Monday, November 03, 2003

Book recommendations
So when I was in Fukuoka the other day, I took advantage of being in a big city to pick up some English books. I got the new Michael Moore book, "Dude, where's my country?" and Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying liars who tell them. A fair and balanced look at the right."
I guess I'm just a sucker for a good polemic. But although I'm dumb enough to like this stuff, I am smart enough to take it with a grain of salt. I realize that Michael Moore is "The Rush Limbaugh of the left" and probably every bit as sneaky and misleading as Rush. But Al Franken's book was really interesting.
Al Franken essentially goes through a lot of the stuff written by Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc, and points out all the sneaky tricks they use. Now again, I'm smart enough to realize he's picking on the weakest links in the right wing chain here. (Ann Coulter? Does anyone take her seriously?) And I realize that someone on the right could probably write a similar book about the idiots on the left.
But, it is interesting the way he shows all the sneaky tricks that these people use, such as slight of hands with footnotes and misleading phrases . And being aware of all these tricks that are out there I think leads to good critical reading skills, whether one wants to critique the right or the left. So for that reason, I recommend this book to anyone, right or left.
That reason, and it's just pretty funny. One of the few books that made me laugh out loud when I was just sitting alone in my apartment reading it.

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