Sideshow Bob Raises a Fundamental Question…



More discussion here.


  1. Next you’ll be saying that the first duty of fiction is to entertain. ZORRO is gonna be miffed

  2. Jonathan Webb says

    This is a very important post and we’re grateful for the opportunity to comment. I am going to expound on the importance of elitism as a response to popular culture and the challenges of cultural elitism in a mass democracy: (clears throat) here is my thesis, the thesis on which I shall expound: (straightens paper) the role of the elitism in western mass democracy is as follows: (drinks glass of water) mass democracy has the forthcoming place for cultural elitism: (looks at watch) I’m sorry, running over, gotta go.

  3. Jonathan Potter says

    Interesting, and relevant to our bad Catholic question.

    There was a low point in my life when I clung to three shows: The Simpsons, Northern Exposure, and Star Trek the Next Generation.

  4. Vide: Henry Adams – “A chaotic age calls for a chaotic art.” Or somesuch.

    Also, Melville – “No problemo, O Manhatto!” or somesuch.

    Also, Whitman: “Me!”

    Also, Pound: I make a pact with you, Walt Whitman –
    I have detested you long enough.
    I come to you as a grown child
    Who has had a pig-headed father;
    I am old enough now to make friends.
    It was you that broke the new wood,
    Now is a time for carving.
    We have one sap and one root –
    Let there be commerce between us.

  5. Jonathan Webb says

    What a quote.

  6. “Mass democracy” denotes a particularly appalling species of tyranny that arises when a mob of morons succumbs to a shared deluded belief that the mythic substance called money — a term, like unicorn, that I shall not dignify by allowing it to stand unitalicized — actually exists.

    Within the parameters of the mass delusion of mass democracy, each unit of money constitutes a voting share in a sham election whose purpose is twofold. In the first place, this so-called election is the instrument whereby members of the moronic mob (half of whom are, by definition, below average), enthralled at once to their least scrupulous demagogues and to their most glandular urges, “vote,” by means of their money, to clog the nation’s airwaves with pornography, and its pyloric valves with canned food. In the second place, the rigged election is the instrument whereby the mob suppresses persons of culture and learning, of taste and decency — those doughty few who prove themselves an “elite” of the mind by refusing to sell themselves on the bug-ridden bordello bed of “mass democracy” and, by that angelicly-inverted “non serviam“, disfranchise themselves.

    But Gentle Reader will excuse me for breaking off before I have transcribed the remainder of my manuscript on this grim but important subject. Certain physiological symptoms that brook no contradiction are alerting me to quit my cell for the refectory, and fuel the engine of my godlike mind. In fact, I believe my symptoms are demanding a cheese dip.


  7. I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written!

    • I assume that you intended your compliment as a reply to my abortive yet persuasive comment supra. While your good taste in this isolated instance does soothe me somewhat, I must warn you that I am about to faint from anxiety and general depression, the ultimate blame for which lies in the litter-strewn sand at your own, no doubt unshod, feet. The film I saw last night was a grueling specimen of the particularly indecent cinematic sub-genre of which you were the under-clad harbinger: the teen-age beach musical. I almost collapsed during the singing sequence on surfboard.

      My nerves are nearing total decay already. I will probably spend many years in the care of a psychiatrist. You may expect to receive some rather staggering medical bills each month. My corps of attorneys will contact you in the morning on whatever beach it is where you carry on your questionable activities. I shall warn them beforehand that they may expect to see and hear anything. They are all brilliant attorneys, pillars of the community, aristocratic Creole scholars whose knowledge of the more surreptitious forms of living is quite limited. They may even refuse to see you. A considerably lesser representative may be sent to call upon you, some junior partner whom they’ve taken in out of pity.

      However, to save you the anxiety of awaiting this phalanx of legal luminaries to arrive at your boardwalk undercroft, I shall consent to accepting a settlement now, if you wish. Five or six dollars should suffice.


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