Yes, Mr. Pynchon, “the beach” indeed!

Steeped in Metaphor

I like the hearse on the new book jacket for Thomas Pynchon’s new novel Inherent Vice. It’s a surf bum hearse, with painted pictures on top of the paint job. I have a hearse on my book shelf, reminding me of my father. Getting ready to start a new fiction story gets me excited for the new metaphors within the pages. The first line of the book, perhaps Pynchon’s set-up for a good joke, is the quote “Under the paving-stones, the beach! – Graffito, Paris, May 1968” If that’s the beginning of the gag, then I’m already in on it!

I just watched a movie where an unwitting hero battles a well-armed military-focused corporation in the slums of South Africa. This guy’s a dupe for the corporation, which is power-hungry for using their conventional technology and hopefully getting more from the aliens. The government barely exists in Johannesburg, and Nigerian thugs make seem to control District 9. They make a living doing a brisk trade with cat food.
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