December 21, 2005

American Pastoral

I just finished a book and needed something new to read. I picked up both Everything is Illuminated and Fortress of Solitude and couldn’t get it very far. I was going to write a post with this sentence: I hate books. I was feeling low. 90% of books are off limits to me. People say that if a book doesn’t grab them in the first 50 pages, they set it down. Me, if the book doesn’t grab me in the first three pages, I give up. If a book takes too long to get the point of where it’s going to take me, I get impatient. Same goes with people really. You want a person to be upfront about who they are, to be honest. Too many books seem to write around their subject, they don’t get to the point. Show don’t tell gone overboard.

Not that the two above books suffer from this entirely, but they didn’t speak to me. Then I picked up American Pastoral by Philip Roth. I started it in the past, liked it, then stopped reading because…I don’t remember why. Likely, I wasn’t ready for it yet. The same might go for the Lethem or Foer down the line. Yesterday, those books felt flashy and overly precocious. Philip Roth gets to the point immediately, even in the first sentence: "The Swede." It’s hyper-intelligent, but that’s because he is, not because he’s trying to be. I’ve found my new book to read.

In other news, the Bush spy probe is driving me fucking nuts. The replacements at Andrew Sullivan are really irritating. In regards to the Bush illegal spying issue, he begins, "While more legally-minded types bicker over the legitimacy of the Bush wiretapping…" The use of the word "bicker" annoys me--as if this issue is nothing more than something for the TV pundits to talk about until the next news day. Pundits are like local newscasters--talking about horrible human events as if they’re discussing puppets. Bush broke the fucking law. The surveillance goes beyond Muslim extremists. And there’s no immediate outrage from Republicans. It doesn’t make sense.

It’s a mystery--why bother with illegal wiretaps when congress would have likely given them the wiretaps legally. Intelligence gathering was actually fine pre 9-11, it’s just that the intelligence was ignored. And wire-tapping wasn’t the problem. It’s another mystery why the NY Times covered up this story before the election. Why the hell would the Times not want John Kerry to get elected?

This whole thing is making me feel down about the great stupidity of the American people. There should be immediate outrage about this, but there won’t be. It seems Bush can do anything he wants and it’s forgotten until the next round of Sunday news shows. Even breaking the law. The "Impeachment" word is finally being mentioned now. If the pundits start talking about impeachment being necessary and inevitable, there will be a change in public opinion--which is not exactly to the public’s credit, but it’s something. Not like that’s going to happen. The Democrats don’t have enough votes--even against something criminal. It’s a new cold war where Republicans or Democrats can never admit fault or defeat, and that’s dangerous. Hell of a fucking first year for the fucking President.

6 comments:

Henry Baum said...

Being sick is making my cynical. More than usual.

globalfriendshipnetwork said...

i was browsing the web and found your blog , before i leave your blog i would like to you /your team members /your blog visitors " Merry Christmas "

Henry Baum said...

I think I can speak for all of the team members and say, We're at war with Christmas.

Empty Drum said...

Damn, you weren't kidding about the cynicism! Feel better soon, please.

Anonymous said...

check this out, yo. http://streaming.americanprogress.org/ThinkProgress/2005/bushwiretaps.320.240.mov.htm

Henry Baum said...

Yep. That quote by Bush flies in the face of the main defense that Bush had the war powers to do whatever he wanted. I think this story might live on, especially coupled with further Fitzgerald indictments. A good quote: "If you give up freedom for security, you deserve neither"--Benjamin Franklin. (found at bloggingearnest.blogspot.com).

ED, I was kidding about the spammer. I'm not really at war with Christmas.

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