LEWIS LAPHAM, war profiteer! The Harper's editor and thoroughbred idiot tells the Melbourne Age that sales of his magazine have grown 33% since the terrorist attacks of last year. Soon he's releasing a collection of his droning anti-war essays.
The release date? September 11.
Not that Lapham is trying to cash in … oh, no, no, no, no, no. That would be vulgar, and Lapham despises vulgarity. In his Age interview (not available online) Lewis "laments the spectacle that will occur in New York on September 11." He complains to journalist Warwick McFadyen:
"We are preparing to commemorate September 11 with the equivalent of a Superbowl football game half-time show."
And Lapham's swell new book, of course.
The interview is headlined "Voicing Dissent in an Age of Treason", which should give you some idea of the general tone. McFadyen informs us that Lapham – inevitably tagged as "one of the few dissenting voices" in an otherwise barbarous, bloodlusting nation – was deep in thought at his New York office on the morning of the attacks:
He was gathering ideas about Brothers in Arms, a television documentary he had seen a few days before about an American unit in World War II. It occurred to him that the film was less to do with truth and more to do with agitprop.
There's a shock. Not so surprising is Lapham's flyblown, funguslike thinking. "The rights of the individual in the United States have been increasingly diminished and the rights of property continually augmented," he gripes, as though people have nothing to do with property. Apparently in Lapham's world property invents itself, then forces itself upon us humans. Go away, house! Leave me alone, car!
Oh, by the way, everybody is stupid and nobody can communicate properly:
"The point is that there are no new words," he says. "We don't even have the language in which we can put the events of September 11 into our own words."
I guess this explains why most people, whenever they talk about September 11, use a combination of Spanish and Urdu. We just don't have the words! The final paragraph of McFadyen's dissertation on the dissenter veers into madness:
As to the New York state of mind, Lapham sees little difference from September 10 a year ago. The economy, the Wall Street failures, the bursting of the Internet bubble, these are uppermost in people's conversations. The terrorist attacks? They're receding into history, consigned to the dusty carton in the basement, with the text on civil liberties.
Sure, Lewis. They're talking about "the bursting of the Internet bubble". In New York. In 2002. Say, do you think Hillary Clinton will run for the Senate? What about those Brooklyn Dodgers! Ain't that new Neil Simon play a scream?
Lapham's books aren't fit to be used as Ground Zero landfill.