Saturday, January 24, 2004

Dude, Where Are My Stupid White Men?

My latest reading has been Michael Moore's Stupid White Men and Dude, Where's My Country? both from the Library of Awareness again, but this time on the political side of things. This has been good for me since in the past I have not only lacked any political awareness at all but postively recoiled from it. These books were a good way to start changing that. They're easy to read and humorous while still being packed with well-researched information. I think he went a bit over the top once it a while, so I'd sort of stop taking him seriously for a few pages, but overall I thought both books were really good. They started the process of making me want to be more informed, and even more importantly, they've made me want to continue it.

Last year I actually voted for the first time ever. I voted not because I really knew much about what was going on, but because if Arnold ended up winning, I wanted to be able to say "This wasn't my fault." Not the best reason, admittedly, but it was a start. I had planned at the very least to vote against Bush the same way this year. Now though, I'm getting more resolved to actually learn something about the different candidates and the details of what I'll be voting for and against. So that's a good thing.

As a side note, it's always fun to watch how my readings in different areas tie in with each other. The relation of these books to my fiction reading has been obvious, since the fiction recently has been Brave New World and 1984. Moore even quotes the latter in Dude. But I was also reminded a few times of Conversations with God. Moore makes clear the fact that we each have to take some sort of personal responsibility to make a democracy work and to elect leaders and create a country we can be proud of. To me that connects with the idea from Conversations that we create our own reality from our choices, but we can choose to do that consciously or unconsciously. For that matter, the thought to word to action progression from that book shows up in 1984 as well. I like it when things start fitting together like that.

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