Wednesday, December 19, 2007

When fascism comes to America...

Ok, longish story possible here.
I'm trying to learn more, be a more knowledgeable citizen and I'm hoping this blog will help because it forces me to read the news in order to have something to say. I also want to learn about culture and literature and historical things, so, like with my biography (although cribbed) of Sarah Fisher yesterday afternoon (and it's a funny story, I looked up from my desk and saw that I had actually stayed late at work working on that!).

So, this morning I was reading the paper. Apparently Presidential Candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has a Merry Christmas commercial, and there is what appears to be a cross in the background behind him. (A staffer says it's an illusion created by a cabinet). Anyhow, the ad prompted Ron Paul to say "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

I thought this was a brilliant quote and I googled it and learned that it's often attributed to Sinclair Lewis but there's no proof he's the actual source. So then I went to wikipedia to read about Sinclair Lewis. I found a few other good quotes;

"American professors like their literature clear and cold and pure and very dead."
"I love America, but I don't like it."
"Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless."

I learned he wrote a huge number of books I've heard of but never read; among them
Our Mr. Wrenn, The Trail of the Hawk, The Innocents, The Job, Free Air, Main Street, Babbitt, Arrowsmith, Mantrap, Elmer Gantry, The Man Who Knew Coolidge, Dodsworth, Ann Vickers, Work of Art, It Can't Happen Here, Jayhawker, Selected Short Stories, The Prodigal Parents, Bethel Merriday, Gideon Planish, Cass Timberlane, Kingsblood Royal, and The God-Seeker

Apparently, he wasn't very likable as a person. I can really relate to this, as lately I don't think I am either. In 1930, Lewis won the Nobel Prize in Literature in his first year of nomination. He said "in America most of us — not readers alone, but even writers — are still afraid of any literature which is not a glorification of everything American, a glorification of our faults as well as our virtues," and that America is "the most contradictory, the most depressing, the most stirring, of any land in the world today."

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Arrowsmith but refused the Prize!

So that's what I'm hoping this blog will do for me, or help me do for myself. I read something this morning that led to a little research that led to me knowing something new. I hope you enjoyed the ride!

1 comment:

JavaBob said...

If you are truly interested in what is happening to this world... look up Arron Russo (might have his first name misspelled) and view some of his work. It is a real eye opener....