America Plops and Fizzes is the kind of curious wee oddity that I think would appeal (a great deal) to a certain kind of reader. Fans of Crumb might dig it. Fans of Kerouac might dig it. Fans of books that use the phrase ‘dig it’ might dig it. If you fall into any of these categories, you’ll want to search this out.
What we have here are 50 three or four line poems, described in some quarters as haikus (they’re not haikus) and in other quarters as a development of what Kerouac himself called his own poems (pops), which feels loosely on the money. Rihn is interested in the way in which big corporations kidnap something true, the way in which we interact and relate to the endless sloganeering (in some respects this feels like the kind of book a character in a Douglas Coupland novel might produce) and the way in which we try and resist (if we try and resist, if we can resist, if it isn’t all futile).
A few examples, largely at random:
a corporate logo?
Push this button
But the plops are only half of the story; David Munson also contributes illustrations to proceedings, pictures of men eating babies and Don Draper types cutting themselves large slices of cake and economists weeping and pipe-smoking horrors saying things like, ‘Democracy is incompatible with the creation of wealth’.
It’s the kind of book you’ll rip through (at least the first time you read it) in about an hour but the deceptive simplicity of the prose and the scratchy complexity of the drawings nag at you and tug you back again and again.
Any Cop?: Well worth a look or two.