Friday, February 15, 2008

The Politics of Heaven

Book Review
Title: The Politics of Heaven—American in Fearful times
Author: Earl Shorris
Publisher: W.W. Norton and Company

A Very Very Brief Summary of the Book
Woe is us! The FDR New Deal is gone, gone, gone. The bad people have taken over America.

But who to blame? Why it's mostly the fault of all those crazy Bible-thumping fundie xtians. There are other villains too, but these are the baddest of the bad. Woe is us!

This staggering work of heartbreaking genius is a book that reaches new heights of eloquence and erudition, wherein a hardcore progressive secularist bemoans the loss of "optimism" about this-world human perfectibility. Shorris is unhappy that things aren't going his way, and consequently there is page after page of lamentations.

To convey to the readers the amorphous, all-pervasive, and hideous evilness of it all, he likes to call the bad people "the movement". That Shorris chose not to capitalize the word "movement" is a brilliant stroke of genius, for it subtly shows the reader that it's everywhere and has crept into everything. It's even tunneling beneath your house.

If this sort of stuff is up your alley, and you enjoy watching an intellectual snidely call other people whom he doesn't like names like "liar", "racist", or "closet homosexual", then you'll adore this book.

[Update, 2017 Jan 05] If Earl Shorris was unhappy back then, just imagine how unhappy he is now.

Hollister Dreaming

Well, we've had enough snow here in Land-In-Between to suffice for two-and-a-half winters. A friend told me that we broke a record going all the way back to 1915. And even though we have had melty conditions now for over a week, it still boggles my mind how much snow we still have on the ground. But I am thankful to finally have a rest from all that snow shoveling. Now the snow berms have melted back enough where we can at least see the street from our kitchen window. With each passing day, Spring gets closer. I welcome Spring.

This is not the climate change we bargained for. So I wonder. Will all the Californians who moved here freak out and decide to sell their houses and leave? Oops, I guess they're stuck, when you consider that the housing market is slumping here as well. It must have been a surprise for them to discover that Land-In-Between isn't quite the paradise the realtors claimed it was, with all those beautiful pictures they showed them of Lake Ha Ha, and the forests, and the happy happy life of Podunk City. Certainly it was dreadful shock for them to discover that, hey, it really does snow here.

I guess that, to mollify themselves, the Californians will have to go to the Hollister clothing store at the mall and watch the live cam of Huntington Beach, showing the surf going in and out, and all the Dudes and the Bettys struting around carrying their surfboards.

Addendum: Yikes. It's snowing again.

Addendum: This Sunday we saw our first robins. The poor things must be wondering why there is still so much dang snow on the ground.