George Saunders, "CommComm"

It’s his job to put a good spin on terrible things, but things are getting out of hand.

(from The New Yorker, Aug. 1, 2005)

What’s going on down there I don’t watch anymore: Mom’s on the landing in her pajamas, calling Dad’s name, a little testy. Then she takes a bullet in the neck, her hands fly up, she rolls the rest of the way down, my poor round Ma. Dad comes up from the basement in his gimpy comic trot, concerned, takes a bullet in the chest, drops to his knees, takes one in the head, and that’s that.
Then they do it again, over and over, all night long.

Yeah, so I’m reading a lot of George Saunders these days. It’s an awkward comfort zone, a satisfying place to be. Saunders’ fiction has this heartless, modernity about it, a keen, crazy understanding of the cruel world we live in. Like satire, but little in the way of hope or helpfulness. Well, this story has some hope to it, but Saunders’ intentions are debatable. I don’t want to say much about this story. It’s an entertaining and funny and psychotic. I think you should read it. Go here.
I also, over the last few days, read The Brief And Frightening Reign of Phil, which is an even crazier, more out-there George Saunders novella. I’m planning on writing it up for the paper, so I’ll stay mum on it until the time is right. But obviously, I’m geeked out on George Saunders.

Lullaby for the Working Class, “Show Me How The Robots Dance”

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