Friday, August 25, 2006

American Dream

"JonBenet had been strangled to death with a garrote made from supplies found in the home, her skull fractured and her mouth duct-taped. Forensic evidence suggests she had been sexually assaulted." -- This headline struck me as a warning. The persistence of the JonBenet story is evidence that American culture is becoming increasingly self destructive. As suggested in Nabokov's Lolita, we Americans are on intimate terms with our jailer. We invite him in. Our convoluted desire is for the abnegation of self and we are in denial over it. We want someone else to blame, zip-free. It is even Kabalistic -- "From the forest itself comes the handle for the axe," sings Matisyahu, although his use is from the Tanya. Anyway, last year I finally read Lolita, and I also wanted to read Reading Lolita in Tehran. I was embarrassed not to have read either book yet, especially since Azar Nafisi teaches right here in Baltimore, at Hopkins.

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