Whatcha reading?

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Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 11 Jan 2018, 8:34pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:25pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 7:49pm
3) Fire & Fury - Michael Wolff. Audiobook. This rundown of the first chunk of the Trump presidency feels like history as gossip. Lots of unsourced, off the record parts which add up to confirm what lots of us just simply assume its like in the White House. I found it useful (and very readable) as a way to get a refresher on the extremely wearing 2017 US political scene. Bannon is a scumbag but he comes off as the only one of these pampered children with any drive or wit - albeit a white supremacist who should hurry up and choke on whatever antifreeze he's chugging.
I obtained a copy of the eBook for family members who are salivating for it, but I don't have great passion to read it myself. It might be entertaining, but I get terribly depressed when I think too long about dystopic normal. I had a student today ask me what I thought about the book and I inelegantly deflected because we're too early into the course for me to come off as despairing or otherwise unhinged (once the course evaluations are done, tho …!).

(Side note: First lecture today, about Truman and the early Cold War, and I got a distinct impression that people thought I was being unfair to Stalin for calling him paranoid and the Communists as maybe kinda pretty awful in seizing control of Eastern Europe and trying to starve out Berlin. This is going to be so much fun if students think I'm some kind of right-winger!)
All of us anti-Stalinists are to the right of McCarthy.
The old man spoke up in a bar
Said "I never been in prison
A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison"


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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jan 2018, 8:42pm

Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:34pm
All of us anti-Stalinists are to the right of McCarthy.
Crap, you've reminded me that I have to revise the McCarthy part of my 50s paranoia lecture to make him a lonely hero who was murdered by, hmm, let's say Alger Hiss.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 11 Jan 2018, 8:44pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:42pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:34pm
All of us anti-Stalinists are to the right of McCarthy.
Crap, you've reminded me that I have to revise the McCarthy part of my 50s paranoia lecture to make him a lonely hero who was murdered by, hmm, let's say Alger Hiss.
This fits if Alger had made his living as a spirits distiller. Hiss Whiskey: Gets You Pisskey.
The old man spoke up in a bar
Said "I never been in prison
A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison"


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jan 2018, 8:52pm

Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:44pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:42pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:34pm
All of us anti-Stalinists are to the right of McCarthy.
Crap, you've reminded me that I have to revise the McCarthy part of my 50s paranoia lecture to make him a lonely hero who was murdered by, hmm, let's say Alger Hiss.
This fits if Alger had made his living as a spirits distiller. Hiss Whiskey: Gets You Pisskey.
Whitaker Chambers was a drunk, too, I think, so it all fits. Sadly, Alger's pumpkin whiskey never caught on.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 11 Jan 2018, 8:58pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:52pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:44pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:42pm
Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:34pm
All of us anti-Stalinists are to the right of McCarthy.
Crap, you've reminded me that I have to revise the McCarthy part of my 50s paranoia lecture to make him a lonely hero who was murdered by, hmm, let's say Alger Hiss.
This fits if Alger had made his living as a spirits distiller. Hiss Whiskey: Gets You Pisskey.
Whitaker Chambers was a drunk, too, I think, so it all fits. Sadly, Alger's pumpkin whiskey never caught on.
Nixon railed against Hiss at one point, in his never-let-anything-go way. "That's why I'm President of the United States. And Alger Hiss sleeps tonight behind bars." when Alger had been freed for years.

It was a shame to find out that Nixon was almost accidentally actually right about Hiss, after all that. Soviet spy after all.
The old man spoke up in a bar
Said "I never been in prison
A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison"


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jan 2018, 9:03pm

Silent Majority wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 8:58pm
Nixon railed against Hiss at one point, in his never-let-anything-go way. "That's why I'm President of the United States. And Alger Hiss sleeps tonight behind bars." when Alger had been freed for years.
Nixon's obsession with Hiss was like a guy at the end of the bar going on about some high school sports glory. Yes, it was a big moment, but, fuck man, stuff has happened since.
It was a shame to find out that Nixon was almost accidentally actually right about Hiss, after all that. Soviet spy after all.
Is it actually true? I thought a search of the Soviet archives were inconclusive. I mean, yeah, I've long suspected it was true—if Vice President Henry Wallace was basically a Soviet dupe, why not other New Dealers?—but I wasn't aware it's been confirmed.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by tepista » 20 Jan 2018, 1:33pm

We reach the parts other combos cannot reach
We beach the beachheads other armies cannot beach
We speak the tongues other mouths cannot speak

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 20 Jan 2018, 1:51pm

tepista wrote:
20 Jan 2018, 1:33pm
#12 for Hooks

https://metv.com/lists/15-vintage-tv-ti ... itle-alone
I have a copy of that Brady Bunch book. Never read it, but I'm pretty sure it's still in a box in the basement.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 22 Jan 2018, 7:15pm

Finished that rather disappointing semi-fictional biography of Orwell's last ten years and the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I really couldn't see the point of the exercise. There are plenty of bios and all this one seemed to do was bring up parts of his life and then *wink wink, see! see!* suggest they influenced the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Image
However, it has inspired me to revisit the book. The first time I read it was in high school and it grabbed me (being an angry and cynical little fucker) like few books ever did or have since. Yet I don't think I've read it again in a good ten years.

Finished Baritz' Backfire the other day and still recommend it as an assessment of Vietnam without being a blow by blow military account. Americans' view of themselves, of war, and of the Vietnamese made it an unwinnable war, but also something impossible to disengage from until 58K Americans and a couple million Vietnamese were dead. Iraq, Afghanistan, etc suggests that not a whole lot has been learned, either.

While looking for my next tub book, my eye caught this:
Image

Another one of those books that made an impression on me back in the 90s, but haven't looked at it since. I'll be curious how persuasive I still find it. It came out in 1976, so the stench and despair of Vietnam and Watergate will be thick.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 25 Jan 2018, 1:34pm

Image
Finished listening to that Beaumont collection this morning. Superb as always. Tomorrow is another short story collection, the semi-recent Trajectory by Richard Russo, one of my favourite contemporary fiction writers.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 27 Jan 2018, 2:26pm

4) Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson. Long bio that manages to give a decent and compelling rundown of the political scene in various South American countries in the fifties and sixties but left a good deal of my questions about Castro's Cuba unanswered. There's a lot to respect about Che, but I haven't managed to untangle CIA propaganda from the real events in this book that tends towards hagiography. My jury's out through lack of unbiased evidence.
The old man spoke up in a bar
Said "I never been in prison
A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison"


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 27 Jan 2018, 2:27pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
22 Jan 2018, 7:15pm
Finished that rather disappointing semi-fictional biography of Orwell's last ten years and the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I really couldn't see the point of the exercise. There are plenty of bios and all this one seemed to do was bring up parts of his life and then *wink wink, see! see!* suggest they influenced the writing of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Image
However, it has inspired me to revisit the book. The first time I read it was in high school and it grabbed me (being an angry and cynical little fucker) like few books ever did or have since. Yet I don't think I've read it again in a good ten years.

Finished Baritz' Backfire the other day and still recommend it as an assessment of Vietnam without being a blow by blow military account. Americans' view of themselves, of war, and of the Vietnamese made it an unwinnable war, but also something impossible to disengage from until 58K Americans and a couple million Vietnamese were dead. Iraq, Afghanistan, etc suggests that not a whole lot has been learned, either.

While looking for my next tub book, my eye caught this:
Image

Another one of those books that made an impression on me back in the 90s, but haven't looked at it since. I'll be curious how persuasive I still find it. It came out in 1976, so the stench and despair of Vietnam and Watergate will be thick.
How's 1984 in 2018?
The old man spoke up in a bar
Said "I never been in prison
A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison"


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

Dr. Medulla
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Dr. Medulla » 27 Jan 2018, 2:46pm

Silent Majority wrote:
27 Jan 2018, 2:27pm
How's 1984 in 2018?
Horribly more affecting than the last time I read it.
Endut! Hoch Hech!

I feel that, had he lived, John Lennon would have loved Donkey Kong.

Silent Majority
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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by Silent Majority » 29 Jan 2018, 10:05am

5) On Her Majesty's Secret Service - Ian Fleming. A decent novel with an excellent conclusion. I suspect that this was going to be a version of HIs Last Bow, Fleming seems to have Bond going through the motions and the ending would have been perfect for the character. There are moments when, down through the ages, you can sense a dusty erection stirring from the writer from underneath the typewriter. I enjoyed the experience of reading this, but it'll be a long time before I pick up another 007 book.
The old man spoke up in a bar
Said "I never been in prison
A lifetime serving one machine
Is ten times worse than prison"


www.pexlives.libsyn.com/

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Re: Whatcha reading?

Post by JoseUnidos » 29 Jan 2018, 2:30pm

Image

My new year's resolution is to read some of Bronte sisters, so I've started with Jane Eyre. I'm a little more than halfway through and while it's not bad, 19th-century English literature is just not my thing. I thought I'd be able to dive right into Wuthering Heights next but I'm gonna have to take a break first. Easier sledding than Joyce's Ulysses, tho.
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