Nowadays, Lord of the Flies is a byword for savagery, a book that illustrates more potently than any other just how low it’s possible for humanity to sink. In The Guardian, Robert McCrum ties the book’s conception to the second World War, arguing that its view of the world was “unimaginable” without Nazi Europe.
"When it comes to living in a democracy, Nato Thompson argues, nothing affects us more directly and more powerfully than culture. Culture suffuses the world we live in, from TV to music to advertising to sports. And all these things, Thompson writes in his new book, Culture as Weapon, 'influence our emotions, our actions, and our very understanding of ourselves as citizens.'"
...meanwhile, quondam neighbor Jonathan Lethem has packed up for California (to take over the Pomona College position last held by David Foster Wallace). Just in time for Halloween, he raps with New York Magazine about the move...and about his new, book-length treatment of John Carpenter's They Live.
The Atlantic on George Carlin's seven dirty words as they turn 40 years old. You can watch a 1978 performance on YouTube, if you've never heard the routine. Maybe put the headphones on, though, as the language is, as you might expect, deliciously filthy, so yeah, NSFW.