spengler separates culture from civilization. Yes, the two are intertwined, but culture reflects the people while civilization reflects the aspirations of global domination, requiring increasingly authoritarian leaders who represent power rather than being powerful on their own. A culture of war masks itself in fashion and subverts education into specialized academic philosophy with obvious discrepancies from reality.
Stewie calls out that the basis of American education, the three Rs doesn't represent three Rs: Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Stewie suggests that we might be better served by the acronym W.A.R.
"There's no country that likes 'W.A.R. more than our own?blame the Boss Hoggs of the world who got the whole enterprise off on the wrong foot with this 'thre Rs' nonsense."
Spengler predicted a focus on lavish sport entertainment as the final cues of the closing of culture and the domination of civilization, where work looses meaning for the affluent as sports becomes the substitute for meaning in one's life. Stewie deftly reveals both of these cues at once as he discusses a typical civilization workplace.
"you are rotting your brain?find yourself having to alternately ask and then answer the terribly probing and provocative question, 'Did you have a nice weekend?' forty-seven different times. And let's face it: Despite the fact that most of the replies should fall along the lines of, 'Well, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday trying to ignore the loveless marriage and spoiled brats I've surrounded myself with while being tranquilized by the narcotic of back-to-back-to-back NFL football in order to keep myself from pondering the very real possibility that I might be gay.'"
Stewie is a ray of light, warming our winter day. Spengler holds that winter is devoid of symbolic art. In a civilization's winter art is replaced by a meaningless fashion dialogue. Stewie staves off the meaninglessness of our encroaching civilization by disseminating symbolic art about our civilization in Stewie's Guide to WORLD DOMINATION, Helped into print by Steve Callaghan; Perennial Currents, 2006.
Howard Campbell is host of the Poker Without Cards coversation at www.intellishit.com">http://www.intellishit.com
Signature (a Random House website) looks at the many 2018 Golden Globes nominees based on books:
It is officially that time of the year awards season is upon us. As usual, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has kicked things off with the announcement of the 2018 Golden Globe Awards nominees. The literary world is represented in this year's lineup with a smattering of great adaptations leading the charge in both film and TV. While the slate of nominees is populated with a few of the marquee titles you'd expect "Game of Thrones" got it's annual nod, for instance a few surprises cracked the surface as well. It looks to be another interesting year at the Golden Globes. Let's have a look.
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2017 is feminism. The word was a top lookup throughout the year, with several spikes that corresponded to various news reports and events.
In an opinion piece in the Irish Times, John Boyne writes:
So I'm going to make a claim now that will probably get me kicked out of the Fraternity of Underappreciated Male Authors (FUMA) and blacklisted from the annual Christmas football game. Here goes:
I think women are better novelists than men.
There, I've said it. While it's obviously an enormous generalisation, it's no more ludicrous than some half-wit proudly claiming never to read books by women. For the record, purporting to love literature while dismissing the work of female writers is like claiming to be passionate about music while refusing to listen to anything but Ed Sheeran. However, I'm going to try to back up my sweeping statement...
The great Simeon Booker, one of the bravest journalists of our time, faced dangers far worse than a petulant president's social media feed. Booker refused to be cowed--and ultimately helped change the nation. His life's work should be a lesson to us all about the power of truth to vanquish evil.
Booker died Sunday at 99. At the height of his career, few could have imagined he would live so long.
As Washington bureau chief for Chicago-based Johnson Publications, publisher of the newsweekly Jet and the monthly magazine Ebony, Booker went to the Deep South to cover the most tumultuous events of the civil rights movement--life-threatening work for an African American journalist.
William H. Gass, a proudly postmodern author who valued form and language more than literary conventions like plot and character and who had a broad influence on other experimental writers of the 1960s, '70s and beyond, died on Wednesday in St. Louis. He was 93.
Mr. Gass was widely credited with coining the term "metafiction" to describe writing in which the author is part of the story. He himself was one of the form's foremost practitioners.
Barnes & Noble, which posted a wider loss last quarter and sent its shares tumbling, is scaling back ambitions to become more than a bookseller.
The retailer had hoped that toys, games and other items would shore up its results, especially as Amazon ate away at its traditional business. But its non-book sales have flagged the past two quarters, and now the company is putting its focus back firmly on reading.
Shelf Awareness reports on the growing "Cider Monday" movement by indie booksellers in response to the big online shopping day known as Cyber Monday. In this low key but fun event stores offer their customers "a warm welcome and a cup of delicious cider" to thank them for shopping local.
Dictionary.com's choice for its Word of the Year is "complicit." It says online searches for the word spiked three times this year...
On Saturday, hundreds of booksellers across the USA took part in Indies First and Small Business Saturday, organizing all kinds of in-store activities, offering a range of deals, hosting parties and engaging in the staple of Indies First since the event was founded by Sherman Alexie in 2013: having authors work in their favorite indies as booksellers. Shelf Awareness reports on some of the events.
Meanwhile, in the UK, bookstores celebrated the first inaugural Saturday Sanctuary
to "celebrate bookshops as a place of calm and respite from our hectic daily lives."
A New York Times opinion piece by Daniel T. Willingham lays out the argument that American's poor reading skills cannot be blamed on modern technology but on a misunderstanding of how the mind reads - that functional literary is grounded not just in the ability to read words but in having the factual knowledge to put what one is reading into context.