Magical Miserablism: Robert Stark’s Myths of the Near Future

James O’Meara writes:

Robert Stark has achieved something remarkable here. He’s taken the basic elements of a common kind of alt-Right narrative — basically, the youth who, because of his intelligence and sensitivity, becomes a murderous outcast from a degenerate society — and managed to avoid these miserablist results by infusing them with his own private, even idiosyncratic, obsessions.

Precisely by their personal nature, they communicate a brilliant energy to the narrative, lifting it out of the realm of a necessarily pessimistic Present Year realism and into a kind of magic realism whose conclusion — here is the key to the achievement — never feels tacked on like a Hollywood ending but rather seems a satisfyingly integral part of the work.[2]

Noam Metzenbaum is our protagonist. Though Jewish, family circumstances have landed him, like Howard Stern, in the multi-culti hell of a typical public school. Another anomaly is that Noam’s uncle Saul was acquainted with Alistair Blackstone, a Mosely-ish British aristo and political activist, and “author of a secret manifesto titled ‘Why the True Aristocrat Must Rule,’ which had given Noam the will to power to rise up from being just a meek pathetic loser.”

Of course, Noam “rises up” only in his own journals, otherwise he remains a pathetic loser and likely lifelong virgin.

Then, he meets, or at least sees, Natalie Bloom, a rich, blonde Jewess who will serve from now on as his muse, or, as he refers to her, his Crush.[3] To pursue her, he wins a scholarship to her school, Chadsworth Academy in Greenwich, CT [4] — with results easily predicted by those familiar with ’80s or ’90s snobs v. slobs teen movies; at least, if they were directed by Ron Jeremy or the Mitchell Brothers.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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