Culture Wars, Literature, Politics, recent, Review

Bret Easton Ellis Nails Contemporary America

A review of Whiteby Bret Easton Ellis, Knopf. (April 16, 2019) 272 pages.

With his new book, White, Bret Easton Ellis not only takes on Hollywood and contemporary culture, he establishes himself as the voice of an overlooked generation. The Gen Xer whose satirical works include “American Psycho” and “Less Than Zero” also grasps the true essence of Donald Trump and our times in a way that eludes commentators on the Left and Right.

Unlike his previous seven books, White isn’t fiction.  As it turns out, to parody the absurd times in which we live, fiction isn’t necessary.  In American Psycho, Ellis critiqued 1980s New York culture through his invention of Patrick Bateman, a rich, beautiful, insincere, emotionally isolated investment banker by day and serial killer by night. No such literary device is necessary to satirize American life today. Like the rest of us, Ellis lives in world where “Everyone has to be the same, and have the same reactions to any given work of art, or movement or idea, and if you refuse to join the chorus of approval you will be tagged a racist or misogynist.”

The usual suspects aren’t pleased. The Guardian judged the work to be “a nonsensical, vapid book, written by a man so furiously obsessed with his right to speak that he forgets to say anything at all.” Vox gave the book one star, called it “boring,” and concluded it was “both ideologically uninteresting and aesthetically weak.” (The Vox reviewer declared in an aside, without irony, that “there is no such thing as non-political art”—a fine example of the Leninist politicization of everything and its impact on art that Ellis laments throughout the book.)

Unspoken but evident in these condemnations is Ellis’s most serious crime: He was seen as a man of the left, but is now somehow a convert despite essentially being the same person. American Psycho was controversial when it was published in 1991, and remains so today, but was and is largely seen as a criticism of the Reagan-era capitalist resurgence, and thus, of use to the Left. Turning the same unforgiving pen against today’s obsession with identity and victimhood is rather less helpful to progressives.

Despite not being primarily about politics—White is fundamentally a critique of recent art and culture—the book manages to capture something fundamental about Donald Trump that neither his detractors nor supporters appreciate. Ellis didn’t vote for Trump (or Hillary), isn’t a fanboy, and positioned Trump as Patrick Bateman’s false idol in American Psycho. But Ellis grasps that Trump’s biggest impact is as much cultural as it is political: “The building that had been inhabited by liberal identity-obsessed elitists was now, after eight years of an Obama hep-cat style and sensibility, being deconstructed—in fact, decimated—by disruptors who’d taken over and were playing by an entirely new set of rules. Not only that, but these disruptors were telling those confused by these new rules to go fuck themselves…”

To explain his transition from New Deal Democrat to conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan often said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic Party left me.”  Ellis, who has always perceived himself as a liberal, finds himself in a similar position: “I was now looking at a new kind of liberalism, one that willingly censored people and punished voices, obstructed opinions and blocked viewpoints. This illiberalism was becoming the alarming norm, in the media, in Hollywood, and for the moment nowhere more glaringly than on college campuses…”

Ellis rejects those who would deprecate or ban art because its producers are objectionable: “Whether it was de Sade’s brutality or Celine’s anti-Semitism or Mailer’s misogyny or Polanski’s taste for minors, I was always able to separate the act from its creator and examine and value it (or not) on aesthetic grounds.” He also noted, “I had never gravitated toward any kind of music because of the politics it does or doesn’t espouse: it’s a question of whether I like the tunes or not, that’s it.”  Sadly, this is radical thinking in 2019.

Throughout the book Ellis takes aim at Millennials, whom he describes as “Generation Wuss,” and whose defining characteristics often seem to be neediness and anxiety.

Ellis defends Gen X, the generation between Baby Boomers and Millennials “who came of age during the one-two punch of the nihilistic ’70s and the rah-rah Reagan ’80s,” that gets little attention today, but which will run the country for the next twenty nears. Ellis opens the book with his own extreme examples of being a latchkey kid in Los Angeles of the ’70s and ’80s. He defends the resilience and nonchalance this hands-off parenting produced: “As a Gen Xer, rejecting, or more likely ignoring, the status quo came easily to me.”

His conclusion is that we could benefit from less of the insufferable emoting and groupthink afoot, and a little more perspective, and even detachment: “…when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is your judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.”


Christian Whiton was a senior advisor in the Trump and George W. Bush administrations.  He is the author of Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War.

65 Comments

  1. JuliaM says

    I love is work and I will look forward to reading this.

    • John Bradley says

      Yes, my sentiments exactly. If the Guardian hates it, I need to read it.

    • Andy Espersen says

      Just bought it – after reading this article.

  2. Wussennial says

    “Generation Wuss?”

    C’mon old man, you can do better.

  3. northernobserver says

    I’m buying it. Fuck them and their smelly red fascist ideologies. Plan to read it on the subway, see if I can trigger a blue hair.

    • JFM says

      I think you mean to say “authoritarian ideologies”. Both fasciscm and communism overlap in this (and many other) aspects.

    • Jim Matlock says

      “Blue hair” once referred to a set of sweet little old ladies over the age of 70.

      • Graham says

        It still does, cos the new blue hairs have the exact same geriatric ‘thinking’ processes and personalities as their probably-more-radical grannies. 🙂

    • Markus says

      Yes, this should be read in public haha

    • Rational Number says

      Totally agree. Fuck the antifascist fascists.

    • HdwJunkie says

      Funnily enough, “a blue hair” once described an older person overly reliant on hair coloring to affect a uniform white/silvery head of kind-of-gray hair. Now it’s a very literal label for the many-tatted millennial child trying to be different in exactly that same as all of his or her peers are different.

  4. Hamilton Sunshine says

    “we could benefit from less of the insufferable emoting and groupthink afoot, and a little more perspective, and even detachment: “…when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is your judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.”

    Now put that on a tshirt and march in it.

  5. Strawberry Girl says

    I’m also a Gen Xer and one thing I’ve noticed about the younger generations (Millennials and Zs) is how conformist so many of them are. Part of it I blame on social media and pop culture, some of it I blame on education and how they were raised.

    • JFM says

      Externally they are conformist but inside they are not. Another reason why mental issues have exploded.

      • Hamilton Sunshine says

        “Externally they are conformist but inside they are not. Another reason why mental issues have exploded.”

        I’d say it’s the other way around. Externally they dress and act like they are non conformist and use words that express how diverse and tolerant of non-conformity they are but underneath they are the one’s demanding we all see and think the same and are the ones supporting big business and capitalism with their allegiance to big name brands who paner to them.

        They think they have to celebrate rebellion while being terribly conformist and that’s why teir heads can’t cope.

    • peanut gallery says

      “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.”

      Get ready for hard times.

    • Area Man says

      Also Gen Xer–Remember the book?–so hearing Ellis use a term like “wuss” is like hearing my native tongue. I’m also into the stand up comedy thing. Some of the older guys (i.e. Rogan & Burr currently, but also Rock & Seinfeld before them) have the same exasperation for college age people. Burr regularly says something like, “College kids used to be the rebels; it was their job to shock the adults. Now I’m 50 years old and the only people shocked by my comedy are the college kids.”

  6. bumble bee says

    “Ellis didn’t vote for Trump (or Hillary),…”

    Looks like Ellis voted for that Giant Meteor in 2016. BTW, where is it? I have been patiently waiting for its arrival to solve all our problems. It is WAY over due!

  7. bumble bee says

    As a Gen Xer, I fully understand Ellis’ perspectives. I too do not feel one iota of attachment to identity politics. In fact, politics until recently has always resided in the back seat of what I care about. Now, I see politics, liberal politics, as reeking so much havoc, and doing more damage all will the banner of being do gooders it makes me cringe. I am not a fan of Trump, but I will not support in any way shape or form the democrats. They are ruining this country, society, by allowing half baked twerps to run roughshod over every other citizen through social media.

    Everyday there is new insanity coming from the left. It is quite mind boggling to witness. Even in my home state of Massachusetts, there is talk that there will no longer be criminal charges against certain crimes like theft, B&E, and other misdemeanors and low level felonies. Their rational for such changes is that it is discriminatory. While I fully agree with the need to look at and reevaluate the high incidence of minority prosecutions, these crimes are serious and instead of not prosecuting why is the DA not doing their job by denying prosecution because there is no evidence rather than abolish the criminality of crimes?

    What I will no longer support and am strongly opposed to is not the causes such as equality, anti-racism, and the need to change some societal structures like healthcare, but the methods used are so appallingly ignorant, nullifying of large swaths of the population, and the nonsense reasoning used for what they do. They are doing more harm, and these ignorant grubs can’t see it.

    • Hamilton Sunshine says

      They’ve become mirror images of what they say they hate. Just with different targets.

    • Robert says

      The irony is that the refusal to prosecute low-level crimes and maintain basic public order is the breeding ground for actual authoritarianism, if not vigilantism.

      If the cops and the people behind them won’t take steps to maintain order, the public will eventually find someone who can (See Giuliani, Rudy) or attempt to do it themselves (See Mobs, Lynch.)

  8. Erica from the West Village says

    I have to admit, I had to watch American Psycho (with Christian Bale as Bateman) 3x before I got it.

    Of course, it took me twice with the Coen Bros. Fargo and No Country for Old Men.

    I may be slow, but I eventually get it.

    The beauty of art through parody, sarcasm and wit is it’s an intellectual exercise.

    And yet…according to Vox and others..they’ve seen these things 10x and they still don’t get it.

    They never will.

    • Jennifer says

      They get it completely but they just don’t want the rest of us to get it.

  9. Morgan Foster says

    I hate to seem ungrateful but this article is, at most, a brief description of the book and hardly a review at all.

    • Andrew Scott says

      That was my reaction. This article says, ‘Read this book. Here are some quotes to show that the author doesn’t like what you don’t like.’

  10. John Lammi PhD, psychologist says

    See the work Jonathan Haidt, e.g., The Coddling of the American Mind –

  11. Grant says

    It seems like it’s still a small minority but their penchant for suppressing speech and even thought is quite alarming. Now opposition political speech isn’t just hate speech, it’s actually violence, don’t you know. It’s laying the foundation to justify violence against those with whom you disagree.

  12. Ghatanathoah says

    The claim made in the Vox article that “all art is political” is an example of equivocation. It is equivocating between two meanings of “political.” (this is also called a “motte and bailey” argument)

    When someone complains that a piece of art is too political, by “political” they mean “directly addresses divisive and controversial issues in modern society.” It is completely reasonable to not want all art to do this.

    The problem is that there are a lot of monomaniacs out their who think art should do nothing but directly address controversial issues in modern society. These people use equivocation to browbeat their opponents. They start by defining “political” as meaning “making any kind of statement about human beings or society whatsoever.” Since pretty much all art makes some kind of statement, they get their opponents to agree that all art is political.

    Then they spring the trap by switching definitions. Instead of defining “political” to mean “makes any statement whatsoever” they switch back to defining it to mean “directly addresses divisive and controversial issues in modern society.” Now that they have gotten you to agree art is political, you surely won’t mind if they try to make all art controversial and divisive, right?

    It’s important not to fall for this trick. It’s a simple example of bait-and-switch equivocation.

    • dirk says

      I would say, if there is even the slightest political stench, it can’t be art anymore.

      • jakesbrain says

        Those who want art to be Woke are demanding the end of art and its replacement with propaganda. Of course, art can deliver a message too, but there’s a hell of a difference between preaching a message and merely delivering it.

        What we are seeing is the raging of a group of insecure ideologues, triggered by the mere existence of ideas less than perfectly congruent to their own. The problem is that this minority of childish fuckheads have spent the last forty years intriguing to get their hands on the control panels of entire societies — which I suspect is the pattern behind most far-Left revolutions.

      • Fred says

        I dunno dirk, that would be news to Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare (especially Shakespeare), Dryden, Swift, Pope, Shelley, Tennyson, Twain, Pound, TS Eliot, Yeats, Heller, Vonnegut and a whole lot of others. What makes art good or bad is not whether it is political, but how its politics are handled and whether it transcends transient current issues to reach the permanent elements of the human condition that underlie all politics.

    • Craig Willms says

      @Ghatanathoah

      Someone who says ‘all art is political’ is a lost soul in my book. I’m an artist(painter) and a songwriter and can’t think of one painting or song I’ve done that is a political statement. For Christ sakes does everything we do and say have to be ideology!!! Art for me is a reprieve from our daily squabbles.

      From the words of songwriter Audrey Assad ‘we plant the seeds of toil and tears and it’s beauty that we sow’

      • Fred says

        I absolutely sympathize with your position Craig, but I would add a nuance. Some great art (I’ll use literary examples because that’s what I know best) is expliciltly political. Gulliver’s Travels, for example, makes strong starements about partisan politics and religious controversy. Who can deny that one of the primary themes of Shakespeare’s history tetrologies is what contitutes legitimate government and failure or greatness in a sovereign? Much of Yeats’ poetry, like “Easter 1916” and “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” is about the struggle of the Irish against English oppression. And I think it’s plausible to argue that even the most apolitical art has political implications, and that examining those implications (objectively, not as a partisan) is legitimate. But I think you are right that reducing art to politics and praising or damning it based on partisan, rather than aesthetic and philosophical grounds impoverishes art itself and the souls of those who take that approach to art.

  13. Graham says

    ‘The Vox reviewer declared in an aside, without irony, that “there is no such thing as non-political art”—a fine example of the Leninist politicization of everything and its impact on art that Ellis laments throughout the book.’

    This person has clearly never seen Mad Foxes, the Swiss-German biker exploitation film. Though I suppose it does depend on your definition of art, of course. 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ1BVmCc5hI

  14. Fickle Pickle says

    Why does anyone need to read a novel to ascertain the state of the collective American psyche either in the recent past or right now.
    Just turn on your TV set.
    Or follow the tweets of the tweeter-in-chief, or watch and listen to his public rants. The recent NRA performance being a classic example.

    Speaking of American psychos the principal “avatar” of this obvious phenomenon is the Orange Monstrosity that now infests and degrades the White House.
    Meanwhile this website describes most of the the psychotic loons that infest and degrade the collective American psyche.
    The over-whelming majority of which are on the right side of the culture wars divide.
    With many of them being “religious” nut cases. The first one featured being a classic example of such.
    http://americanloons.blogspot.com

    You could also check out the full length 1996 cartoon (movie) Beavis and Butthead Do America. It gives a perfect example of the degraded nature of American “culture”.
    Again the Orange Monstrosity is a perfect incarnation of the “culture” depicted in the Beavis and Butthead movie

    • the gardner says

      @Fickle Pickle

      Thanks for being the stereotype the author referred to.

      Have a nice day.

    • scribblerg says

      “Religious nutcases” gave rise to the modern world…Your critique of our politics sits like a fart at a quiet moment of a symphony, crude and unwelcome as its fact and history free. It’s best seen merely as a projectile for your feckless rage, designed to mostly prop up your shallow identity, not illuminate, not elevate. It’s a recitation, and act that reinforces some pathological need you’ve developed. I wonder, do you get sexual pleasure from reading your own commentary?

      Get this. You are a brutal cadre of the Leftist menace, a memetic storm-trooper, as fascistic and dishonest as anyone you imagine you are opposing. Your arrogance is only exceeded by your juvenile rage.

      • Emerald City says

        “Your critique of our politics sits like a fart at a quiet moment of a symphony, crude and unwelcome as its fact and history free.”

        One could say much the same of the more vocal Evangelical loons’ disingenuous bile. If Fickle’s critique of the those holding the reigns of the American Right is “a fart”, then perhaps it’s best to compare the Evangelical Right’s views to an anus. An anus, after all, is something that most everyone has, but most people probably don’t appreciate having one waved around in their face uninvited, or in public generally.

        The gall with which the religious right takes to the public square to assert that they have some right to shape the entirety of American culture around their beliefs, that they have a right to force their faith on everyone else by way of writing their religious rules into the law, is an absolute disgrace. Live your faith if you will, but leave the rest of us alone. I am not a Christian, and I will not be beholden to Christian rules of living with which I do not agree. I choose to coexist when possible; I don’t go out of my way to denigrate Christ nor The Cross, but neither will I be made to venerate either.

        As a gay man, though, I’ve had to watch as the religious right has done everything they can, at every step of the way to harm and/or greatly inconvenience me and people like me, using their religion as an excuse. As a non-Christian, I literally could not care less whether or not someone is gay, whether or not they get married, whether or not they adopt children, etc. But Christians just can’t help themselves. So, when we asked to get married, they mobilized and fought tooth and nail to stop us. Thankfully they failed. Nonetheless, when Christians ask to be respected and tolerated despite their most blatant bigotry, I can’t help but think of all the gay men and women who died unable to marry their life partners because Christians enshrined their superstition in the law. Now, I’m watching as transgender people, Muslims, and pro-choice women continue to contend with Christians who aren’t willing to limit the tenets of their religion to themselves. It makes coexistence difficult, and it makes lashing out easy.

        • Charles says

          I generally disagree with your premise – but the way you turned the ‘fart’ comment into the analogy of an anus was brilliant. Long may we be able to discuss these things – and throw a few jokes in along the way!

        • Centrist Gal says

          Oh what a surprise! A gay leftist attacking Christianity while leaping to the defence of Islam. A gay man defending transgenderism as women fight to retain the rights to female only spaces and female sport.

          Your hypocrisy is tediously predictable. YOU are tediously predictable.

      • I’m a gay liberal who has #walkedaway from liberalism, we’ve gone bat chit crazy on the left. Thanks for reminding me why I was on the correct side of history through most of my life. The left won, we defeated the religious right in our culture wars of the last half century. The problem with liberals imo, is that they can’t even see the victory.

        It’s my belief that the social justice movements are based in an admirable history. They are valid no longer, but they still have their power because of this history of very real oppression. Right-wing, religious extremism a constant and serious threat.

        Your post reminds me that just because I’ve walked away, I won’t be walking to the other side Left-wing and right-wing identity politics today, are two sides of the same coin. The disintegration of liberalism into a cult-like religion doesn’t validate the cult-like state of right-wing Christianity.

    • Craig Willms says

      Fickle, there are 330,000,000 people in the United States. The fact that you characterize ‘right wing nutcases degrading the American psyche is just rich. Extreme right wing thought is a infinitesimally small proportion of the American landscape. However, leftist extremism is literally mainstreamed in the media, academia, statehouses and urban municipalities, it’s everywhere, all the time. Leftism is trashing American culture not Donald Trump. For God’s sake Beavis and Butthead as an amalgam of American culture!!! It wasn’t even a hit back in the 90’s when it came out. It was absurd, and you’re absurd.

  15. Conservative_302 says

    America is the home of the FREE and the brave. Being free is the beauty of the United States. I lived overseas in a country that had a monarchy style government. If you were related to the king, you were protected, if you weren’t, you were poor with limited opportunity and freedom. Too bad more Americans don’t have the experience of living outside the United States in a country that is not a democracy. The left is working very hard to limit our freedom. Just look what happens to people who where a MAGA hat or conservatives on a college campus. This is not the America I grew up in where people agreed to disagree. We need to return to this. Freedom is the very definition of America.

    • scribblerg says

      People will think you sentimental and silly, but you are so right. I’ve traveled enough, but more importantly, have read and studied the world enough to know just how rare what we have in the U.S. is, and just how fortunate we are. The paroxysm of self-abnegation we are engaged in has a cause, it’s the organized Left and they’ve been burrowing into our society for 100 years.

  16. scribblerg says

    American Psycho was garbage. Hackneyed and based on inane stereotypes from Wall St and corp America at a time when I worked in both, Ellis’s was more of an aesthetic take than anything truly compelling or philosophically deep, and he admits this himself. I saw it as angry, superficial caricature revealing more about the author’s biases than anything interesting about our culture or NYC or success int the U.S. Yet he wants to be taken seriously as a critic of our society. American Psycho was a throwaway line, culturally, intellectually. It was “art” its most brutal and political in its own way.

    Consider the banal, superficial pose underlying this statement: “Whether it was de Sade’s brutality or Celine’s anti-Semitism or Mailer’s misogyny or Polanski’s taste for minors, I was always able to separate the act from its creator and examine and value it (or not) on aesthetic grounds.” He also noted, “I had never gravitated toward any kind of music because of the politics it does or doesn’t espouse: it’s a question of whether I like the tunes or not, that’s it.”

    Oh, so the I guess the Left’s entire Postmodern edifice, collapsing the personal into the political and viewing all of our socio-political order via a lens of “justice” and power can be set aside then? Power isn’t embedded in our art? Polanski’s given a pass? Cuz this self-anointed seer emits a throwaway line? Think about it even more deeply. Are you okay with watching a child rapist’s movies for entertainment? I’m not.

    I don’t need to digest the art of lowlifes. There are plenty of people who are’t child rapists doing good art. Also note that he sneaks in an equivalency here, in a sense. Anti-semitism is not nearly as serious as drugging and raping a teen girl, including anal rape. A 13yo girl, that’s what Polanski did.

    So no, I can’t breezily lump Polanski in with Mailers attitudes or an antipathy towards Jews. I point this out because it brings into stark relief Ellis’s brutal moral and intellectual carelessness. He’s always going for the great line or shot or metaphor, but his underlying thinking is crap. Now he’s playing the angry man, good on him as far as it goes, but please don’t ask me to take him seriously morally or intellectually.

    I’m no longer impressed when guys like Ellis get what people like me have known for 40 years. And I don’t clutch my pearls when they are attacked by the Left. The Left attacks everyone to protect their politics and has been doing so since the start of the Left over 100 years ago.

    The only people I can take seriously are those who actually stand up for positive policies that forward our nation’s health and security. Decrying the madness is quite boring to me at this point. Yay, another person saw the insanity coming from the Left in our society – any moron should be able to pick that up by this stage of the game.

    Just sayin’…I know I’m not being fair. I loathe this guy.

    • Dominic Allaway says

      Scribberg: your opinion is Zzzzzzz…

      Can’t appreciate sth if it’s author wasn’t morally beyond reproach? Well, don’t ever visit the Parthenon or pyramids then because guess what? Their authors were slave owners.

      ‘Slave owners had them erected? Knock it all down!’

      D.

      • jakesbrain says

        His opinion is the mirror image of that of the ignorant fucks who want to tear down Civil War memorials in the South.

  17. Dominic Allaway says

    I am reading White like YESTERDAY.

    However, quibble with the Wuss Generation being Millennials or just Millenials.

    S Pinker has their yrs being 1980 – 2000. This is essentially pre social media and social media is often identified as one reason for the fragility of so many people today.

    The even more generation is the one that came after the Milennials, the I(nternet)Gen(eration) – see J Haidt and G Lukianoff.

    D.

  18. Nate D. says

    @ bumble bee

    Check out the documentary “Seattle is Dying” to see how de-criminalizing low-level crimes works out. You might want to go ahead and start looking to relocate.

  19. Peter says

    There is a club for artistic types here in Chicago, and I was gleefully told by a young patron that they won’t let you in with a tie. “Conformity is conformity,” I told him, ” they’ve simply made the guy with a tie the rebel.” I went on to say, “you can’t be edgy, avant-garde, while watching what you say and do. Go in there and put on a tie,” I told him, “go ahead young artist…be the rebel…see what happens.” I haven’t seen him since.

  20. “…when you’re roiling in childish rage, the first thing you lose is your judgment, and then comes common sense. And finally you lose your mind and along with that, your freedom.”

    Yes. Freedom cannot long survive in the feelings-first leftist political climate we have today. I interact personally and online with leftists calling themselves “liberals” who believe that actively eliminating freedom for people who disagree with them actually increases freedom (properly understood, of course) overall.

    How we reached this state of affiars is not hard to explain. Liberals have always regarded themselves, and American “liberals” were regarded as, the bulwark against encroachments on our freedom. These encroachments were always presumed to come from “the right.” In fact, from issues like pornography, Nazi marches in Skokie, Illinois, equality of rights for women and blacks, people who were called and who regarded themselves as “liberals” were viewed as the group that pushed the envelope towards greater freedoms and extending those freedoms to more and more people. But then the left hijacked liberalism, liberals were either too dense or cowardly to oppose them, and now the fox is in the henhouse and, except for too few exceptions/apostates, a major political tendency in our society’s defenses against totalitarianism has been neutered..

  21. Charles G says

    Best Quillette thread I’ve read in quite some time. I love all of you.

    I’m about 100 pages into BEE’s White, and a lot of it is just about movies, btw – and doesn’t even have a slight political tinge. There are certainly cultural implications, and at points BEE becomes more explicit about how we all feel about the SJW types taking over the world, but the loveliest part of the work for me is just hearing about film from a great, nuanced, uninhibited mind.

  22. Luther Bliss says

    “This book is all about keeping art and politics separate & thinking for yourself and”

    Let’s buy this book to own the libs!
    Yes!
    Me too!
    Me too – I love you guys!
    Me too – we are all free-thinkers!
    I agree!
    Me too!
    This book should trigger some leftists because it has edgy politics!
    I agree!
    Yes!
    We all big individuals!
    I agree!
    ….

  23. “There is no such thing as non-political art.” Poets manage to create non-political art by writing bland poems that are incomprehensible. When nobody can understand your writing, nobody can say that it is political. The art of poetry is also non-political because nobody reads it. Art can’t be political if its message reaches no-one.

  24. xyz and such says

    bought it when I read about it here… it’s a good read.

  25. Dodgy says

    A tedious piece – just one elite talking to another while the rest of us engage with living

  26. Mark Savalla says

    Very heartening that a prior lefty lays out the problem so well and understandably.

  27. Adam J. Young says

    Reading Boomer Gen X nihilists is wince inducing levels of embarrassment

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