By Kirby Farrell
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Additional resources for Berserk Style in American Culture
Canned singers fill the aisles with vows to “love you forever,” appealing to your sexual appetite for more life. We ennoble appetite through denial. The far-reaching preoccupation with dieting regulates desire and imagines an ideal kind of consumption. Nevertheless, we are meat eating meat, splitting off guilt and rage by killing other creatures offstage at the slaughterhouse. The clever animal that digests other creatures into foul-smelling excrement is able to repudiate its animal origins by using “the Purist Hatbox,” the Kohler Corporation’s toilet in the shape of a hatbox that “aims to bring the throne to your home into the 21st Century,”13 offering you regal elevation above your animal mortality.
In a society where the once-taboo expletives “fuck” and “fuck you” may be shocking or routine, even “fighting words” can be chimerical. ” (27). Given his slangy spelling and the permissive atmosphere online, this could be merely self-consciously comic bravado in adolescent male culture fizzing with smart-ass exaggeration. It could also be that in the tacit world of the Internet Harris was experimenting with threat display, testing limits and reactions. Around the ninth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks American media created a global storm over Florida Pastor Terry Jones’s self-aggrandizing threat to burn copies of the Koran.
I hope they’re fucking happy. But they don’t have to live with it. I do” (83). The man feels he was out of control, icily indifferent—“I didn’t give a fuck anymore”—yet he “couldn’t get enough” and was also guided by what “they” wanted: by the values and feelings of his culture, by the demands of home no less than of his superiors. “They” are tacitly a voice in his head shaping his behavior. Being starkly ambivalent about what “they” demand of him, he is agonizingly alienated now, whether he recognizes it or not, about the culture—the home—he had been prepared to die for.