Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lawrence on America (with no apologies to Lawrence of Arabia)

“The essential American soul,” wrote DH Lawrence in Studies in Classic American Literature (1923), “is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” (Chapter 5: Fenimore Cooper's Leatherstocking Novels) He made this observation long after the pioneers had thoroughly wiped out the Native Indians and enslaved the Afro-Americans. The American behaviour afterwards did not show any change for the better in the status of the American soul. Witness how atrociously they behaved in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Like the proverbial Big Bully. After I wrote last week about the recent spin doctoring coup for Bush (‘SHEER GENIUS! The US Prez as Homo sapiens. Well, almost.’), a parallel again from the American landscape occurred to me. Remember ‘Daddy’ Oliver Warbucks (literally, war profiteer) from Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie? Don’t you think calling him ‘Daddy’ thereby making a semblance of a man out of a war monger is akin to the ‘Desperate Housewives’ ploy for Bush? Read about the Bush spin doctoring coup mentioned earlier:,00030007.htm.

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