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  • #16
    Originally posted by J-Sun View Post
    I’ve no idea if it’s good to read books in your own context or not. I mean, it’s unavoidable to an extent, but at what point are we asking for our context to overwhelm the point the author is trying to make? I hate 2020 for doing this to us.
    There are lots of reasons to hate 2020. Maybe that’s a new thread. Reasons why 2020 sucks. Haha.

    I remember being at one of Mike’s signing events in about 2006 (during the peak Bush war years), and asking about a sequel to Breakfast in the Ruins. That’s why it was on my mind earlier. I asked Mike if he had thought about some kind of new version since (I tho it at the time) we were hitting peak inhumanity toward one another, and maybe there was a need for it. Both Breakfast and Pyat show us something ugly, and do it relentlessly, with Breakfast having much less of the pitch black comedy.

    I remember thinking then about how an old(ish) novel could resonate so clearly with the present. And now I keep thinking they are even more relevant and resonant.

    FWIW, Mike was on a few deadlines at the time, and he replied “I resent you for even suggesting it.” 😂

    Comment


    • #17
      Oh I’ll have a lot of venting to do if we do a “why 2020 sucks” thread. And the worst part is that, compared to most, I’m sure I’m doing great. But my life is very topsy turvy and I’m thrown for a loop. Health and job are great, and I am grateful. But... I’m still struggling to keep my footing.
      "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
      --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by Doc View Post

        I am stealing “relentlessly blinkered ideological grandchildren of reaganism and thatcherism” as
        often as I can.

        The legacy of Reagan is troubling to me. I’ve seen a “I miss Reagan” bumper sticker so often that it’s painful, especially since half of the people putting them on their cars were born after Reagan was president. The legend is bigger than the accomplishments. And of course, many of the people with the sticker would call Reagan a RINO in today’s political climate.
        Here's an idea for a bumper sticker with a little more pizzazz - a sillhouette of an assault rifle, a picture of Reagan surrounded by bullseye circles, and below - "I sure miss Reagan! My sights need adjusting."
        sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

        Gold is the power of a man with a man
        And incense the power of man with God
        But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
        And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

        Nativity,
        by Peter Cape

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post

          Here's an idea for a bumper sticker with a little more pizzazz - a sillhouette of an assault rifle, a picture of Reagan surrounded by bullseye circles, and below - "I sure miss Reagan! My sights need adjusting."
          Funny enough, today I just saw one of the “I miss Reagan” stickers that had “don’t” written in marker. Then I saw this. Maybe the legend of St. Ronnie doesn’t linger as much as a fear.

          Comment


          • #20
            One thing I remember from the Third Ronnie's first year while I was at high school in Canberra, was one of the girls who was friendly with me, telling me that he'd mixed up Afghanistan and Pakistan - this was in the early days of the Soviet invasion/intervention. Consequently I've never felt the need to worship at his shrine. J G Ballard got it right, as far as I can tell, with his "Why I want to fuck Ronald Reagan".

            From my point of view, Gorbachev was the real hero of that round of talks - he had to pay some quite savage and vicious criticism over the years for that, and he's never been given the credit for his courage.
            sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

            Gold is the power of a man with a man
            And incense the power of man with God
            But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
            And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

            Nativity,
            by Peter Cape

            Comment


            • #21
              Ballard was so good with everything, wasn’t he?

              U.S. mythology has Reagan as Rambo threatening Gorbachev with a machine gun and bulging biceps, single handed lay destroying the Berlin Wall with his own giant sledge hammer.

              The notion that Gorbachev did nothing but cower and capitulate is of course undermined by the role that Russia still holds in global politics.

              Comment


              • #22
                Reagan did little but weaken our democracy by strengthening the corporations, namely the very Military Industrial Complex Ike warned against. Gorbachev had the courage and acumen to affect change.

                I don't understand the affection people hold for Reagan. Perhaps you're right, Doc, that it is because of the Myth that he brought down the Iron Curtain.
                "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                --Thomas a Kempis

                Comment


                • #23
                  Perhaps i was being just a wee bit optimistic when i wrote about a ' moment of cultural catharsis' coming to the U.S.A in the upcoming November Presidential Election.
                  Real and deadly strife might erupt anew and as violent as anything out of the year 1968, if not worse.

                  Once more, this from the Guardian : https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ause-civil-war
                  Mwana wa simba ni simba

                  The child of a lion is also a lion - Swahili Wisdom

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Trump is guy who, if things are going well, thinks that it's all down to him & if things are going badly, it's always somebody else's fault. Between the successful top level treatment for immediate covid19 symptoms, heavy duty medication & v.real fear of prison, if he loses the election, it could be that President Pumpkinhead, with his 'macho strong-man' act, is trying to pull a Bolsonaro.

                    Herman Cain was recovering from covid19, before he died.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Kymba334 View Post
                      Perhaps i was being just a wee bit optimistic when i wrote about a ' moment of cultural catharsis' coming to the U.S.A in the upcoming November Presidential Election.
                      Real and deadly strife might erupt anew and as violent as anything out of the year 1968, if not worse.

                      Once more, this from the Guardian : https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/...ause-civil-war
                      I wake up every morning recognizing my country less and less. The amount of people I know who are far more loyal to Trump and Trumpism than to the U.S. is stunning, made worse by their conviction that they are the true patriots. People with the quaint notion that patriotism involves pride in the whole nation are somehow the dividers and the enemy. Ugh.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Pietro_Mercurios View Post
                        Trump is guy who, if things are going well, thinks that it's all down to him & if things are going badly, it's always somebody else's fault. Between the successful top level treatment for immediate covid19 symptoms, heavy duty medication & v.real fear of prison, if he loses the election, it could be that President Pumpkinhead, with his 'macho strong-man' act, is trying to pull a Bolsonaro.

                        Herman Cain was recovering from covid19, before he died.
                        Most effective leaders will tell you that they are responsible for failures and everyone else is responsible for successes. I’ve never seen such a powerful person who claims to be as victimized as Trump, especially in accounting for failures that are clearly his.

                        Equally troubling are the conspiracy theorists who would rather believe that there are complex, highly secretive plots to make Trump fail, rather than looking at the obvious.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Doc View Post

                          Most effective leaders will tell you that they are responsible for failures and everyone else is responsible for successes. I’ve never seen such a powerful person who claims to be as victimized as Trump, especially in accounting for failures that are clearly his.

                          Equally troubling are the conspiracy theorists who would rather believe that there are complex, highly secretive plots to make Trump fail, rather than looking at the obvious.
                          I just had the horrifying thought that if Trump keels over and turns his toes up within the next few days, the far right will claim that he's been assassinated ... when he's been Mr Covid-19 Superspreader and taken little to no responsibility for anyone. least of all himself.

                          I mean, it is poetic justice if he gets what he's been permitting for so many of his own countrymen. It's just that tragically, many of those countrymen won't recognize the truth even if it bit them.
                          sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

                          Gold is the power of a man with a man
                          And incense the power of man with God
                          But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
                          And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

                          Nativity,
                          by Peter Cape

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by In_Loos_Ptokai View Post

                            I just had the horrifying thought that if Trump keels over and turns his toes up within the next few days, the far right will claim that he's been assassinated ... when he's been Mr Covid-19 Superspreader and taken little to no responsibility for anyone. least of all himself.

                            I mean, it is poetic justice if he gets what he's been permitting for so many of his own countrymen. It's just that tragically, many of those countrymen won't recognize the truth even if it bit them.
                            The even more horrifying thought is that first, Pence would take over and, second, that such an event would almost guarantee a delay in the election (and if the election were to move forward as scheduled the results would immediately be challenged or even nullified due to the 11th hour change). Regardless, the result could likely be a major contest and may even result in a Constitutional crisis as the Parties spar to the detriment of the People.
                            "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                            --Thomas a Kempis

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              FWLIW, I think we could see it coming as far back as the early nineties. Do you remember a figure skater named Tonya Harding? Whose "friends" allegedly attempted to cripple her rival Nancy Kerrigan at the ice rink she was practising at? And when Tonya Harding did turn up at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, she tried an old trick she was alleged to have done many times during her career as a figure skater in the States? Starting out with badly-laced skates, then bursting into tears and begging time out to get it fixed ... hoping for the sympathy vote. You could see the judges thinking, "This woman is supposed to be the top of the US figure skating ... should she by now have learnt not to go out onto a rink without having the very best in laces and having them adequately tied before she steps onto the ice?"

                              Fast forward to the accession to power of the Federal Secretary of Silly Tweets, the Tweeterbator himself, and his reaction on hearing the Danish Prime Minister saying he couldn't buy Greenland? Same crocodile tears, accusing the Danish Prime Minister of being cruel to him for merely telling him the truth - Greenland was not for sale.

                              (Though, mind you, it was there in the US reaction to the New Zealand Nuclear Weapon Free policy first declared in 1984. Self-pity is not so easily forgiven in a superpower ... )
                              sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

                              Gold is the power of a man with a man
                              And incense the power of man with God
                              But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
                              And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

                              Nativity,
                              by Peter Cape

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by EverKing View Post
                                The even more horrifying thought is that first, Pence would take over and, second, that such an event would almost guarantee a delay in the election (and if the election were to move forward as scheduled the results would immediately be challenged or even nullified due to the 11th hour change). Regardless, the result could likely be a major contest and may even result in a Constitutional crisis as the Parties spar to the detriment of the People.
                                President Pence— the thought is truly horrifying. However, I don’t think he has the kind of juice to move an election needle (results or dates) the way Trump could, even under the craziest of circumstances. Federal law is tough to challenge, and without the cult leader, Pence and the party are just run of the mill Republicans. Still dangerous and out of touch, but not threats to the Constitution and representational government (although McConnell would consider it).

                                Comment

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