15
Oct 03

Rock and Roll High School

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 238 views

Rock and Roll High School

Why in the last couple of years has America licked the wounds of Columbine, why have all the queers, dope freaks, outsiders, and lonely little adult boys decided that the proper thing to do is to make films about kids killing kids. Look at the list Michael Moore’s Oscar Winning Bowling for Columbine, Gus Van Sant’s Palm d’Or winning Elephant, Douglas Coupland’s novel Hey Nostramdamus, and now DBC Pierre’s Booker Prize winning Vernon God Little (I’m Missing a few)’

Did it take four years to wipe clean the fake Christian martyrdom, the triumph of jock will and the sadness and corruption of American schools ? What made people realize that there was another current surrounding Kelbold and Harris, one of appropriate rage, required to survive in an environment that was both hostile and wounding. Why do you think there was copy cat crimes soon afterwards in Washington and Arkansas? Because these two little fuckwits gave all the other fuckwits balls

I heard, whispered, just after those events, that it was about time, that perhaps now things would change, that the death was a ‘bad thing’ but maybe it was hawks coming home to roost’that high school was trench warfare in grown up struggles concerning class, sex and race.

Look at these new works created in response’a polemical screed with little concern about accuracy (Moore), a dirty old mans porno fantasy with the old gun as phallic signifier trope (Van Sant), a middle aged borderline hipster trying to reserve some cachet (Coupland), and then there is Pierre.

Pierre is a fuck up, he sells friends houses and furniture to pay for drugs, the first words out of his mouth when he learns of his win concern sniffing glue’not something cool like heroin or something rich like coke but the desperate poor punked out Glue. His book doesn’t deal with the real world, with fake verisimilitude, with isn’t it all sad bourgeois mourning. His narrator talks like a teenager’about sex as much as race, in a profane West Texas Patois that hardens like concrete. The author and his narrators, know how the classes stratify like weasels in cages, there is no tourism here.

Even his name, DPC stands for Dirty but Clean, suggests that no matter how many houses in Ireland and thousand dollar prizes he wins, he has a certain filthy integrity. This is the standard view of things, and this is why Peter Carey’s jury gave him the money–but does it continue a certain romantic instinct towards addiction and hard lives–by mirroring the characters with the novelist, does that give enough respect to his vision ? Like JT Leroy, Augesten Burroughs and other memoirists when a disaster of a child hood is sold, the traditional views towards real estate are reveresed. This is not a memoir but is marketed as such. Between that and this trend of “understanding” violent teen angst, it almost doesn’t matter that the book is well written..

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