In the bronze tower we used the rhetoric of aggrieved minorities to prevent legislation that would hurt our business. Arthur Blessing believed, our CEO, that true feeling flows upward from the streets, fully accessible to corporate adaptation. We learned how to complain, how to appropriate the language of victimization. Arthur listened to gangsta rap on the car radio every morning. Songs about getting mad and getting laid and getting even, taking what's rightfully ours by violent means if necessary. He believed this was the only form of address that made an impact on Washington. Arthur recited lyrics to me once on the company plane and together we laughed his wacko laugh, those enunciated ha-has, clear and slow and well spaced, like laughing with words.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Claiming the Mantle of Victimhood
After an election there are losers. Be on watch for those claiming the mantle of victimhood. It's never too far from the surface of things. Here's a short excerpt from a long novel of 1997, Don DeLillo's Underworld: