Saturday by Ian McEwan

“Finely wrought and shimmering with intelligence.” – New York Times Book Review

 This book is absurdly overwrought and unintelligible cartoon.  The book covers a single day.  How?  You ask.  Between two events, perhaps a second apart, the author infuses pointless, meandering, inconsequential, banal perambulatory musings, that’s how.  I skimmed most of the book and would have ditched it had it not been for the classic rich man encounter with a low-class ruffian that turns his world upside down. 

 You know what I hate about the English?  So they’ve divided their entire society between the have’s and have not’s.  No, it’s not even subtle.  It all depends on your accent.  But the have’s are not this better group of people who are more intelligent, thoughtful, and engage in better health and exercise like many upper-middle class American white collars.  The have’s are this effete, anemic, pencil-necked, detached, moribund, waifish class of pansies that overthink and overanalyze everything and really have no fucking idea what’s important or meaningful, so they engage in these contrived, contorted, convoluted antics and endeavors (like circumventing the globe in a fucking yacht or climbing Mt. Everest).  You would think with all their neural processing power and infinite access to resources, they could accomplish more than the meandering pointlessness of their upper class lives or the brutal, sick, deranged exploitation and torment of the Third World.  You would think that the presupposition of a superior breed would imply some sort of redeemable evidence of foresight, inventiveness, sustainability, and elegant solutions to life-long problems like poverty, hunger, war, and disease.  No.  What you have is rather the opposite.  You have this very lower class attachment to primal needs and self-centeredness and the perpetuation of poverty, hunger, war, and disease to keep the masses preoccupied with self-preservation instead of climbing socio-economic ladders.  You have a very lower-class mentality of scarcity and fear permeating everything they do. 

 Instead of enjoying the abundance of resources they have, instead, they waste all their lives fighting for a slither improvement of their social standing in a constant state of inadequacy and impotence.  I mean, at least upper-middle class and lower-upper class American white collars can take a step back and enjoy the fruits of their labors and not be so overwhelmingly obsessed with joining the elites.  They can spend time with their kids and take them to Disneyworld, and they can afford healthy food and they exercise and have healthy hobbies.  The British twits just join sadomasochistic clubs and pay high-priced hookers to piss all over them.  Much of this can probably be attributed to their parents sending them off to boarding school which is not the pampered Bel Air lifestyle you might imagine with caviar and lobster Sunday brunches.  On the contrary, they’re hazed by upperclassmen and mistreated by teachers and staff.  Perhaps a few of them are raped.  Then they write these long-winded, overly wrought, unintelligible discourses about their vapid, insipid boring lives with their ugly children Penelope and Reginald, and the only thing that adds any flavor, texture, or spice to this preposterously tedious life is the insertion of some crude, hostile, shocking interaction with the lower class that concurrently confounds and frightens them but also titillates and awakens them.  So there’s like only seven different types of stories, like man falls in love, man overcomes a setback, man discovers he really loves man, etc.  You should add this one.  Upper class twit comes to life after interacting with lower class thug.  It’s the essential plot of Charles in Charge and Six Degrees of Separation. 

 I’ll never forget when I read this article about how middle class people spend the most time with their children and provide them with teachable moments throughout the day.  Lower class people treat their children like pets with minimal meaningful interaction.  But upper class people also spend little time with their children.  As a result, the most psychotic and anti-social people in the world are both from the lower and upper classes.  The world is not being run by these really intelligent, compassionate, well-raised adults who are looking out for everyone’s interests.  Unfortunately, the world is being run by psychopaths with daddy issues and serous mental problems.  Just imagine a group of Trumps sitting around deciding how to perpetuate human suffering in order to exploit the masses and keep them under their control. 

 So I was really rooting for the lower class yobs to really stick it to the rich guy, but in a cartoonish twist of plot, the rich twit is forced to read one of her poems, and the poem entrances the yob who becomes vulnerable and gets tackled.  Fucking hell.  So the lower classes have no soul, and it’s only when a rich twit gives them a glimpse of poetry does the lower class peek into true humanity.  No, you know what a soul is?  It isn’t the appreciation of poetry, some contrived high-art standard guarded by the upper classes that distinguishes them as real humans.  What gives one a soul is compassion.  Any animal capable of compassion has a soul.  What this twit is really implying is that you’re nothing but cattle and can be exploited as such without upper-class refinements and training.  What makes the upper class real humans and immune from exploitation and molestation is their access to the classics of literature and art.  What a load of shit.  This book is utterly crap.  What the upper classes should have been taught is this.  You have a greater responsibility.  You are not different from the lower classes intrinsically.  But because of culture and socio-economic reasons, you now have the resources to make a greater impact on the world than the lower classes.  As such, you should hold yourself to a higher standard of morality, to be the stewards of the planet and its inhabitants.  Your job is the long-term welfare of everyone.  Your job is educating and convincing every one of the importance of the long-term welfare of the planet and its inhabitants.  Your job is to use your vast access to resources to create a better world not only for your family and the upper classes but for all.  Your job is also to identify the talent from all people and mentor that talent to create a better world.  Your job is not to write pandering bullshit about how the privileged twits are so much better than the yobs and that the only meaningful instant of a yob’s life is when he catches a glimpse of the high-art of the upper classes which ultimately undermines his criminal, pathetic life. 

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