In his most political work to date, Michael Horovitz adapts and extends the structure, music and apocalyptic collage of T S Eliot's, "The Waste Land of 1922", to take a hard look at the state of the nation and the planet at the turn of the millennium, and after. Among the soulless forces of darkness deconstructed in the poem itself, and in the abundant notes and illustrations, are Tony Blair's degradation of the Labour Party; the mega-materialisms of Margaret Thatcher and Rupert Murdoch; the macho duplicities of Bull Clinton and Gorge Dubbya Bash; Hypeing Up, Dumbing Down and the "EnterPrize Culture"; the hubristic vacuities of the Greenwich Dome saga; and the suicidal commercial triumphalism promoted by the arms, nuclear, advertising and war industries. Where "The Waste Land of 1922" echoed phrases and lines from the past cherished by T S Eliot, Michael Horovitz mixes more substantial quotations into his update.
Virgil, Christ, Blake, Burns, Wordsworth, Byron, Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Kipling, W H Davies, D H Lawrence, Pound, Bunting, Primo Levi, Paul Celan, Allen Ginsberg, Kazuko Shiraishi, Adrian Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Jeni Couzyn, Frances Horovitz, Grace Nichols, John Lennon and Eliot himself are among the angels whose insights fuel the text's lyric fire. The book also projects a kaleidoscope of telling photographs; images from artists including Bosch, Michelangelo, Brueghel, El Greco, van Gogh, Picasso and Hockney; and, cartoons by Steve Bell, Peter Brookes, Nicholas Garland, Michael Heath, Andrzej Krauze, Chris Riddell, Gerald Scarfe, Posy Simmonds, Trog, and their peers, at the top of their form. "A New Waste Land: Timeship Earth at Nillennium" howls for the eco-friendly dumping of every stockpile of contemporary waste. But it's not all gloom. Sympathetic readers may find themselves transported by a transcultural bardmobile delivering an evergreen bran-tub of poetry, prophecy, satirical entertainment and visual delight.