In 1969, the BBC’s James Mossman conducted an extensive interview with Vladimir Nabokov, which was first published in a magazine called The Listener, and later in a book entitled Strong Opinions. Some of Mossman’s questions were serious: “You’ve said that you’ve explored time’s prison and have found no way out. Are you still exploring…? Some were lighter: “Why do you live in hotels?” (Answer here.) And still other questions fell somewhere in between, like: “If you ruled any modern industrial state absolutely, what would you abolish?” It turns out that loud noises, muzak, bidets, and insecticides made the great novelist and lepidopterist’s list.
Which raises the question, if allowed to play benevolent dictator for a day, what would you obliterate? Me? I’d probably start with almost anything likely to appear in today’s Billboard Top 5 — dreck that’s not too far from muzak.