Bored again ... the Purity of Doleness ... Ibogaine and Mr.
Nabokov ... 4 more years of this goddamed peace and love bullshit
Not a week since the election and already I'm bored with the news. And it will be another 4 years probably untill I regain any interest in them at all. Even Slate, which I read so avidly during the campaign—which seemed right there! right on it—now seems pompous and affected and worst of all filled with tedious hypertexted stories by so many tedious au courant little shits. I want to rip their shriveled little hearts out and give them all aorta enemas. It all makes me want to puke.
The only story written since the election that's been at all amusing is Michael Kelly's "Ire in the Belly" in the 11 November New Yorker. Maybe it's the last, best word on the '96 campaign.
And if you close your eyes and try hard enough, you can see Bob Dole out there, out there in all that America, riding the Sunshine Express through the land of shoeshines and prayers. Riding that road like a needle and a vein, just Ibogaine, the most optimistic man in America, and language. And language, that's right language, because that's what its all about really. Its language, not rich or poor, or war or peace or black or white, Its language. Clinton speaks language but language speaks Bob Dole. Listen!
"I'll tell them the truth, and they'll think it's hell. How about that? That's what Truman did, and he won, too. Remember, he was behind in the polls, and he won. Keep your eye on me. I'm going to be the second Harry Truman. You watch and see ... Now, remember, this is one of my home states, because a long time ago I was at Camp Polk, LA, marching around there in the summertime. Boy it was hot. It was hot. Even when you're twenty years old it was hot. But I learned a lot. I finally found the base. I got lost for a few hours. But Clinton's been lost all his life. I was only lost for a few hours. And if he were here you could join his retirement party right here ... This is D-Day. This is decision day. November 5, not far away. ... I've always kept my word. And my collegues in Congress or wherever else I've been, regardless of their political affiliation, will tell you that Bob Dole keeps his word. Bob Dole keeps his word. Keeps his word."
Keeps his word! Of course! How could it be otherwise. Bob Dole was there at the beginning and at the beginning was Bob Dole's word. And his word was with Dole and Dole was his word. Leave Clinton to be merely a free play of signifiers, a signifier without signified. Leave Clinton to be differance (vive la differance!). Bob Dole is word, is form, is logocentrism.
But Bob Dole is more than that even. 96 hours on the road, down those vast criss-crossing networks of signification—Interstate 90, U.S. 1, Route 66—which constitute, perhaps better than anything else, American life at the end of this century—his speeches began to lose anything approaching sense, became struggles pitting word against syntax, meaning against rhythm, great mewling tone poems of American Spleen.
"We learned in our little home town—I see other home towns represented here today—to keep our word. We also learned not to say four-letter words. My mother always had a bar of soap handy for that. But in any event, we learned a lot. We learned about honesty, integrity, and generosity, and love and your family, and honor and duty and country—all these basic things we want to teach our children, we learned. That's what this election is all about."
Language speaks Bob. But no one else does.
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