Sunday, September 17, 2006

Pynchon's America

VinelandThomas Pynchon can be as arcane and non-linear as James Joyce. His California wine-country fantasy "Vineland" is more fun — a cross between Tom Robbins and Philip K. Dick — which makes "Vineland" worth exploring as Pynchon's new novel nears publication.

Mucho Maas, a ex-druggie with a Dubyaesque conversion experience, explains how the flower children of 1967 (those who hadn't become zombies) could lose their drug-induced clarity by 1984: "Give us too much to process, fill up every minute, keep us distracted, it's what the Tube is for, and though it kills me to say it, it's what rock and roll is becoming — just another way to claim our attention ..."

Pynchon's take on Reagan as Big Brother now reads as a foretaste of Justice under Bush. His alternate America supported state surveillance in the guise of keeping us safe, with the feds free to settle personal scores unchecked. At least until the tax cuts catch up with them.

No comments: