Did You Kill Anyone? Questions They Ask Veterans Coming Home From War by Scott Beauchamp


An accurate assessment; this does seem like a worthwhile read.

(The following excerpt wasn’t the point of the thing, but I loved the savagery of this putdown.)

«In a complicated labyrinth of sophisticated consumer desires, taste is a substitute for wisdom. Taste – with all of its moral weightlessness and novel detachment – can’t actually have much significance outside of a six-story walkup. It can only exist stranded on islands in Brooklyn and Silver Lake and Austin. Shipwrecked from tradition and denuded of intimacy with the larger culture it feeds off of. However sophisticated it might be or however eloquently it’s expressed, it has to exist within a narrow matrix of familiar cultural references. Sun Ra. Alan Partridge. Zizek. The Hairpin. Zadie Smith. Walter Benjamin. Tin Tin. Kraftwerk. The same books in the same neat artistic stacks on the same IKEA shelves. The same music echoing through the same sleek minimalist apartments, quarter-filled with the same mid-century modern furniture. And all this isn’t to say that a mind-numbing conformity doesn’t exist among other American people in other American places, but that a tribe which coalesces around the glib spirit of intellectual novelty, desperate for an empty individuation, inevitably becomes spiritually anemic. Worse, those in it begin to see their spiritual suffering as a strange sort of victory.»

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