Return to bad (idea)

BAD ([case-sensitive] in this instance) is a [critique] of [American society] and [global Americanization] by [Paul Fussell]. "What's the difference between bad and BAD? Bad is something like [dog-do] on the [sidewalk], or a [failing grade], or a case of [scarlet fever]--something no one ever said was good. BAD is different. It is something [phony], [clumsy], [witless], [untalented], [vacant], or [boring] that many [Americans] can be persuaded is [genuine], [graceful], [bright], or [fascinating]. [Lawrence Welk] is a low example, [George Bush] a high. For a thing to be really BAD, it must exhibit elements of the [pretentious], the [overwrought], or the [fraudulent]. Bathroom faucets that cut your fingers are bad. If [gold-plated], they are BAD. Dismal food is bad. Dismal food pretentiously served in a [restaurant] associated with the word [gourmet] is BAD. Being [alert] to this distinction is a large part of the [fun] of being alive today, in a moment teeming with [raucous|raucously] overvalued [emptiness] and [trash]." Fussell then proceeds to [skewer]

  • BAD [Advertising]
  • BAD [Airline|Airlines]
  • BAD [Airport|Airports]
  • BAD [Architecture]
  • BAD [Bank|Banks]
  • BAD [Behavior]
  • BAD [Scientology|Beliefs]
  • BAD [celebrity biographies|Books]
  • BAD [Las Vegas|Cities]
  • BAD [Colleges] and [University|Universities], with an Addendum on BAD [Academic Costume]
  • BAD [Conversation]
  • BAD [Engineering]
  • BAD [Sundance Film Festival|Films]
  • BAD [Food]
  • BAD [Hotel|Hotels]
  • BAD [Ideas]
  • BAD [Language]
  • BAD [Magazines]
  • BAD Movie [Actors] and Other Players
  • BAD [Titanic|Movies]
  • BAD [Andrew Lloyd Webber|Music]
  • BAD [Naval Missile Firing]
  • BAD [USA Today|Newspapers]
  • BAD [Objects], with an [Excursus] on [Collectibles]
  • BAD [George W. Bush|People]
  • BAD [Poetry]
  • BAD [Public Sculpture]
  • BAD [Restaurants]
  • BAD [Signs]
  • BAD [Oprah|Television]

and round it all out with a chapter called "[The Dumbing of America]" (which is also the subtitle of the book).