Isn’t this  what’s currently referred to as a decadent period?
I don’t know if it is or not. Certainly within any decadent period, you would probably find the purest expressions of conviction, and I do not see that in many of the people I know. Today [people] are ready to take emergency cures, whatever they are, if it’s violence, if it’s a fascination with serial killing or whatever—the discomfort is so intense. Maybe it’s always been like that, certainly it is now. Public speech seems terribly shabby, with the exception of a few black orators. The public rhetoric is hopelessly boring. It’s incredible they actually get anybody to go to the polls. The level of debate is terribly shabby; if there is a debate at all, I can’t quite locate it.
From Leonard Cohen Interviewed by Anjelica Huston. Interview magazine: November, 1995. Accessed at Remembering Leonard Cohen by Anjelica Huston (Interview: Nov 11, 2016). The photo atop this post is a Sony publicity photo for Ten New Songs taken by Laszlo.
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted June 21, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric.