Reading And Such

Over the last month I have picked up my reading pace again. I finished three books.

The last one completed was the one I enjoyed the most and that was Stasiland by Anna Funder. It appealed to me because of my interests in the former East Germany and the Berlin Wall. The book is more about the East German secret police known as the Stasi than it is about the Berlin Wall but you cannot write about East Germany without the wall being a central figure so there was plenty of interesting details that I learned from this book about the wall that I didn't know before.

One of the other books that I read was No One Left To Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton by Christopher Hitchens. My exposure to Hitchens had been his essays and watching appearances of his before he died and he and I share the same views on religion. This was the first book of his that I had read and while it was interesting and I mostly agree with him about Bill Clinton it wasn't all that great of a book. I don't believe in criticizing a person for their sexual desires and so much of this book focuses on just that. Hitchens does write about other criticisms he has of Clinton but there was too much time spent on his alleged affairs because I don't really care about that. I will have to give Hitchens another chance by reading some of his other books.

Lastly, the other book was Amusing Ourselves To Death: Public Discourse In The Age Of Show Business by Neil Postman. This book which is a critique of the television industry and what it does to society originally came out in 1985 and it is even more relevant today in the age of television and the internet. The basic idea is that television is bad for you and makes you dumber by watching it and that I agree with. I gave up all television years ago because I just cannot stand the shows and the ways news is presented today. My take on television news is that they spend more time giving opinions on the news than actual reportage of the news thus I read all my news. In the age of fake news and living in real life Idiocracy this book is a must read for its sanity. There may be all kinds of technological innovation in our lives but damn I feel like we are getting dumber and meaner as a society day by day.

Next up for me on the reading list is a Japanese book called Almost Transparent Blue. I enjoy Japanese literature and film so I am looking forward to starting this book this week.

And Such

I've been exploring the discography of the band Chumbawamba. They were mostly known for Tubthumping but their music was highly political. They were actually a bunch of anarchists so that's interesting and they made other good music than just their hit song. The two albums I have liked the most are Anarchy and Never Mind The Ballots...Here's The Rest Of Your Life. If you need some inspiration during these dark political times I suggest giving their music a try.