by Griffin O'Hara
Finished Bleeding Edge. I’m not going to do a synopsis. There are better synopses out there. (Side note: synopses clearly is some kind of Wiccan curse and not a word at all).
One of the questions that I asked, or maybe the book asked for me went something along the lines of what kind of morality is left behind after a tragedy (9/11 in this book), what kind was there before? Why are they different, and why did things change?
I suppose, to answer this, I’ll assume that morality isn’t just a constant human thing. Like saying we’re just as moral now as we were when we developed the first set of rules (were we moral before rules?). So, if morality fluctuates, one generation can (theoretically) be more enlightened than the next.
Where are we? Is capitalism post-morals? I think the answer is pretty obvious—yes, in the form we practice it now. Bleeding Edge is largely about the crash of the tech bubble before 9/11 and then kind of shifts gears into a post-9/11 landscape (Pynchon shows how the shittiness of “pre” segues quite cleanly into the even more shitty “post”).
He basically says, if 9/11 was the opportunity for a tidal shift, where everybody comes together and things somehow get better (I am not smart enough to explain how, but let’s just assume people get nicer and less selfish) how did we miss the wave? We’re behaving worse than we were before, and on top of it, we’re using 9/11 as a justification for our behavior. Whaaaaat is wrong with us?
(To be clear, that was a blatant generalization, but I think it holds a fraction of truth).
Obviously, I’m not going to throw some sort of answer to that in your face. I’m not that presumptuous. Pynchon does give us an un-presumptuous hint as to what we can do right. But I think you already know the answer to this one, yourself.
Good read. I liked it.
I was gonna write on reincarnation and how it offends the shiiiiiit out of me, but eh—another day. Time to drink tea and get ready for bed.