People I don’t want to hear any more about

by Ursula K. Le Guin

•The family of eight who generate three–quarters of a cupful of trash to put in the garbage every week, use no plastic of any description for any purpose, grow all their own food in a 2-square-foot worm garden, shoot anyone suspected of bringing sugar onto their property, and have trained their cat and two dogs to live on rutabaga and chopped kale.

•The man of 92 who runs 36 miles a day to train for the 29 marathons which he flies all over the country every year to run in, along with the woman of 105 who does 500 push-ups before breakfast. After breakfast (a cup of black coffee and a square of sugarless 180% Nigerian chocolate) she works out until noon with her personal trainer, skips lunch, and powerwalks till dinner (Vegan, with one half glass of red wine). She then meditates for five hours, sleeps for four, and gets up at 4.30 sharp to begin her push-ups.

•The artist who was paid 55 million dollars for an installation consisting of a dead cat on a sawhorse. While the concept is of course entirely the artist’s, the sawhorse and cat were provided and arranged by his two assistants, who are paid $20 an hour. The sculpture is particularly noted for its kinetic and interactive elements. These consist of the decay of the cat from day to day and the resulting changes in the appearance of the corpse; the relative position of corpse and sawhorse; and the variations in quality and intensity of odor. Titled “Intimations of Tit-Fingering in the Mind of a Genius – IV” the piece, on display at the Tate Modern, has been universally admired by art critics as a stunningly authentic statement of what it states. The assistants replace the dead cat every six to eight weeks, depending on its kinetic interactivity.

•The world-famous chef of Introuvable, a two-table restaurant in a remote French village, Cul d’Airain, where a ten-course dinner costs upward of 22,000 euros. The food consists of tiny fragments of unidentifiable substances sliced tissue-paper thin and arranged in complex aesthetic patterns on gold leaf by the chef’s assistants, who pay him 4,000 euros an hour for the privilege of executing his culinary presentations.

•The Presidential candidate with a gold-plated dog carrier strapped to the roof of his Mercedes with a diamond-studded bunjee cord, who frequently has sex with corporations because, to him, corporations are people. He feels the pain of the American middle class. He does not feel the pain of the American poor, because the poor are fine, because they have a safety net under them, which he has promised his friends the corporations to remove, once he’s elected by a 5 to 4 vote of the Supreme Court (i.e., the five-ninths of the judges who are wholly owned subsidiaries of various corporations plus the Vatican.)

•Celebrities. Such as Chelsi and Battersi, the Soho twins, who appeared for 48 seconds on reality TV in 2009, and are now suing each other for identity theft.

Or Dingi Remora, whose mother says she’s “doing just a wonderful, hard, brave, heartwarming job of soul redemption” working out her twelfth sentence for shoplifting while stoned out of her head by going once a week to be photographed by the press in the entrance of the Beverly Hills Childrens Hospital while stoned out of her head.

Or Brandi Weinwein and Brusk Sullen, who married in January, divorced in late January, had whirlwind affairs with American Idol idol Pupi Moab and rap star Bad Bad BAD Dog, announced they were madly in love again with each other last Saturday, and would have been remarried this Sunday if Brandi hadn’t been arrested for driving naked at 188 mph on Mulholland and Brusk hadn’t shot his cocaine dealer dead at a party in Redondo Beach.


City of the Plain, by Ursula K. Le Guin

A poem from The Wild Girls, by Ursula K. Le Guin

Play the Podcast of “City of the Plain.”

PM Press Outspoken Authors #06, May 1, 2011

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People I don’t want to hear any more about — 15 Comments

    • Really? You would include Obama, Clinton and Carter in that generalization? I think not. It’s this kind of “they’re all in bed with the corporations, there’s no difference” thinking that caused people in Florida in 2000 to vote for that misguided wretch, Ralph Nader, ultimately handing us George W. Bush, the most disastrous President of the last 50 years. If anyone thinks the 20-oughts would have played out the same with Gore as President, I’d like to sell you some stock in 8-track tape companies. That would perfectly fit your level of thoughtfulness.

      • Sigh… another ignorant comment that Thinking People(TM) don’t want to hear ever again…

        Those who voted for Nader did so because the Dems had nothing more to offer them than a slightly left version of George Bush who could correctly pronounce the word “nuclear”. Don’t blame the losses on Nader – the Dems lost those elections on their own weak platform and incompetence. Nader voters did not and would not have voted Dem whether he had entered the race or not.

      • You are an absolute fool if you don’t think Obama is one of them. He just picks a couple of corporations in a segment to give money to, and then tries to starve and regulate into obscurity the rest of them. Because everybody being taxed hi, having no money, getting no jobs and being poor is fair.

  1. At the beginning I was laughing really wholeheartedly, but by the end not any more…

    A superb article!

  2. I am at a loss for words.
    To get this close to a comment on a person’s blog who I have read and admired for more years than the internet existed gives me hope, though. I’m not here to say I understood all the stories I read or that I read them all.
    “The Word For World is Forest” might be my favorite. Possibly because I was a logger for a short time and saw some fairly sophisticated villages (of Salamanders) when they had hit the forest floor after we had fallen their Cedar.

  3. ok time for the humourless arsehole comment, so here goes:
    “The family of eight who generate three–quarters of a cupful of trash to put in the garbage every week, use no plastic of any description for any purpose, grow all their own food in a 2-square-foot worm garden, shoot anyone suspected of bringing sugar onto their property, and have trained their cat and two dogs to live on rutabaga and chopped kale”

    um, isnt it good that people are ‘reducing carbon footprints’?
    or creating less waste?
    or living green?
    are there really enough people like this around to warrent pissing taking on them?
    i get the others.
    (people I
    don’t want to here any more about:
    people named arwen.
    or galadrial.or amalthea.
    or Meadhbh.
    and they are never ever irish.
    lol

  4. UKL, I’ve only read one of your short stories, the one that is in the “great books anthology” and we are about to discuss it. But I laughed so hard at your Blog about ‘People you don’t want to hear any more about’ that I was almost kicked out of the library. Thanks it was great. I look forward to reading your books Rick

  5. Brilliant -after a long, sweaty, humid, frustrating day this was the perfect release!