The Empire That Was Once America

29 Mar

My review of Michael Seidlinger’s new novel “The Sky Conducting” (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press, 2012) is up at The Lit Pub this morning. I enjoyed this book; it has an interesting language structure…I don’t want to recount the review, however. You can read all about it at The Lit Pub site linked. I read this novel concurrent with Jose Saramago’s brilliant dystopian work “Seeing,” and it was a good “junior” companion to Saramago’s tour de force.

It seems that daily I am pushed to think about America’s path downward, whether it’s via political news or just normal conversation with colleagues or friends or other writers. I have this mental vision of everyone still  clinging to the idea that this is the “greatest country in the world” as a rowdy, loud group of saltimbanque trumpeters blowing nonsensically into their instruments off-key, while on a bus slowly rolling into a ravine. I have both respect and contempt for those truly believing this illusion; respect because they have no idea what is going on, and thus are blissful about life in general, and contempt because…well…they truly have no idea of what is happening to America. It’s an amusing position for me to hold…for I am also a passenger on the bus, only I’m not blowing into a horn. I’m putting on a seatbelt and holding for dear life.

When the Revolution comes (if it comes), I’ll be the man running away from it, two martinis clutched tightly in my hands. It will be the only thing I’ll have left.


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