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EMT 11 Feb 2024 | Main | The Hypocrisy Of The West Is Exposed By Their Separate Morality For Israel
February 11, 2024

Sunday Morning Book Thread - 02-11-2024 ["Perfessor" Squirrel]


240211-Library.jpg(Yes, that's the purple pimp hat I received at the TXMOME in 2023!)

Welcome to the prestigious, internationally acclaimed, stately, and illustrious Sunday Morning Book Thread! The place where all readers are welcome, regardless of whatever guilty pleasure we feel like reading. Here is where we can discuss, argue, bicker, quibble, consider, debate, confabulate, converse, and jaw about our latest fancy in reading material. As always, pants are required, unless you are wearing these pants...

So relax, find yourself a warm kitty (or warm puppy--I won't judge) to curl up in your lap, dedicate a charming new book to your loved one for Valentine's Day, and dive into a new book. What are YOU reading this fine morning?


PIC NOTE

Believe it or not, this weekend marks the 104th Sunday Morning Book Thread since I took over in February 2022. Someone will need to check my math, but that's about 2 full years of Sunday Morning Book Threads under my belt. In a couple of decades, I might actually know what I'm doing. So why not celebrate with a current picture of part of my library?

Things have shifted quite a bit over the past couple of years as I've acquired more books and retired other books to the garage, where they will eventually go to a library book sale or community book shelf in the English department at the university where I work. I think it's in the nature of libraries to evolve over time. In the library in which I work (but do not work for), the entire second floor has become devoid of bookshelves. All of the books are now in the basement (outside my office) or on the third floor. So much content has been moved into the digital arena that libraries may soon become devoid of books entirely...

LACK OF MALE AUTHORS?



In this heretical video, the creator argues that there are natural differences between male and female authors. He also argues that both male and female authors have their strengths when it comes o writing. There is now a female "hegemony" in publishing that is promoting female authors over male authors and is determined to exclude male readers. Male authors in particular seem to be adept at capturing the zeitgeist of society with their writing, with daring, bold, stylish stories that are popular with both male and female readers. Where are those authors today? Are male authors being forced to conform to particular writing styles and stories because of the gatekeeping in traditional publishing by female editors?

I do know that young men and boys are being steered toward reading stories that they don't find all that compelling in K-12. This will ultimately turn them off as lifelong readers and they will decide that reading just isn't for them. That will have long-term personal consequences for them, but also affects society when they are being discouraged from sharing their own imaginations in story telling. We NEED both male AND female authors. One of the main themes of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series is that men and women are *different* but *complementary* (yin and yang). All of the greatest works in the story are accomplished with men and women working together to perform feats that neither gender could accomplish on their own. It would be nice if we could get back to that idea in society.

Men and women will also approach writing characters of the opposite gender in different ways. Men--being men--can easily misrepresent women's' interests and concerns, as illustrated in this comment that appeared on a recent Art Thread:

m brings up a fascinating point (not a book thread but the painting is interesting that way!): when men write female characters they almost ALWAYS forget, 'The Bag'. I can't recall any situation in which I have seen a woman go anywhere at all without some satchel or purse or bag or backpack.

It's a dead giveaway for a male writer.

Posted by: LenNeal at February 01, 2024 10:38 AM (43xH1)

++++++++++


240211-Joke.jpg


(HT: Iris)

++++++++++

"DANGEROUS" BOOKS - The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

What makes a book "dangerous?" H.P. Lovecraft and his fellow writers that created the Cthulhu Mythos created a number of fictional, arcane, mystic tomes of power that would drive the reader mad if they were to fully comprehend the contents (e.g., the Necronomicon, De Vermis Mysteriis, and Unaussprechlichen Kulten). However, there are plenty of books in the real world that have been deemed "dangerous" by various groups. Among these are the Bible and the Koran. Both contain laws of behavior deemed as moral and proper for society to follow. Yet both have their critics, who feel that people should not read these books because of their effects on the reader.

Other "dangerous" books are relatively less popular, but still capture enough readers that they can have a significant impact on both the reader and society around them. One of these books is Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power. This YouTuber introduced me to this book. His arguments tend to ramble on a bit, but it's clear that he's disturbed by this book and sees that it could have a very negative impact on the reader.

What makes this book so dangerous? Well, at its core it's a "how-to" manual on becoming a psychopath. Seriously. If you begin to implement these laws in your life, you will destroy all of your relationships. You will view people as nothing more than pawns in your own plans towards achieving power and wealth. I was unable to find a complete list of the 48 laws, but I did find a partial list and even that list was pretty disturbing. One might be tempted to think this is satire. It's not. Greene is deadly earnest in encouraging the reader to follow some or even all of these laws. He's written other books on the subject of power and relationships (e.g., The Art of Seduction and The 33 Strategies of War) in which he provides "advice" on how to manipulate everyone around you to get what you want. In YouTube videos he tends to come across as a harmless academic or scholar. It's all an affectation and a smokescreen to put you at your ease, as described by Law 3 - Conceal Your Intentions. This is a very, very dangerous man. He's a true believer in his own BS and gets his jollies by manipulating the people around him.

One of the greatest dangers of this book is for those who want to read it to protect themselves from others who may by employing the 48 Laws. You'll begin to interpret the actions of your friends and loved ones differently because you will secretly assume that they are using one of the laws against you to their benefit. You run the risk of subconsciously becoming more and more paranoid of those around you and you will then start employing the laws defensively, but in the process you will be corrupted by them.

In case you are thinking I might be exaggerating, here is a sample excerpt from "Law 1 - Never Outshine Your Master." Each chapter ends with a "Reversal" section where Greene shows how you can exploit these Laws in case they are used against you. Here he points out that while it's best never to outshine the master when he's strong, once he is weak enough, then it's time to strike (emphasis added by me):

You cannot worry about upsetting every person you come across, but you must be selectively cruel. If your superior is a falling star, there is nothing to fear from outshining him. Do not be merciful--your master had no such scruples in his own cold-blooded climb to the top. Gauge his strength. If he is weak, discreetly hasten his downfall: Outdo, outcharm, outsmart him at key moments. If he is very weak and ready to fall, let nature takes its course. Do not risk outshining a feeble superior--it might appear cruel or spiteful. But if your master is firm in his position, yet you know yourself to be the more capable, bide your time and be patient. it is the natural course of things that power eventually fades and weakens. Your master will fall someday, and if you play it right, you will outlive and someday outshine him. (Law 1, page 7.)

Greene, R. (2000). The 48 Laws of Power. Penguin Books.

This book is very popular among certain segments of the population. It's sold over a million copies. Among those who seek it out are those in the rap and hip-hop musical communities, as well as those in prisons--though it's been banned in many prisons because the inmates will use it to become even more dangerous. I guarantee you there are men and women in Washington, D.C., that have this book on their shelves. All you have to do is look at recent actions by our Congresscritters to see some evidence of these laws being used:

Sean Davis @seanmdav

Let this be a lesson to any Republican stupid enough to go out on a limb to do McConnnell's dirty work: he will leave you out to dry, then cut off the limb you're standing on to save his own behind.
Make no mistake: McConnell picked Lankford for this kamikaze mission because 1) Lankford isn't up for re-election until 2028, and 2) Lankford didn't have the experience or wits to accomplish anything substantive against Schumer and Biden, whose goals on immigration and Ukraine perfectly align with McConnell's.

It was vintage Mitch McConnell: work feverishly behind the scenes on behalf of his donors and the Uniparty to fleece taxpayers, pick an unsuspecting dupe to bear the public burden of carrying McConnell's slop bucket, then throw the poor dupe right under the bus when everything goes sideways.

48 Laws is not the most vile and disgusting book out there, though it's definitely quite high on the list. Duncanthrax helpfully provided a link to a list of other books that are equally dangerous in their own way.

What's the most dangerous book YOU have read?

COMMENTS FROM THE HORDE

There were a couple of comments from the Horde last week that I wanted to address:

1,200-plus pages in paperback! How do you keep the spine from cracking in these doorstops?

Posted by: Weak Geek at February 04, 2024 09:15 AM (p/isN)

Short answer: Packing tape. I've found that packing tape is a pretty good way to prevent the spines of books from cracking, especially if they are new. For doorstoppers like the Malazan books, you do need to use more than one strip of packing tape down the spine, but it still works. I also have gotten in the habit of always using a bookmark instead of laying the book facedown flat with both sides splayed out around the spine.

Well, MPPPP- there is an alternative to cynical despair, and that is the oxymoronically named "cynical optimism". I think the despair stems from a feeling of a lack of individual capacity to enact change. Optimism resides in accepting the fact that an individual is largely powerless to effect change, but a group or subset of the broader populace can. If you can't find like-minded folks, you are bound to feel despair. That is what a community, a society, a congregation is, and it can be powerful.

As my wife and I often say, solitude is something best enjoyed with somebody else.

Posted by: Muldoon at February 04, 2024 09:51 AM (991eG)

MP4 is clearly struggling with major depression. I wish him well in his struggle and I think the fact that he has us to turn to does help him. He's stuck in a deep, deep blue part of the country, surrounded by people that believe in values antithetical to his own beliefs. So he can come here to find like-minded people. I can say from my own experience in struggling with loneliness and depression that finding a good church to go to last year was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Finding those groups are critically important to us as human beings. We are not meant to travel the road of life completely alone.

MORON RECOMMENDATIONS

There were not too many Moron Recommendations in the comments last week because y'all got sidetracked into debating the merits of various electronic reading devices. Nothing wrong with that!

Anyone looking for new puzzle mysteries is hereby directed towards Janice Hallett, who has come up with her own twist (in all senses of the word) on the classic epistolary novel. I especially recommend The Twyford Code from 2022, and the brand-new (well, in the US - the UK edition has been out for nearly a year) The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels, which folds in on itself more than an origami crane....

Posted by: werewife, princess of Delray Beach at February 04, 2024 10:52 AM (SPNTN)

Comment: I do enjoy a good puzzle mystery, though I also like it when they are spliced in with fantasy/science fiction. But it's the MYSTERY that keeps me truly entertained. That's one reason why I enjoyed the Agent Pendergast novels so much. There's always a bit of a puzzle that needs to be cracked. Sometimes I get it halfway through the story. At other times I only see the solution as it's explained at the end. Some mysteries have an X-Files component, while others are grounded in the real world, but are unusual circumstances that present as something other-worldly.

+++++

This week's book is The White Pill by Michael Malice. The White Pill is a history of the birth, bloody life, and whimpering death of the Soviet Union. Malice has compiled all of the often overlooked facts and anecdotes that give the true picture of the evil empire. The story of Russian exile Ayn Rand is here, along with the team of Reagan and Thatcher, and how their cooperation caused the first cracks to appear in the Soviet monster. Also here is the story of Lenin and his criminal successors including the bank robber turned tyrant Stalin. And of course we also see the unvarnished truth of the western left, who knew about the repression and starvation of the people enslaved by this system and hid it. We see socialists Upton Sinclair, Walter Duranty, and Henry Wallace, who deliberately lied to America about the system which stole everything from their people except their thoughts, and murdered 60 million people. The book is an excellent chronological summary of the true story of the USSR and stands as a warning to everyone to not only stand against socialism, but to challenge the left on their lies about it. In one volume Malice has captured the entire scope of the true story.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at February 04, 2024 09:14 AM (H/zBy)

Comment: Communism is evil. Socialism (sometimes viewed as "Communism lite") is also evil. The people today who are attempting to foist Communism on us here in America--to some degree of success--are happy to add to that death toll if it means they can reman in power. They would kill every man, woman, child, cat, and dog that stand against their evil plans. Never, ever forget that.

More Moron-recommended reading material can be found HERE! (1000+ Moron-recommended books!)

+-----+-----+-----+-----+

WHAT I'VE BEEN READING THIS PAST WEEK:

After reviewing some of OregonMuse's old Book Threads, I thought I'd try something a bit different. Instead of just listing WHAT I'm reading, I'll include commentary as well. Unless otherwise specified, you can interpret this as an implied recommendation, though as always your mileage may vary.


reapers-gale.jpg

Malazan Book of the Fallen 7 - Reaper's Gale by Steven Erickson

We now return to the Letherii Empire, which was the subject of Book 5, Midnight Tides. In fact, Midnight Tides was just a 900-page prologue for Reaper's Gale. The mad emperor Rhulan rules over a broken land, secretly ruled by the Letherii he supposedly "conquered." In the meantime, Rhulad's people--the Tiste Edur--have returned home after slaughtering a fallen remnant of their race on the outskirts of the Malazan empire. The Malazans--who considered the Tiste Edur colony as part of their protectorate--don't take kindly to this and pursue the Tiste Edur home so they can inflict punishment and vengeance on the brutal Tiste Edur. While all this is going on, various gods are waking up and picking their chosen pieces on the gameboard of the world during their own covert war. Reaper's Gale, like all of the Malazan books is full of intrigue, betrayal, and just balls-to-the-wall insanity from start to finish. Good stuff.

PREVIOUS SUNDAY MORNING BOOK THREAD - 02-04-24 (NOTE: Do NOT comment on old threads!)

240211-ClosingSquirrel.jpg

("Huggy" Squirrel embracing his inner Dark Lord of the Sith)

Disclaimer: No Morons were harmed in the making of this Sunday Morning Book Thread. "Huggy" Squirrel's plans for world domination will soon be put into effect--just as soon as he's finished his book...

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