Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What soccer moms want

"What about issues?" Dot asked. "What about soccer moms?"
"What about them?" Freddy wanted to know.
"What should he [the presidential candidate] say? What would you have him say?"
"Soccer moms," Freddy said, "spend all day driving around in shapeless vehicles that look like Flash Gordon's bread truck, and their children watch television in the back and ape the superficial characters therein. This is the cause of deep unhappiness, because what they want is so different from what they have, even if they don't realise that this is so. They don't want their children to dress like circus clowns, speak like zombie chipmunks, and behave like programmed machines. They want sons and daughters they can talk to; they want a struggle that they can win but that they are not assured of winning; they want to know physical exhaustion; they want to be sunburned; they want to smell eucalyptus; they want to weep; they want to dance naked for their husbands; they want to feel the wind, see the stars, swim in a river, slam the back door, and laugh uncontrollably with their children. That's what they want. They don't want the crap they have, the crap [President] Self promises, or the crap you would promise if you could figure out what to promise. They want to be free, to have dignity, to know honour and sacrifice. What else does anyone want?"
Dot was stunned into silence, because this was what she wanted too, and had always wanted.
Mark Helprin, Freddy and Fredericka (New York: Penguin, 2005), p. 463

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