Lewis Lapham is an American writer and editor, who commented widely on American society and politics in the 1980’s. Here he is looking rather dapper
This paragraph is from a sermon he delivered in 1988 called “!Fin de Siecle”. Stripped to the essentials, Lapham blasts those who think them know more than they realistically could. Enjoy!
Unhappily, (the) egoism (of the Ayatollah) has a familiar sound. In the United States for the past twenty years, spokesmen for various agencies of the higher consciousness have located the world’s wickedness in the personae of oil companies, media syndicates, big business, black men, white men, the federal government, homosexuals, and real estate developers. During the heyday of what was known as”The New Left”, Susan _Sontag identified the white race as the cause of the world’s sorrow. The triumph of the neoconservative right shifted the blame to black welfare mothers and Columbian drug dealer. Attorney General Edwin Meese wishes to search the American electorate for impurities in its blood, its urine, and its speech. The Reverend Pat Robertson promises the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire that if elected President, he will purge the State Department of diplomats stained with the sins of the eastern establishment. As a defense against AIDS, Mayor Koch exhorts the people of New York to swear the vows of monastic celibacy, and the Reverend Jerry Falwell goes about the country, accompanied by a choir and a battery of American flags, assuring the faithful that “Jesus was not a pacifist” and inciting them to rise up against “the infidels” in the public schools who teach Satan’s doctrine of “secular humanism”.
Ah, the memories!