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PRINT Summer 2001

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Manifesto

MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE MANIFESTO is the “Manifesto of the MX Missilists,” issued September 8, 1980. “All passéist, immobile, fixed-launcher guided-missile systems present such a monstrous spectacle of backwardness and obsolescence that our MX Missilist eyes turn away with profoundest disgust and contempt!” the Missilists announced. And, they declared, “We shall go further. We are prepared to argue that stasis itself is dead. For if missiles should be placed upon cars, and those cars upon tracks, to move hither and thither in response to the universal urge to avoid nuclear annihilation, why then, O asinine compatriots, should not hospitals be so emplaced?”

Neatly anticipating the arrival of the Reagan administration, this Futurist shout, published in the New Yorker by Ellis Weiner, was less a parody than an update, despite the fact that it reads like a bad translation from Italian. Futurism

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