My Center-Right Love

If you’ve ever wondered why I italicize so damn much (well actually, if you even noticed it then you probably rather wondered whom it is that I think I’m styling myself after), then read some Martin Amis.

First off, you’ll realize that I don’t use it nearly as well as he, and secondly you’ll feel grateful to me for coming up with such a clever ruse to get you to read one of his books. Yes, I am not without my skills…

It so happens that Mr. Amis has a book coming out this week, and it so happens even more that I have been pre-ordering it since, like, the Pleistocene Age. But greatness takes time, and I just know that now that it’s finally being released, all my patience will be rewarded (btw, is it still patience when you don’t have a choice??)

I even enjoy the controversy. So much courting of controversy–(and she’s not a cheap date!)
But while I don’t always agree with what he says, I appreciate that he says it. He’s a writer; writers should provoke–people just get confused because he says it in newspapers rather than cleverly disguising it in the characters that people his books. If writers and artists and musicians don’t speak with conviction–and risk being wrong and risk angering people–then what, exactly are they there to say? They should speak for the soul of a culture, even when that soul is angst-ridden and imperfect. I don’t have any problem with people voicing their disagreement with things he’s said (for example about Islamism and euthanasia and the sexual revolution, and, and…) but it seems to me that he’s also been criticized and derided for simply making his views known (as opposed, I suppose, to keeping these thoughts restricted to a mail correspondance with a famous friend which we can go on to discover/ analyze/ react-to-with-horror after the deaths and subsequent estate-dispersals of Amis and Famous-Friend).

There is a likelihood that if he feels that way then there are others who do as well. And if we create a culture where no one in the public eye–not politicians, nor artists, writers, journalists, nor anyone who supposedly speaks on behalf of some segment of the population–is allowed to say what they’re really feeling, then we’ll only find out where our society really is when things have started to go off the rails. For example, the British National Party getting voted into Parliament. Hate speech, of course, is something else. But the moderate prejudices, fears and ill-informed views that can fester and lead to hate should sometimes get aired, if only so that we can do something about them.

And also, he’s perfect.

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5 Comments on “My Center-Right Love”

  1. Contributing Factor Says:

    What about, like, this guy’s thoughts? You’re basically saying he doesn’t have a right to his opinion! Except, he does!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/nov/25/bookscomment.religion

    • salty wisdom Says:

      certainly he has a right to his opinion! and I barfed out loud when I read it.
      Martin Amis may be crotchety and wrong sometimes, but this guy sounds green and bitter.
      It’s a classic mistake he’s making–he thinks that being an asshole and being a great artist are mutually exclusive.
      But then this piece is 2 years old, maybe he’s learned how to play with the big boys by now…..
      *AUDIENCE OOOOh*

  2. Contributing Factor Says:

    Well, I think that anyone who disagrees with anybody is saying that somebody doesn’t have a right to their opinion and that’s TOTALLY WRONG!

  3. Contributing Factor Says:

    Also here is a thing by Martin Amis recently what he just wrote:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/13/martin-amis-kinglsey-amis-newspapers


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