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lgpiper

Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
On The Beach (Vintage Classics)
Nevil Shute Norway
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
Obscure Destinies
Willa Cather
A Start in Life (The Michael Cullen Novels)
Alan Sillitoe
Mobilizing Web Sites: Strategies for Mobile Web Implementation
Kristofer Layon

It Can't Happen Here

It Can't Happen Here - Sinclair Lewis Yikes! This one is eerie in light of recent events.

My musician son has taken up reading dystopian novels. This one surely fits the bill. It was written not long after the Nazi's took over Germany. People in America kept assuring themselves "it can't happen here". But in this book, it does "happen here". A closely fought democratic election installs a charismatic autocrat in the White House, an autocrat who appears to be controlled by a media-savvy puppet master (sound familiar yet?). Soon thereafter, we see major increases in violence against marginalized groups, immigrants and negroes. We see a crack down on the media: first beginning as public disparagement of the more independent parts of the media; later on the actual infiltration of the media by government lackeys. Naturally, opposition politicians start getting arrested. No one is sure whom to trust: old friends become new enemies. Something like that. It seemed a bit fantastical, but we're now seeing, some eighty years later, that such things "can happen here". With luck, we'll dodge the bullet, and manage to extract ourselves from the malevolent forces we just elected. But that remains to be seen. Also, cleaning up the mess will be arduous.