Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Reading On the Roller Coaster

Have been busy the last several days tending to a number of things that got neglected due to the extra (excessive?) time I spent promoting Joystory coupled with the emotional roller coaster of my personal life--smashing my foot four weeks ago, the family retreat two weeks ago, my Dad's brain surgery last week. Among the many things that got neglected were the library books. A great many of them went back this month having spent their 3, 6 or 9 weeks in my possession with little, and in a few cases no, face time. This was very discouraging, especially considering that for several of them I'd had to wait in queue for weeks or months for my turn and the queue is still quite long behind me.

One such book is Moral Politics by George Lakoff. It was due last Friday and I still have it--one could say I am renting it now at 20 cents per day. Lakoff is the author also of don't think of an elephant! which was a spin off of Moral Politics, a kind of handbook for progressive activists introducing and elucidating in light of current events the themes introduced in this more formal, academic presentation eight years prior to the 2004 presidential campaign.

My review of Moral Politics may have to wait until after the next chance I have with it as I doubt I'm going to finish it this week in spite of the time I've invested into it. Right now I am trying to find a good stopping place. And that is not just a matter of leaving off at the end of a chapter. The chapters are grouped in themes and the related chapters are carefully laid out arguments-in the strict academic sense of that term with hypotheses, evidence, conclusions. The main proposition Lakoff is arguing is that the beliefs and behaviors of both the Conservatives and Progressives can be shown to have an internal consistency and predictability if one factors in the distinct model of the world which organizes their perception and thought. The overarching model is that the nation is a family. The Conservative's model of the family is that of the Strict Father. The Progressive's model is that of the Nurturant Parent. I hope to do the book justice in a review eventually, meanwhile many of the salient points were covered in my review of
don't think of an elephant!

So, in spite of the roller coaster my body and emotions have been on this summer, I never gave up reading entirely. I never could. Even on my own deathbed, I imagine that my fingers would fumble for the edge of that next page to turn. See the list of a few of my summer reading encounters in the previous post: Summer Reading

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