Quoting from memory—an interview with Allan Ginsberg:
--Do you like
--Last year, you show them a copy of a picture by Van Gogh. This year, you show them the real picture. Next year, you show them the ear.
Mrs. Buce and I settled down last night for a showing of Borat. We know we’re not the prime demographic, but we like to know what the kiddies are up to. It was fun, actually, although perhaps more derivative than I would have guessed: a little John Stewart, quite a bit of
But after a while, it sank into me—the real reference point is Lolita. Or at least if you’re old enough: old enough to remember back when Lolita was edgy—when the idea of sex with a 12-year-old still excited horrified fascination, together with the uneasy sense that it could be, well, funny. And the road trip:
We traveled very leisurely, having more than a week to reach Wace, Continental Divide, where she passionately desired to see the Ceremonial Dances marking the seasonal opening of Magic Cave, and at least three weeks to reach Elphinstone, gem of a western State where she yearned to climb Red Rock from which a mature screen star had recently jumped to her death after a drunken row with her gigolo.
Again we were welcomed to wary motels by means of inscriptions that read:
“We wish you to feel at home while here. All equipment was carefully checked upon your arrival. Your license number is on record here. Use hot water sparingly. We reserve the right to eject without notice any objectionable person. Do not throw waste material of any kind in the toilet bowl. Thank you. Call again. The Management. P.S. We consider our guests the Finest People of the World.
—Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita 210 (1991 )
Okay, Nabokov is a better writer, I grant you that. Wonder what they will be doing to shock us in another 50 years. Happily, I won’t be around to find out.