The Braindead Megaphone Thesis

The Braindead Megaphone Thesis-34
A postapocalyptic America reverts to slavery, but guilt-ridden overlords offer their chattel "meditation classes and mini-seminars on certain motivational principles we can all put to work in our lives." When it's successful, it's searingly so - the acute eye of an Alice Munro matched with the wild-minded sensibility of a Kurt Vonnegut.It's no wonder that Saunders has racked up numerous awards, as well as a recent Mac Arthur "genius" grant."Does very stupid media make us more tolerant toward stupidity in general?

The opening piece is a contemplation of the thought-cheapening force of modern media, vividly metaphorized as a man at a party with a megaphone, loudly yammering away on pseudo-topics ("We're eating more cheese cubes - and loving it! By virtue of volume, this Megaphone Guy can't help but dominate the conversation, but, more important, the very concept of conversation, of intellectual engagement, erodes away, drowned in the incessant stream of simplisms.

"He has, in effect, put an intelligence-ceiling on the party," Saunders writes.

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We use cookies to offer you a better experience, personalize content, tailor advertising, provide social media features, and better understand the use of our services.While meticulously reported, the book's travelogues best deploy his unique authorial voice, in large part because of his penchant for stumbling onto scenes as surreal as any in his fiction.In "The New Mecca," he visits the United Arab Emirates and finds himself wandering through an "Arabian Ice City" of both fake and real snow, flanked by "twenty Filipinos with steak knives" and "the crankiest-looking goose imaginable." In "The Great Divider," a journey along and through the U.Emblazoned with his trademark wit and singular vision, Saunders's endeavor into the art of the essay is testament to his exceptional range and ability as a writer and thinker.The information about The Braindead Megaphone shown above was first featured in "The Book Browse Review" - Book Browse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks.As Saunders himself asserts in these pages, laughter's true potency comes from the fact that it is ultimately a form of discomfort."Humor is what happens when we're told the truth quicker and more directly than we're used to," he writes.Saunders is not convinced of a miracle, but he emerges from the encounter disconcerted by his conclusion that a hoax is equally unlikely.For all its strengths, "The Braindead Megaphone" offers up a few bagatelles: "Woof: A Plea of Sorts" is an aimless vignette about a dog learning to write, and "Nostalgia" does little more than deliver Comedy Central-caliber patter ("In my day, lyrics were used to express real emotion, like the emotion of being totally stoned and trying to talk this totally stoned chick into sleeping with you.") But these are disappointments only by comparison - they're certainly entertaining, only merely so.George Saunders is well known for his inventive use of language; perhaps his willingness to explore and exploit the forms and function of language derives in part from his earlier career, as a geophysical engineer.Saunders credits his early exposure to the works of Ayn Rand (some of the first fiction he recalls reading) with his decision to enter the field of engineering in college.

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