Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Media Consumption

It seems I haven't posted about books since June. Even though I've been so busy with the garden and falling into bed exhausted, I really have gotten some reading done!

I have long since finished Assassination Vacation. And Partly Cloudy Patriot. And Take the Cannoli. Hello. My name is Lee. I'm addicted to Sarah Vowell. Who could help it? She's funny, she's macabre, and she is a complete dork. A history dork at that, who should be writing history textbooks. Who else will tell you that Garfield (or was it McKinley?) was such a bookworm that it was hard to tear him away from his books for official events and in an commencement address, he told a graduating University class that he was very sorry that their years in school were because now they wouldn't have time to read?! Or that Chester Arthur (bet you don't remember him) pushed through legislation he thoroughly disagreed with as a tribute to Garfield (civil service reform)? I had to write a report about Chester when I was in 7th grade and have a soft spot for him ever since, even if he was a bit on the corrupt side.

Partly Cloudy and Cannoli are both essay collections. The Partly Cloudy essays were written after 9/11 and is sad, angry, defiant and funny. It's very much worth reading, especially if you are a proud liberal and sick of being told how unpatriotic you are. Cannoli is much lighter fare; the title essay refers to her obsession with the Godfather movies when she was in college.

Then I couldn't find Radio On, Vowell's first book, in town (well. ok, I could, but it was at Border's and I have very mixed feelings about Border's, and a month or so ago I decided I couldn't go there anymore and.. never mind, it's a long story of dashed childhood expectations). So I've been reading Molly Ivins' Who Let the Dogs In (I bought it at Nicola's, if you must know), a collection of columns dating back to the Reagan era. It is very sad to read her describe how much the income gap grew during the Reagan and Bush I years and know how much worse it will get under Bush II. She continues to be optimistic that this country can work it's way back from this disaster of an administration. I'm less sure every day.

Will you hate me if I stop listening to the news?

In music: Sonic Youth's Rather Ripped is a stunner of an album. It's gorgeous, edgy punk at it's beautiful best. Sonic Youth was always one of those bands who I just didn't really get, the way I don't get David Bowie or Steely Dan. They don't suck, I'm just not smart enough to understand what they're doing. Rather Ripped is an album of songs. That I get.

On DVD: Len and I have acquired an severe addiction to Trailer Park Boys. It's a Canadian mockumentary about the shenanigans of Ricky and Julian as they engage in semi-legitimate business between jail terms. Um. Yeah. That show is so wrong on so many levels. It makes me very happy to know that our neighbors to the north have red necks, too.

"Dope dope dopity dope dope" to you, too!

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