Thursday, September 25, 2003

Too Much Oil in the Hummus

While waiting for our plane last Friday, I started reading After the Quake by Haruki Murakami. The six stories all center on the emotional and intellectual aftermath of the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan. My favorite of the six stories was ìSuper-Frog Saves Tokyoî in which a man who is put upon by his family and his job but who does so gladly is asked to help prevent an even worse earthquake by a giant talking frog. The frog needs him to simply believe in him so that he can go underground and fight Worm who will cause the earthquake. Itís a strange and very touching story and like the others, deals with the helplessness that people feel after horrible yet unavoidable natural catastrophes upset our daily lives. The fact that I was reading this during th eaftermath of a hurricane didnít even strike me until just now. How weird is that?

Iíve just started reading Al Frankenís book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them which Iím sure will add another pound of psychic tension to Bill OíReilly. Maybe if enough people read Frankenís book Bill will have an episode on TV and they can finally ship him off to a nice quiet retirement village for overwrought, mentally undernourished talking heads.

Lies is even better than I had heard. Really. Itís that witty, informed and just plain accessible. Franken takes the lies these right wing hacks spew on a daily basis and deconstructs them one at a time, offering level headed discourse and most important of all, facts to counter the bile. The book should be required reading in every Public School Government class in the country. Do they still teach Government in High School? Or are they calling it Civics again? Or do they just watch Fox News for an hour and call that Being Informed?

Normally Iíd go on a little rant here about the Neocons and their attempt to create an under educated class of surfs. But after reading the first part of Lies Iím not feeling the anger. Itís not just that Al Frankenís book makes taking the lies palatable but it gives me courage and a feeling that we can beet these asshats, not by stooping to their level but by simply and calmly staying informed and standing up. It also helps that President Chimpís approval ratings have fallen bellow %50. Just a few more points to go before he hits the unelectable lower forties. So do your part. Go out and read Lies right now.

By the way, chapters 2 and 3 of The Tragic Circus are up. Take ëem for a spin. Kick the tires. Let me know what you think.


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