Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Just an old book

I've been re-reading Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea's "The Eye in the Pyramid," the first book of their "Illuminatus!" trilogy. The book was published in 1975, so the pop culture and technology are of the novel's time, but the political black humor unfortunately hasn't dated at all. Here's a passage about an unnamed U.S. President:

"What the hell is this desert door project?" the President had asked once, scrutinizing the budget. "Germ warfare," an aide explained helpfully. "They started with something called Anthrax Delta and now they've worked their way up to something called Anthrax Mu and ..." His voice was drowned out by the rumble of paper shredders in the next room. The President recognized the characteristic sound of the "cesspool cleaners" hard at work. "Never mind," he said. "Those things make me nervous." He scribbled a quick "OK" next to the item and went on to "Deprived Children," which made him feel better. "Here," he said. "This is something we can cut." (Page 25 of the Dell paperback original.)

I showed the paragraph to my wife, and she asked, "This was written in the 1970s?"

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