Monday, July 03, 2017

Book: Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris (2017)


October 20, 2001
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

"Where do I start with Wilkes-Barre?My hotel is located on the town square, which is bedecked with hanging electric flags, those interspersed with regular cloth versions  the size of beach towels.  They hang from wires, lampposts, and a huge metal armature built to support the dozens of speakers used to broadcast a looped tape of patriotic songs and marches.  I arrived to 'The Battle Hymn of the republic,' which was followed by 'God Bless America,' 'America the Beautiful,' and, strangely enough, 'Dixie.'  After these came a number of marches, including the song played when the president enters the room and something I recall hearing once on a coffee commercial.  When finished, the tape returned to 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' and started all over again.  The hotel feels like a indoctrination center.

'Our mayor is crazy,' everyone says.  'He's completely lost his mind.'  Wilkes-Barre is shut tight by six o'clock, but still the music blares, playing for an audience of no one."

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