The Past Didn't Go Anywhere
The villian from T. Pynchon's new novel addressing the Industrial Defence Alliance:
"So, of course we use them, we harness and sodomize them, photograph their degradation, send them up onto the high iron and down into the mines and sewers and killing floors, we set them beneath inhuman loads, we harvest from them their muscle and eyesight and health, leaving them in our kindness a few miserable years of broken gleanings. Of course we do.Why not? they are good for little else."
He is Scarsdale Vibe and he is, of course, talking about the working class. It is the time of Ludlow and the anarchists are his nemisis, although his eventual demise springs from a less predictable source. This would make a great movie!
"We will buy it all up," making the expected arm gesture, "all this country.Money speaks, the land listens, where the Anarchist skulked ,where the horse-thief plied his trade, we fishers of Americans will cast our nets of perfect ten-acre mesh, leveled and varmint proofed, ready to build on. Where alien muckers and jackers went creeping after their miserable, communistic dreams, the good lowland townsfolk will come up by the netful into these hills, clean, industrious, Christian, while we, gazing out over their little vacation bungalows, will dwell in top dollar pallazzos befitting our station, which their mortgage money will be paying to build for us...when all is festival and wholesome sport and eugenically chosen stock, who will be left anymore to remember the jabbering Union scum, the frozen corpses whose names, false in any case, have gone forever unrecorded? who will care that once men fought as if an eight hour day, a few coins more at the end of the week, were everything, were worth the merciless wind beneath the shabby roof, the tears freezing on a womans face worn to dark Indian stupor before it's tme, the whining of children whose maws were never satisfied, whose future, those who survived, was always to toil for us, to fetch and feed and nurse, to ride the far fences of our properties, to stand watch between us and those who would intrude or question?"
It's a refreshing candor that Pynchon endows his ruling class with, the kind we almost never hear in our modern, liberal, "democratized" class conflict. Scarsdale Vibe makes no bones about his station nor his ideology.
"Anarchism will pass ,it's race will degenerate into silence, but money will beget money, grow like the bluebells in the morning, spread and brighten and gather force, and bring low all before it. It is simple. It is inevitable .It has begun."
A great storyteller, hell raiser and Wob died on Saturday, Utah Phillips RIP. He constantly reminded us about the power of memory. We need to remember, to respect and honor ,those who fought before us and I thank T. Pynchon for helping with the project.We need others.