BERKELEY, CA—Editors of the long-awaited autobiography of Mark Twain said Tuesday they were surprised to discover the unedited manuscript of the forthcoming book contains lashing, in-depth criticism of the website YouTube, the recent BP oil spill, and the ongoing military action in Afghanistan. "The corrosive voyeurism incited and succored by this YouTube, and the attendant vomitous mush which masquerades as commentary thereupon, is perhaps the keenest example of the debasement of American discourse, dragging our last guttering ideas of community and fellowship through the electric muck," Twain writes in one paragraph before turning his attention to international matters just two pages later. "As concerns British Petroleum's continued putrefaction of the seas, it is the largest stain yet on the corrupted idea of the world as a market—that same lustful, self-concerned greed in the guise of idealism that perverts our young idealists into thuggish hatchet-men, misled, betrayed, and fated to gasp the blood of their final heartbeats into the Afghani dust." Editors noted that several passages did display guarded optimism for the innovations of new media, warm affirmation for the "generous and great-hearted nature" of health care reform, and enthusiastic praise for High Violet, the latest album by indie-rock favorites the National.
We may earn a commission from links on this page.