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