April 13, 2005

The Trend of Perversity in Pop Literature

xxx.bmp McBride's language in Miracle at St. Anna is magnificent. The idioms of the South, captured by Bishop's wit is simply hilarious. “If it looks like fish, smells like fish, and tastes like fish, you can bet it ain’t buzzard” is a line straight out of my old office-store manager’s playbook. Quoting his father, he’d constantly say things like, “he was more confused than a man hit in the face with a sock full of diarrhea.”
And the incredibly funny scenes such as the little boy licking the awful tasting face of the chocolate giant had me rolling. Yet I did have a big problem with much of the over-the-top sexual and language content. The racy parts went too far I think but then what should I expect in a contemporary best seller. Oh what a minute, that’s not true for a second. Numerous best sellers come to mind… The Prayer of Jabez, The Purpose Driven Life, Your Best Life Now, and many others, all without scenes that make me blush. Why, I ask, do authors feel such a drive to fill their pages with perversity? I mean, come on, if McBride had turned this book into popular songs, there’s no way that many of them could play on the radio. What is it about black and white that makes us forget our standards of decency and let our minds view what our natural eyes would be disgusted at. I mean really, pretend for a minute that this book was made into a movie. Then say some night you were flipping through the channels and Old Man Ludovico was fantasizing back to the intimate details of his graphic and sexual encounters with young Ettora… you’d think you were watching the Playboy channel! Yet, we let our minds trick us in to thinking it’s appropriate just cause we’re reading it. Well, you know what? I don’t like listening to Howard Stern and I sure wouldn’t read his books. And just because McBride is the funniest author I’ve read in a while, doesn’t make it right to lower my standard. Again, I love the language and how he takes you in… but I don’t care for the inappropriateness of much of the novel.

Posted by JohnHaddad at April 13, 2005 10:16 PM | TrackBack

I agree with you that the part where the boy licked the face of the "chocolate giant" was pretty funny. I didn't see the boy doing that, but it is understandable coming from this kid.
I do think that the extreme and vulgar languageand the racial parts were important to the story. It helped put the war in perspective. These things happened during the war. Vulgar language is used every day in the active military, I know this for certain. The explicit and graphic pictures of rape and mutalation sets the tone. McBride was trying to set the tone of WWII and he did a good job of it in my mind.

Posted by: scott clark at April 14, 2005 5:08 PM
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