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Chaos USA

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  • #16
    Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
    I’ve no idea if it’s good to read books in your own context or not. I mean, it’s unavoidable to an extent, but at what point are we asking for our context to overwhelm the point the author is trying to make? I hate 2020 for doing this to us.
    There are lots of reasons to hate 2020. Maybe that’s a new thread. Reasons why 2020 sucks. Haha.

    I remember being at one of Mike’s signing events in about 2006 (during the peak Bush war years), and asking about a sequel to Breakfast in the Ruins. That’s why it was on my mind earlier. I asked Mike if he had thought about some kind of new version since (I tho it at the time) we were hitting peak inhumanity toward one another, and maybe there was a need for it. Both Breakfast and Pyat show us something ugly, and do it relentlessly, with Breakfast having much less of the pitch black comedy.

    I remember thinking then about how an old(ish) novel could resonate so clearly with the present. And now I keep thinking they are even more relevant and resonant.

    FWIW, Mike was on a few deadlines at the time, and he replied “I resent you for even suggesting it.” 😂

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    • #17
      Oh I’ll have a lot of venting to do if we do a “why 2020 sucks” thread. And the worst part is that, compared to most, I’m sure I’m doing great. But my life is very topsy turvy and I’m thrown for a loop. Health and job are great, and I am grateful. But... I’m still struggling to keep my footing.
      "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
      --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Doc View Post

        I am stealing “relentlessly blinkered ideological grandchildren of reaganism and thatcherism” as
        often as I can.

        The legacy of Reagan is troubling to me. I’ve seen a “I miss Reagan” bumper sticker so often that it’s painful, especially since half of the people putting them on their cars were born after Reagan was president. The legend is bigger than the accomplishments. And of course, many of the people with the sticker would call Reagan a RINO in today’s political climate.
        Here's an idea for a bumper sticker with a little more pizzazz - a sillhouette of an assault rifle, a picture of Reagan surrounded by bullseye circles, and below - "I sure miss Reagan! My sights need adjusting."
        sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

        Gold is the power of a man with a man
        And incense the power of man with God
        But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
        And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

        Nativity,
        by Peter Cape

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        • #19
          Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post

          Here's an idea for a bumper sticker with a little more pizzazz - a sillhouette of an assault rifle, a picture of Reagan surrounded by bullseye circles, and below - "I sure miss Reagan! My sights need adjusting."
          Funny enough, today I just saw one of the “I miss Reagan” stickers that had “don’t” written in marker. Then I saw this. Maybe the legend of St. Ronnie doesn’t linger as much as a fear.

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          • #20
            One thing I remember from the Third Ronnie's first year while I was at high school in Canberra, was one of the girls who was friendly with me, telling me that he'd mixed up Afghanistan and Pakistan - this was in the early days of the Soviet invasion/intervention. Consequently I've never felt the need to worship at his shrine. J G Ballard got it right, as far as I can tell, with his "Why I want to fuck Ronald Reagan".

            From my point of view, Gorbachev was the real hero of that round of talks - he had to pay some quite savage and vicious criticism over the years for that, and he's never been given the credit for his courage.
            sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

            Gold is the power of a man with a man
            And incense the power of man with God
            But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
            And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

            Nativity,
            by Peter Cape

            Comment


            • #21
              Ballard was so good with everything, wasn’t he?

              U.S. mythology has Reagan as Rambo threatening Gorbachev with a machine gun and bulging biceps, single handed lay destroying the Berlin Wall with his own giant sledge hammer.

              The notion that Gorbachev did nothing but cower and capitulate is of course undermined by the role that Russia still holds in global politics.

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              • #22
                Reagan did little but weaken our democracy by strengthening the corporations, namely the very Military Industrial Complex Ike warned against. Gorbachev had the courage and acumen to affect change.

                I don't understand the affection people hold for Reagan. Perhaps you're right, Doc, that it is because of the Myth that he brought down the Iron Curtain.
                "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                --Thomas a Kempis

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