art by Professor Cory, “ThenWorld’s Foremost Expert.”nSpeaking on some recognizablensubject, Cory would dazzle andnreassure his audience with anflurry of technical jargon andnthen, imperceptibly, he wouldninterject little fragments ofndouble talk as he warmed to hisnsubject. The performance wouldnbuild to a peak of excitement innwhich the syllables sounded familiar,nbut the words were fewnand far between. Cory wouldnthen conclude with a clearly articulatednstatement that that isnwhy these things are so important.nToffler’s concluding line is,n”Like the generation of the revolutionaryndead, we have a destinynto create.” What has happened innthe preceding 458 pages is notnaltogether clear. It would be anninteresting exercise to ask anynten people who have read thenbook what they think Tofflernmeans by his Third Wave. Ifnany two of them think they canndefine it, it would be, I believe,nan atypical ten. The best I canndo is that the Third Wave isnwhat is happening now.nIn this regard, Toffler, thenjournalist, has amassed a dazzlingnand reassuring array ofnfacts from the forefront of discoverynand change across thenwhole spectrum of human activity.nToffler, the commentator,noffers many plausible interpretationsnof why things havencome about. It is Toffler, thenphilosopher, who goes off thendeep end.nDuring the course of thenbook, he emphasizes the pervasivendisintegration of the political,neconomic and social institutionsnwhich, in the past,nmade it possible for people tonlive and work together in somenreasonable degree of harmony.nWhat he fails to understand isnthat it is the human impulse tondo whatever one pleases—thenview of life so long championednby Toffler and other pop gurusn— that has caused the socialnmechanisms to break down.nOnce or twice he borders on anrecognition that self-interestncannot reign supreme, that itnmust be balanced by an acceptancenof obligations to the group,nbut he overcomes those flickersnof insight and proclaims thenamorphous society of personalnpreferences to be the triumph ofnour day and the wave of thenfuture.nWe will not be rescuednfrom fundamental civic confusionnby word wizards who overwhelmnus with enthusiastic assertionsnthat social chaos is thenformula for creating the NewnJerusalem. The book would benharmless enough if it had notnbeen so widely hailed as genius,nacuity and oracular prophecy.nIn competition with pleasurenboats burning off the Alaskanncoast and oil fields ablaze on thensands of the Middle East, a merenmassacre of common sensendoesn’t get much attention. Butnit should. (JAH) •nThat’snEntertainmentnEric Van Lustbader: Ninja;nM. Evans & Co.; New York.nA quick glance at the backncover of best sellers can be annelucidating experience: the portraitnof the author says a lot.nThe author of Ninja looks likena man consumed by sultry urgesnthat are all on sale; his bedroomneyes say that everything is justna matter of price. Going backnto his oeuvre, one quickly discoversnthat both its message andnits literary fabric are made ofnbest-selling gore. The characters,nplot and dialogue are allncomposed of slimy substances—nmostly blood and sperm—concoctedninto the delight of thenmodern American publisher.nPeople either murder each othernor copulate; most of the actionntakes place in morgues, assassinationnsites and beds. Mutilation,nmayhem, rape seem tonserve as punctuation marks.nThe publishers will always defendnthat genre with the help ofnthe First Amendment and thenspecious argument that they arenonly giving the public what itnwants. If the best-seller lists arensmelly affairs, the publishersnmaintain that it is because thenlists only reflect contemporarynreading tastes (and the slick,nsemiliterate reviewers will alwaysnagree). Some believe thatnthe best thing is to ignore bothnthe tastes and the books thatncater to them, but we feel thatnthis attitude is profoundlynwrong. The putridity of so-calledn”release” novels has to be confrontednsomehow. We do not advocatentheir prohibition—theynare still a bargain if they arenthe price of freedom of expression.nBut what about denyingnthem their free ride? Whatnabout making them so odiousnand dishonorable that peoplenwill think twice before buyingnthem? What about starting annew fashion of contempt for allnthe various brands of Lustbaders?nIt could turn into quitena vogue. nnCap-Gun Noises SomewherenAlan Crawford: Thunder onnthe Right; Pantheon Books; NewnYork.nIt’s an unprepossessing book,na sort of journalistic report,npoorly written and meager innsubstance. Mr. Crawford accusesnpeople in the right-wingnconservative camp of believingnin their principles and of strivingnto bring about the politicalnprevalence of their beliefs —nwhich they intend to do withinnthe accepted democratic process.nnnl’nhIlhltH, !• l/Hc./’i.i/nHowever, he’s able to provenneither erroneousness in theirnconvictions nor unsavoriness inntheir political methods. Therefore,none must conclude thatnMr. Crawford—who was once anmember of that same conservativengroup but became a conscientiousnobjector (or renegade?)—isnmotivated by feelingsnother than the simple pursuit ofntruth, or even the desire for anmeaningful discourse with thosenwhose points of view differ fromnhis own. DnMr. Morton L. Janklow, an executive of JanklownAssociates (a high-powered literary agency in NewnYork) and one of the most influential entrepreneursnin the realm of American publishing, elaborates on thensacred mission of bringing out books in the native landnof Melville, Twain, Hemingway and Faulkner:nToo many decisions in publishing are just seat-of-thepantsndecisions… Colgate, for Christ’s sake, won’t thinknof introducing a new toothpaste without finding outnthings like ‘Do people like mint?’ and ‘Do they likengreen? Or is green an offputting color?’ Dn••M^M^H^I^HSOnIVovcmbcr/December 1980n