February 11th, 2024
Waste Management 101: When the fans hit the shit, the shit hits the fan.

With its echtDeLillo name and its alcohol-everywhere setting, the Phoenix Waste Management Open golf tournament has postmodern pandemonium written all over it.

I’m thinking a contingent of yesterday’s shitkickers was just coming off of the big Trump rally where he encouraged Russia to do whatever the hell it wants to NATO countries that underpay their dues. Fuck em! Kill ’em! This way-roused the crowd, a portion of which, still fired up, then moved on to the big golf game.

January 26th, 2024
Another Don DeLillo headline, this one so obvious that…

SNL noticed.


Just down the block from ol’ UD. For other DeLillo headlines, some eerily similar to this one, go here.

November 18th, 2023
Another Don DeLillo Headline.

This one comes from just around the corner!


For details on The Don DeLillo Headline, go here.

April 14th, 2023
Lead Written by Don DeLillo.

The $3million coral art Sphinx destroyed when a 66-year-old Florida woman smashed her Rolls Royce into it was designed by British artist Damien Hirst and owned by hedge fund magnate Steven Tananbaum.

You may recall an earlier DeLilloesque headline:

Florida ferry accident off exclusive island results in deaths of 2 socialites as Mercedes rolls into water

All postmodern headlines must include:

  1. an accident, preferably involving cars
  2. the car must be a luxury car, and its make must be specified in the lead or headline
  3. there must be at least three wealth-markers packed into the headline (Rolls Royce, Hirst, hedge fund; exclusive, socialites, Mercedes).

Both of these headlines would have appeared in DeLillo’s White Noise had he written it more recently.

December 23rd, 2022
The first person to meet her end in one of these…

… wins the Don DeLillo Death Contest.

December 4th, 2022
DeLillo-Style Death:

Man Jumps to his Death off

Mickey and Friends parking lot

at Disneyland


For more Don DeLillo, postmodern, deaths, go here.

August 25th, 2022
The trailer is out for White Noise!

Looks promising.

August 23rd, 2022
‘“Once you go to one, you become addicted to this feeling that the hotel can achieve in you,” said a frequent guest who didn’t want to be named because she and her husband don’t want people to know how much money they make.’

At the bar, a man who described himself as “someone who invests in things” explained that the reason the hotel could charge $28 for a cocktail is that because, after Sept. 11, many in the finance industry moved here from the Wall Street area.

This article about a new obscenely expensive hotel in New York City is echt-Don Delillo, with occult NYT argot only subscribers can understand (UD subscribes and — come to think of it — she doesn’t really understand the above sentence).

I approached two men in suits — one maybe 55, the other half his age…

What did they think of the hotel?

“Off the record, it’s fantastic,” said the older man.

When I asked for his name, he gave me a smile-smirk that seemed to imply that I should know who he was.

And this is a NYT reporter, so either she’s remarkably out of it not to know who he is, or she’s talking to someone who’s a legend in his own mind, someone with a deep need to say “off the record.” I’m thinking it was Devin Nunes.

But you see the theme in all the remarks – a paranoia which makes the elation of hiding out at a silent, closed, hotel with a servile staff the main feeling the place achieves in you. The people at the Aman New York don’t want anyone to know they’re there. People hate them because they’re obnoxiously rich; or law enforcement agents are after them because they’ve broken insider trading laws; or vindictive ex-mates have lately been showing up unannounced at charity events … Think Steven Cohen, Jacqueline Kent Cooke, Ron Perelman. New York’s clinically berserk billionaire class. The place takes their frenzied convoluted vileness, rolls it up into a ball, and transmutes it into a many-petaled temple offering.

July 25th, 2022
UD Prepares You for the Soon to be Released Film of the Don DeLillo novel, White Noise.

Even if you haven’t read the novel, you’ve learned a lot about it, and DeLillo’s world view, just from reading this blog, which after all has a whole category devoted to DeLillo. The Noah Baumbach production opens August 31 at the Venice Film Festival.

A Bronx-born son of Italian immigrants, DeLillo is an entirely urban animal, yet he knowledgeably sets his novel in a small midwestern “village” (I’ll explain the quotation marks in a moment); a writer who has never had children, he sensitively places at the heart of the book the character and fate of many children in a blended family (their parents are much-divorced). As with many of my posts on the postmodern way of death, the novel first establishes the enviably, pleasantly, eventlessly “immune” life of affluent Americans, and then throws a lethal environmental catastrophe (“the airborne toxic event”) right in their faces. And lungs.

So DeLillo locates the Gladney family (glad; bland) in the cute village of Blacksmith, with its preserved nineteenth century main street and vernacular library and town hall and churches…

From its sweet pre-industrial name to its charming brick storefronts, Blacksmith could convince you you really are living a pre-modern life, before advanced technology, massive shopping malls, and endless ubiquitous streaming media; but, as White Noise makes hilariously clear, it’s all a simulacrum, a Truman-show facade behind which lies, like it or not, the late twentieth century.

When the disaster hits, Gladney’s first response is total denial:

“These things happen to poor people who live in exposed areas. Society is set up in such a way that it’s the poor and the uneducated who suffer the main impact of natural and man-made disasters. People in low-lying areas get the floods, people in shanties get the hurricanes and tornadoes. I’m a college professor. Did you ever see a college professor rowing a boat down his own street in one of those TV floods? We live in a neat and pleasant town near a college with a quaint name. These things don’t happen in places like Blacksmith.”

The filmmakers chose Wellington, Ohio for their Blacksmith – a heartland town whose preserved main street has won national awards.

The cast?

Adam Driver is a bit more young and ethnic than Gladney as described (put rumpled clothes and nerdy glasses on Mitt Romney and you’d get closer to the mark), but he’s definitely got the open-mouthed incomprehension/disbelief the plot demands. I’ll write more about the film as critical response to it, and then of course the film itself, begins to appear.
July 18th, 2022
Another DeLillo Demise.

Don DeLillo deaths – postmodern deaths – happen (you recall) when you’re having fun in a sought-after setting and something goes wrong. Here’s another one:

[An elderly woman] fell into a pond located at Boca Royale Golf and Country Club before [multiple] alligators grabbed her as she struggled in the water.


There’s also the universally expressed shock that lurking under your smooth luxe golfy world are – should you take one false step – multiple woman-eaters.

“I mean it’s pretty horrible and it’s shocking to think that that could actually happen,” John Whitworth, a resident told WBBH. “We see alligators from time to time but never thought that anything like that could happen.”

Which is odd because franchement down there you see alligators all the time; and you certainly know lots of them lurk just under the surface. But that’s the whole DeLillo thing – the fascinating coincidence of affluent highly secure absolute eventlessness AND total catastrophe very near to one another. It’s a very strange headspace to be in, strolling the sweet paths of your immunity even as a small part of your consciousness registers alligators, hurricanes, red tide, tsunami, sea level rise, heat wave…

Read White Noise for details.

July 11th, 2022
This event has ALL the hallmarks of the Don DeLillo death – except that it didn’t end in death.

As you know, this blog tracks the postmodern American way of death – described and discussed most vividly in DeLillo novels like White Noise – which takes place when something goes wrong while you’re having fun in a sought-after setting. Visual technology almost always plays a part.

This latest close-to-death is another entry:

A 23-year-old American tourist fell into Mount Vesuvius while taking a selfie and dropping his cellphone inside the volcano.

Italian police had to rescue the tourist after he climbed up without a ticket and fell inside, but authorities are now charging him and his family for trespassing.

The man and three of his relatives had decided to bypass the visitor entrance, ignoring the turnstile and taking a forbidden route to the crater at the top of the volcano that looms over the Italian city of Naples.

He scrambled down inside the crater at the top of the volcano, which is active but has not seen an eruption for almost 80 years, seemingly to try and get better photographs.


UD likes the additional frisson, here, of cretinous American arrogance.

May 8th, 2022
Straight Outta Don DeLillo

Kings Pointer Robert Levine, 74, fired five shots at an unfamiliar fellow condo resident, Herbert Merritt, 64, while he was walking his dog near the 15th hole of the golf course at Kings Point early one evening last month, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Levine, driving a golf cart, pulled up to Merritt, and confronted him about walking his dog too close to the golf course, according to the arrest report.

The verbal confrontation took a potentially life-and-death turn when Levine pointed a handgun at Merritt, who then ran, as Levine pursued him around a tree in the cart while shooting at the fleeing dog owner, the arrest report said.

One of the shots hit Merritt in the left ankle, wounding him and dropping him to the ground. Levine wasn’t done, according to the report. An eyewitness told deputies that the golfer kicked Merritt in the head, then went to golf cart, pulled out a club and began hitting the fallen dog owner with a club, while still holding the handgun in his other hand.’

February 6th, 2022
Completely charming take on UD’s adored…

White Noise.

November 23rd, 2021
Don DeLillo on the Assassination

November 22nd 1963 marked the real beginning of the 1960s. It was the beginning of a series of catastrophes: political assassinations, the war in Vietnam, the denial of Civil Rights and the revolts that occasioned, youth revolt in American cities, right up to Watergate. When I was starting out as a writer it seemed to me that a large part of the material you could find in my novels – this sense of fatality, of widespread suspicion, of mistrust – came from the assassination of JFK.


And baby, look at us now.

November 5th, 2021
Straight outta …

… Don DeLillo.

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