Strange American Things.

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
One thing they love, those Americans, is to talk about an artistic career in terms of business strategy and industry chicanery.
 

Leo

Well-known member
btw, weren't the forefathers of that whole shebang the English, with their endless debates of late-90s/early 00s Damien Hirst and Charles Saatchi's introduction of art flipping?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
America is amazing.

Grenon styles himself as “archbishop” of Genesis II – a Florida-based outfit that claims to be a church but which in fact is the largest producer and distributor of chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle cure” in the US. He brands the chemical as MMS, “miracle mineral solution”, and claims fraudulently that it can cure 99% of all illnesses including cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids as well as autism.

Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis II has been marketing MMS as a cure to coronavirus. It advises users, including children, to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it.

In his weekly televised radio show, posted online on Sunday, Grenon read out the letter he wrote to Trump. He said it began: “Dear Mr President, I am praying you read this letter and intervene.”
 

146 I.Q. Magical thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
I sat through an all employees meeting yesterday, hosted by the head office in the States. Via zoom, naturally.

One of the senior guys hosted it from his deck, barbecue blazing away at chicken, swatting hornets with an electric tennis racket. Then some other fella who'd been in the US navy scolded anyone who believed being in lockdown is like being in a war. I think he had dronicide on his CV, his ten thousand pixel stare game was strong. Finally, the CEO gave us all next Friday off. It was a unique vibe, I like Americans.
 

Leo

Well-known member
crass, phony, shallow, narcissistic. and everyone else represses their secret jealousy.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
Strange American Things?

Philly cheesesteaks & hoagies. The former get all the hype, but hoagies are strangely glorious. Flag worship. Money worship. The transitional change in accents between Philly, Baltimore, DC, VA & southern Maryland. Waddling vacationers in the capital. The way lighting & various power lines run unabated over walkways & parallel to road networks everywhere. Messy, ugly eyesores, where’s the planning?

Everything by William Burroughs, Bishop Pike’s journey, Jospeh Campbell’s heroes & myths. The strangest thing, personally, is the way the recent human presence on its land mass seems overtly artificial, like someone dumped a bunch of buildings & infrastructure in one. It hasn’t had the time to settle, accumulate, accrue & then be adapted the way you experience elsewhere. Similarities to Australia. The few historic districts are majestic though.

Male fraternity organisations that adopt peculiar headwear. All those fucking guns. Slow interstate speed limits for such a huge nation. HOV lanes that you inevitably cheat on, only for state police to appear. Those people have a strange demeanour generally, buzz cuts, daft uniforms, rude as fuck belligerent wankers, aching for you to bite. Throw a few polite Britishisms at them & they fold from the paperwork potential of an arrest.

Gumbo - strangely strange but heavenly, like Bouillabaisse but spicier. BBQ fetishes. Clam or corn chowder, sorry that shit is gross. Doggy bags. Outdoor grills as male status symbols. Biker helmets. Truck shapes compared to other parts of the world, the engine block front-ends more specifically.

Their aversion to the word cunt. Cunt is a fine olde word, older than America itself.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
That is a weird one yeah. It's like they take an old word from another country and tell you it means something different and you can't say it. Cunts.

The few historic districts are majestic though.
Would love to go to - is it? - Savannah where Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil is set. And doesn't Miami or something have more art deco buildings than any city in the world?
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Grenon styles himself as “archbishop” of Genesis II – a Florida-based outfit that claims to be a church but which in fact is the largest producer and distributor of chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle cure” in the US. He brands the chemical as MMS, “miracle mineral solution”, and claims fraudulently that it can cure 99% of all illnesses including cancer, malaria, HIV/Aids as well as autism.

Since the start of the pandemic, Genesis II has been marketing MMS as a cure to coronavirus. It advises users, including children, to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it.

In his weekly televised radio show, posted online on Sunday, Grenon read out the letter he wrote to Trump. He said it began: “Dear Mr President, I am praying you read this letter and intervene.”

American reality is pulp. This is why all those egomaniacs straining to write The Great American Novel are doomed from the start. It's why Burroughs, Pynchon, James Ellroy get so much closer to the truth. It's lurid, grotesque, cheap, tacky, plastic, delirious, obscene, in bad taste. You can't turn it into 'literature.'
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Interesting idea... I googled Great American Novel to see what was suggested, first up on Wikipedia is Moby Dick... now, I dunno, I'd want my GAN set mainly in America personally. The next suggestions are Huckleberry Finn and Great Gatsby. In fairness F Scott Fitrzgerald does have that shiny, jazzy, almost tacky quality that you're talking about so maybe it just needs rejigging a bit to include comics and stuff instead of throwing out the name altogether - though maybe there is something ludicrous about applying the title of Great American Novel to a comic.
There are definitely two (well at least this is one way of dividing them) strands in US literature; on the one side you have Moby Dick, Hemmingway, Last of Mohicans, Jack London and so on that are about man and nature and God and stuff... and on the other the strand you identified above. Certainly when it was the American century and they were spreading their soft power it was coca cola and rock n roll and diners and the like that captivated everyone.
 
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146 I.Q. Magical thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
American Psycho was a great American novel and a Great American Novel. Captures the trashiness and everything else. You don't even need to read it in page order it's so great.

Besides, the definition of Great American Novel is that it's anti-American in one way or another, skewering assumptions.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
Yeah but I think that Luka's point is that things like that ought to be on the GAN list but really, looking at wikipedia's suggested offerings, it's all more worthy stuff... ok, Fear and Loathing is suggested but before that it's all kinda serious issue things such as The Scarlet Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
It has Lolita on it... why not I Spit On Your Graves if we're allowing foreign authors. Definitely someone who was in love with that shiny jazzy country and wrote a horrible attack on it.
 

WashYourHands

Well-known member
That is a weird one yeah. It's like they take an old word from another country and tell you it means something different and you can't say it. Cunts.


Would love to go to - is it? - Savannah where Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil is set. And doesn't Miami or something have more art deco buildings than any city in the world?

Old Town Alexandria, just outside DC, has some gems, but Shenandoah is heavenly. They nearly all have that uncanny edge from so much Civil War blood & Virginia’s longer colonial history. Alexandria was a big slave distribution hub, i had some seriously disturbing dreams there. Richmond’s White House is a trip. No mention of slavery but plenty of photos of dandily attired southern gents of sartorial vanity. DC itself is strange. So much military life & resources. Metro stop @ the Pentagon in VA on way in, city crawling with spies, embassies everywhere contrasted by a largely warm black population. Just don’t stray off the path or get lost in PG county over in Maryland.

To contrast, the Philadelphia of David Lynch.
 
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muser

Well-known member
That is a weird one yeah. It's like they take an old word from another country and tell you it means something different and you can't say it. Cunts.

I only discovered recently that calling someone a cunt in the states is more akin to calling someone a pussy. As opposed to it being closer to bastard here, or wanker or daft or lad.. I guess it just didn't get the air to develop the many different nuances it has here.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I think it's seen as both offensive to women and also of carrying kind of undercurrents of homophobia when applied to a man (at least that's the impression I got from that episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm when he got kicked out of his poker game for calling that guy a cunt).
 

catalog

Well-known member
I watched that curb episode recently. It's pretty mad, the guy takes time off work, reasseses his life etc, cos Larry calls him a cunt. Yeah it was a bit weird but I didn't know about these cross cultural confusions
 
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