Har netop læst White, en samling selvbiografiske skriverier af Bret Easton Ellis. Jeg har visse anker – der bruges fx lang tid på detaljerede beskrivelser af specifikke film, som jeg har svært ved at se kan være interessante for en læser der ikke i meget høj grad deler Ellis’ æstetiske og seksuelle præferencer. Finder også Ellis’s brug af de betegnelserne “Empire” og “Post-Empire” småprætentiøse (de er selvopfundne og bliver ikke forklaret her, jeg måtte søge mig til en definition på nettet: Ellis betegner med “Empire” USA i tiden fra efter Anden Verdenskrig til kort efter 9-11).
Imidlertid opvejes disse indvendinger for mig af Ellis’ betragtninger om moderne fænomener som identitetspolitik, krænkelseskultur og det absurde massehysteri, der har hersket efter præsidentvalget i USA 2016. Det føles som en gedigen lettelse for en gangs skyld at støde på en moderne forfatter, der ikke bræger med i det sædvanlige kor.
During the winter of 2016 and into 2017 I myself began to resist the meltdowns I’d been witnessing at dinners and on social media and late-night TV, and too many times in my own home, in the aftermath of Trump’s victory. I found myself resisting, too, the hysterical wails about this unfair disruption of the status quo, aka the Establishment, which itself decried the dismantling of the political narrative we’d all grown accustomed to and that had eagerly expected the Obama era to effortlessly resume with another Clinton in the White House. (This had alarmed me during the campaign, suggesting as it did a movement backward instead of forward, regardless of this Clinton’s gender.) When this didn’t happen, well, it was just too much for some people to accept. This wasn’t the usual disappointment about election results – this was fear and horror and outrage that it seemed would never subside and not just for members of Generation Wuss, like my partner, but also for real grown-ups in their forties and fifties and sixties, so unhinged that their team hadn’t won they began using words like “apocalypse” and “Hitlerian”. Sometimes, when listening to friends of mine, I’d stare at them while a tiny voice in the back of my head started sighing, You are the biggest fucking baby I’ve ever fucking heard in my entire fucking life and please you’ve got to fucking calm the fuck down – I get it, I get it, you don’t like fucking Trump but for fuck’s sake enough already for fuck’s sake.
Spot on, ligesom hans karakteristik af de sociale mediers stadigt mere snævre ekkokamre af “rigtige meninger”:
The shunning of others who don’t think like you had moved past protest and resistance into childlike fascism, and it was becoming harder and harder to accept these exclusionary tactics. The differing political viewpoints were judged as immoral, racist and misogynist. This constant shrieking by the unconsoled was, for me, beyond tiresome, a high-pitched drone that never moved the needle. I figured that you might not like someone’s politics or even his or her worldview but could still learn something useful and then move on. But if you look at everything only through the lens of your party or affiliation, and are capable of being in the same room only with people who think and vote like you, doesn’t that make you somewhat uncurious and oversimplifying, passive-aggressive, locked into assuming you are riding the high moral tide, without ever wondering if you might not, in the eyes of others, be on the very bottom?
Dette fra en kulturpersonlighed, tilmed en med Hollywoodtilknytning. Uventet og forfriskende. Tak for det.