08 July 2008

The case of the marching morons

A week doesn't pass without a reminder of that powerful image. What caught my fancy this time? Oh, it's simple. Just finished reading a great book: The Road by Cormac McCarthy - yes, the author of No Country for Old Men, disliked by some people (dunno, I am not sure I'll read this one after all).

Anyhow, rumbling when I should be grumbling... the post was meant to be about these endless blurbs that use about ten percent of the paper in that paperback edition. Usually I skip them to protect my digestion, but this one appears at the top of the back cover, so I read it rather involuntary:

The first great masterpiece of the globally warmed generation....
It is by one Andrew O'Hagan who (I have just discovered) is himself a writer of note. To my chagrin, I've never heard of him. But there are other ten million writers I have never... rumbling again, I am afraid.

So what is it about that quote that caused my displeasure? Of course, Cormac McCarthy does not belong to the "globally warmed generation", being born in 1933. Of course, the book itself develops (majestically) on the background of a nuclear winter, which is, I suspect, more of a writer's tool and a writer's privilege. Mere misunderstanding of this technicality shouldn't be counted against Mr O'Hagan.

Yeah, well, it's mostly about morons in general. Morons, you see, could be made marching for any cause, good or bad - or even several cases at the same time. Morons are fed on the current slogans and our deep - seated fears and there is nothing more frightening* than an enthusiastic moron in the throes of the latest political, social or other fad. Because marching morons are easily directed to stomp anything in their way... oops, where does this rumbling end?


Of course, that unfortunate "globally warmed generation" could be just a figure of speech, and Mr O'Hagan didn't really mean... whatever. And of course, it's unfair to judge a person basing on one unfortunate sentence. But there is another problem - doing some minimal background research on the man, I came to an inescapable conclusion: Andrew O'Hagan is a moron, after all. Proof.

(*) It's also a figure of speech. Bad habit. Surely, cockroaches, earthquakes and many other things (to many other people) are more frightening.