shock value

Had a conversation the other day and the premise that shock lit is over came up. It was thrown in to high relief by the Michael Jackson spectacle. Sometimes it’s hard to top real life with fiction and I began to wonder why we should feel the need. There are so many books about (now formerly) shocking subjects – just look at the dozens of junkie memoirs – that you’d better a) know what you’re talking about and and b) bring something new to the table. I could be wrong, but my sense is that people have been so saturated with snark and shock that are ready to gravitate toward something else. Everyone does seem to have the sense that we’re on the brink of something. Perhaps it’s the sense that the pendulum is bound to swing in the other direction.