May 07 2012
An Occasional Walker
D. W. Walker, 2011
I haven’t read a book like An Occasional Walker since… wow. That takes me back. William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, I think. The style is definitely akin to Burroughs’ “cut-up technique”, whereby bits of text are seeded throughout the chapters, sometimes to help the reader understand, but sometimes causing a kind of pleasant literary disorientation; it’s absinthe in trade-paperback.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. To be sure, if Dagald Walker ever met Burroughs in their younger days, I suspect Dag would have whipped the poor fellow with his belt, cursing this world filled with lousy hippies and degenerate post-modernists.
This collection of Walker’s writings from the No Dhimittude blog reads at times like a stream of consciousness from a scripture-quoting American Tea Party recruiter. There are diatribes against the Islamist threat that (belatedly) burst into the public’s consciousness on the day of the 9/11 attacks; rages against policies of civilizational suicide in the wake of non-assimilating (and occasionally openly seditious) immigrant communities in the West; odes to the oil companies; screeds against environmentalists; nostalgic looks back at shoot-first ask-questions-later cowboy role models.
But occasional breaks in the commentary clue you in that you’re reading something more akin to a work of art by a tortured soul; there’s pain there. Rejection. Grim anecdotes of survival amid gritty poverty. Descriptions of places that might be war zones or just some plain old slum that looks like a war hit it. Haunting slices of life as a derelict. Love in the shadows.
An Occasional Walker is a hard book. Sometimes amusing, other times perplexing; often surprising. Just stay away from the absinthe while you’re reading it.