Wednesday, November 14, 2007
There's not much I can say about this book that I haven't already kinda said (back in my existential college days) when it comes to my feelings about religion or the lack thereof. But I will say one thing: pick up this fucker. It's a very provocative read and it outlines a lot of unbelievably rational and valid arguments for why, evolutionarily speaking, religion came to be and why, evolutionarily speaking, believing in magical men up in the sky makes absolutely zero sense.
But I wish Dawkins would deal more with the psychological need for religion--the comfort of ritual, the human capacity for awe and reverence, and most importantly, the desire to understand death. I think that last one certainly deserved more treatment. I think Dawkins has a right to question this stuff and question it robustly, but he certainly ought to engage with it in order to be fair. A more interesting question for me is about how those of us rational secular folks who are drawn to liberal religion can get some of the same spiritual satisfaction in life without the God part.
And with that, I'll just say Shalom.
Labels: Book Reviews
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thus reads the very first sentence of my beloved
the only lit-crit book I've made it through cover-to-cover The Madwoman in the Attic, by awesome feminist academic duo Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar. Anyhooch, I bring this sentence to your attention because Jezebel, which is potentially turning into (and I cringe to say it) the coolest blog on the block--and could easily have reached that mark already if it weren't for all that fashion BS-- came up with a list of the most misogynist-prickish man writers of all time, including my personal un-favorites Tom Wolfe and Philip Roth. They bring it up because of the death of Norman Mailer, who was also a misogynist prickish man writer. And of course Hemmingway. Oh, Hemmingway. What more can I say about thee?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Over at hipster-feminist snark central Jezebel, a massive, massive thread has popped up over gals favorite adolescent reads. Some of the authors contually being shouted out up are true heroines of mine and Egalitarian Bookworm Chicks like Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, Madeleine L'Engle and Natalie Babbitt and YA series like the Babysitters Club, Boxcar Children, and Nancy Drew. I'd like to give a very personal shout-out to the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super-Mysteries, because Nancy Drew was always just about to make out with Fred Hardy before she decided to return to boring Ned Nickerson, and Joe Hardy and Bess Marvin had a great back-and-forth rapport.
And as I think back to my youhful bookworm days there are just all these old YA novels from my mom and grandma's generation--The Girl of the Limberlost, Daddy Long Legs, E. Nesbitt's entire ouevre and Beverley Cleary's charmingly dated "teen" novels--Fifteen being the one I remember best. They were so much fun despite their old-ness.
God, reading was so awesome (and so much less work) back in the day. I'm currently being pushed by one current tutee and one former student, both still in high school, to read Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series, which are super hot right now, and I can't wait til winter break to immerse myself in them.
So, readers, what were your favorite girl or guy-hood reads? Nothing is too trashy for EBC's standards.
So this week Barack Obama criticized Hillary Clinton for her age and, we might add, for being part of the age of aquarius:
"I think there's no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Sen. Clinton can't deliver on, and part of it is generational," Obama, 46, said on Fox News. "Sen. Clinton and others, they've been fighting some of the same fights since the '60s, and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done."
This "togetherness" strain of his is really begining to bug me. First of all, why all the hate towards the 60s? I guess everyone who knows me know that I have a particular fondess for that decade because of the possibility it presented for political engagement and also because it was, well, kinda groovy.
I'm just not so sure how much bipartisanship is going to win the day when the Republicans have turned into such fascist nutbags. I want someone who's going to fight for civil liberties and peace, and maybe having lived through the days of rage is a good credential.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Sister-in-arms Jane Fan started her own awesome Bookworm Blog. Go check it out. And take this awesome first-line quiz she links to. I did much worse than I expected (67%), prolly cause I hadn't read any of the MAN-BOOKS on the quiz and I was at work at my lady news agency.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Even though it wasn't the same Pope.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholic pharmacists on Monday to use conscientious objection to avoid dispensing drugs with "immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia."