Ballyhoo Nation

Opinion

We haven’t posted an Op-Ed in a while. Is there a better day for it than one of the more contentious days in American history?

We contend this commentary from New Pop Lit editor Karl Wenclas is an objective look at events, in the context of a realistic view of American history. Feel free to disagree!

Making noise and screaming for the benefit of television cameras is who we are.

 

Diminutives

Pop Lit Fiction

(“Premonition” by Walter Nessler copyright Royal Air Force Museum.)

***

Our month-long Hemingway celebration continues with a striking new story by Samuel Stevens, “Diminutives,” whose setting of Paris is a nod to Ernest Hemingway and the Lost Generation. But so is its style. Few writers understand what Ernest Hemingway was fully up to when he revolutionized writing. Stevens is one of them.

Note how Stevens’ story is like a Modernist painting– a collage of parts expressing the fragmentation of our time. As if helplessly riding a bus about to crash, we’re replaying– reliving– that broken insane world Hemingway experienced. Around us is a sense of foreboding. Imminence. Chaos.

Stevens’ story is simple but at the same time it’s a mix of impressions and ideas. A splash of confusion, or a slap in the face. The story is there in front of us, like a painting. Right there. It’s very short, but there’s enough in it to like or dislike. Or hate.

Provocative and topical.

But what do you think?

There were no subjects to write about any more, either in America or here; the world was too mixed up to really stop and look at it.

Prince and the Populist Moment

Essay

AS we weren’t able to get anything from our pipeline ready in time to post today, I’ve knocked out a quick essay I believe is timely.

It also addresses a thought which has been in my head of late– that we have to stop dividing ourselves. Naïve? Maybe. In this tumultuous year of 2016, too many of us treat ideology like religion. We put party and identity before country. We’re unable to compromise on anything.

Pop is populism, but how do we define that?

Rock at its outset was a populist outbreak. It was scorned by politicians, intellectuals and the academy, who are always five steps behind the times.

K.W.