Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Photo: Jon Lovitz as Tommy Flanagan, President of “Liars Anonymous:” Saturday Night Live, c. 1988
[Interior, derelict hotel room, circa 1970]
BOB: You know, Tom, you told me a lot of the old-time stories about how you used to stick your arm in between the bars of the cell, the guard would come by, and he’d fire you up a shot of morphine…Well, they never did that for me.
FATHER TOM: Well, they don’t do that for anyone anymore. Narcotics have been systematically scapegoated and demonized. The idea that anyone can use drugs and escape a horrible fate is anathema to these idiots. I predict, in the near future, right-wingers will use drug hysteria as a pretext to set up an international police apparatus…But I’m an old man, and I may not live to see a Final Solution of the drug problem.
Screen capture: “Father Tom” (William S. Burroughs) in Drugstore Cowboy
And as final food for thought, sir, what is the meaning of life? [A rather blurry reproduction of Tolstoy’s photographed face follows the question in the interviewer’s typescript].
For solutions see p. 000 (thus says a MS note in the edited typescript of my Poems and Problems which I have just received). In other words: Let us wait for the page proof.
The mistake you make is trying to figure it out.
National Lampoon, August 1972