A Paranoid Companion to Thomas Pynchon: The Early Stories and Novels
I wrote this book thirty years ago. Recently, I revised it and decided to publish it on line because what Thomas Pynchon says is even more important today than it was when he wrote his early stories and novels in the Sixties and Seventies. In 1972 my wife and I took our infant son and left the USA in disgust at assassinations, Vietnam (I served my time in the US Navy), and Watergate. But we didn’t stay gone long. We came home, and we stayed here. Now things are a whole lot worse and a lot better. The structure of the V is so bold now, so comfortable, that the cartels (the multi-national corporations) and cabals operate in the open—shifting factories to wherever the slave labor is cheapest, privatizing war, cutting off Constitutional rights in the name of patriotism, security, and family values. The secret “They”have learned is to subvert our lives publicly. When questioned, they say it’s legal and patriotic--in the interest of the United States of America and national security. The news media are mostly automatons, reporting whatever nonsense the government or the network chooses to put out. The two political parties are bought and paid for by the entropic structures of death, the Democrats only differing from the Republicans in the mild embarrassment they sometimes feel in betraying their principles—except for a few old (really old) diehards who remember what democracy was like.
Still, there is a counterforce—the Internet—email, information, websites, and blogs. The power structure cannot put a bottleneck on communication as long as the Internet remains free. So, of course, the structures of the V will continually try to control it. The more communication, the less entropy: outside the rhetoric of our oppressors, we create a dialectic that counters the prevailing nonsense.