In back of the Press Site, more than a hundred radio and TV trailers were now arrayed behind one another in ranks and rows of huge white ruminants, the very sacred cows of American technology. Yet there was only one trailer reserved for food" (91). Admitting that it "was next to heartwarming" to discover a piece of poor planning amid the "icy efficiencies" of NASA, he describes the grotesque results of placing one's faith in machines when it should be placed in men.
The trailer was inadequate to the needs of the Press -- over a hundred waited in line, more than a hundred walked away in disgust. The line drifted forward about as fast as a tide works up a beach. The trailer interior consisted of a set of vending machines for chiliburgers, hamburgers, pastries -- all people wanted were cold drinks. So the line crawled, while everyone waited for the same machine. Nobody was about to have machine-vended chiliburgers at halfpast eight in the morning.
But so many demands on the iced-drink machine caused malfunctions. Soon, two vending machine workers were helping to service the machine. Still it took forever. Coins had to go into their slot, change be made, cups filled, tot of cracked ice dropped, syrup poured, then soda. Just one machine. It was pure American lunacy. Shoddy technology, the worst kind of American shoddy, was replacing men with machines which did not do the work as well as the men. This crowd of a hundred thirsty reporters could have been handled in three minutes by a couple of countermen at a refreshment stand in a ball park. But there was an insidious desire to replace men everywhere with absurd machines poorly designed and abominably put together; yes, this abominable food vending trailer was the proper opposite number to those smug and complacent VlPs in their stands a half mile away; this was the world they had created, not the spaceship.
"There could be no other town like it. If you were sensitive to crowds, you might expire in summer from human propinquity. On the other hand, if you were unable to endure loneliness, the vessel of your person could fill with dread during the long winter....
Conceived at night (for one would swear it was created in the course of one dark storm) its sand flats still glistened in the dawn with the most primeval innocence of land exposing itself to the sun for the first time."
– Tough Guys Don’t Dance, 1984
He not only has an armory of cruel and intimate weapons with which to protect himself and injure lovers and friends, but he is obviously in possession of the secret of youth.
Mailer in Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man
"It was a spare epilogue to an expansive life writ large and long in books and in combative public appearances that for decades made him the best-known writer in America.
Surrounded by a few dozen family members and close friends, Norman Mailer, whose career spanned nearly six decades and more than 30 books, was buried yesterday afternoon in Provincetown Cemetery.
One by one, a dozen speakers and musicians walked to the front and stood next to the mahogany casket, which was flanked in a semicircle by six photos depicting Mailer from childhood through his very public years of giving speeches in New York City, his wild, flyaway hair seeming to seek other venues.
Mailer's long life and literary output were matched by his taste for respect and fame, not necessarily in that order. The speakers drew tears and much laughter yesterday recounting the writer's tenderness and outrageous exploits."
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