Vehicle For Dissertation

Books I read, music I hear...My imperious opinion on both.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Finished: Dude, Where's My Country? by M. Moore

Well I've finished it. It was interesting, aggravating, accusing, probing and profane. No doubt I'd have found some or most of it funny had I the "correct" viewpoint.

My basic opinion of the whole work is that M.M. is bringing up issues about "the Right" and accusing them of having an agenda of domination. The problem is that "the Right" says virtually the same thing of "the Left". "You have an agenda". It seems that Moore has a problem with all the administrations since I'm-not-sure-when. Anyway I think I'll run into a dead end there. Let me note a few things I agree with him on and some I don't. You'll notice a lot of these are from one chapter because he had a nice list that gave me a good "agree" - "disagree" set. I've put quotes around, uh, the quotes. And added a few comments of my own.


"The sun is good for you" (pg. 190)

"SUVs are not inherently evil" (pg. 191)
Manufacturers should and can make more fuel efficient internal combustion engines.

"We ("the Left\Liberals") have a namby-pamby way of saying things" (pg.192)

"Animals don't have rights" (same pg. as above)

America is much too dominated by corporate interests (Chapter 7 and throughout the book)

Osama bin Laden isn't\shouldn't be so hard to get (pg. 120)


"Being Republican is suicide" (pg. 201)
I don't think you can vote strictly by party. Look at the person running. Their character etc.

Statistics don't tell everything
He uses a lot of statistics on many subjects. Statistics aren't extremely reliable in all cases. And they're based on what people say not always what they do.

"All roads to ruin lead through him" (Bush)
Don't be ridiculous. I think the nation has seen some much worse times. He hypes\invents the badness of Bush. If Canada looks so good please move there and don't complain about the USA so much.

The Republicans are all about watching out for the wealthy
I don't think this is strictly true. Who was the wealthier candidate in this past election? Republican does not = rich nor does Democrat. There are all kinds of people.

Well, that's certainly not an all inclusive list. But it's an example. If you'd like to visit his it is: Michael Moore.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Next read: Dude, Where's My Country? - Michael Moore

That is the book that's on the shelf. I guess I'm gonna read it next. I don't know... it seems to clash with the book I just finished (see below). I kind of like to say the title aloud though. You know. Like, dude, uh, where's my country? I am biased though. Against him....

Anne of Avonlea

It of course follows that, having just read Anne of Green Gables, now I must read the next book in the chronicles of that person. And I have.

I don't really know if I should like the first or second book better. I think though that I like them each, it's only that they are slightly different. Anne of Avonlea finds our favorite character a bit more mature, never mind a few years older, and, less girlish I suppose. But I'll not perform a book review. That isn't really my aim. If you've read them then you have your own opinions and I wouldn't want to spoil them. But I do like to chronicle my readings. Here are a few excerpts I thought funny:

From Chapter 5:

"I'll try to," gasped Anne, choking back a wild desire to laugh. "I know by experience that it's very unpleasant to have one's name spelled wrong and I suppose it must be even worse to have it pronounced wrong."

From Chapter 14:

"Oh, no, there is nothing like that in the catechism, Davy."

"But I tell you there is," persisted Davy. "It was in that question Marilla taught me last Sunday. `Why should we love God?' It says, `Because He makes preserves, and redeems us.' Preserves is just a holy way of saying jam."

"I must get a drink of water," said Anne hastily. When she came back it cost her some time and trouble to explain to Davy that a certain comma in the said catechism question made a great deal of difference in the meaning.

To get the humor I guess you'd have to read those in context. Which you can do here: Anne of Avonlea at Project Gutenberg. And it might not strike you funny at all. At any rate...

Friday, January 21, 2005

Chris Thile's: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

CD cover...

This is my second-latest-CD. The latest hasn't arrived yet. My familiarity with Chris Thile's music started at a dulcimer festival (Dulcimer Days in Coshocton, OH) where I picked up the CD This Side by Nickel Creek, the group of which Chris is a member. On the back cover was a photo of three musicians about my age. And one of 'em was holding a mandolin. Before then I'd never heard much mandolin let alone exciting mandolin playing. So I made a mental note to check the album out at the library. Eventually I bought the album Nickel Creek and then Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

If you've read Tolkien's works you probably caught the reference in the album title:

"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost;

the old that is strong does not wither..."

The CD is the third solo project Chris Thile has done. The mix of instruments and feeling with which they're played really makes this a great listen. Sometimes I find all instrumental recording to be slightly boring compared to those with vocals, or a mix of instrumental and vocals. Not the case here. I especially like some the accents add by the other insturments included. Dobro, saxophone etc. Let's see... If I were to pick my favorite tracks I think I'd go with:

Big Sam Thompson

Bridal Veil Falls

You Deserve Flowers


Sinai to Canaan, Pt. 1

You can listen to clips of all the tracks at the Sugar Hill Records site or the Nickel Creek website.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Anne of Green Gables....a second time

By way of illustration... Posted by Hello

I first read Anne of Green Gables (and most of the following books) about five years ago. I pronounced it one of my favorite books though, that is actually not so significant as it could be for, I like a great many books. But nonetheless, I certainly found it no worse for a second reading.

While I could not be so bold so as to presume to be "a kindred spirit" with Anne I greatly enjoy her imagination. I think L.M. Montgomery did a very good job conveying Anne's feeling in dialogue. I can just "hear" the italics. There must be something about imagination for it seems several of my favorite books contain a great deal of it. Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet and The Amulet by E.Nesbit... The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis... and perhaps others.

You'll find a couple of Anne of GG related links below:

Anne of Green Gables at Project Gutenberg

Prince Edward Island: Virtual Green Gables

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Escape In Iraq: The Thomas Hamill Story

The cover photo... Posted by Hello

I saw this book at the library a few weeks ago and remembered reading news about Mr. Hamill's kidnapping. So I picked it up and started scanning through it. I "scanned" for so long I decided to take it home and give it a full read.

The book, by Thomas Hamill & Paul T. Brown, begins with a prologue describing Tommy's farm raising and leads up to the circumstances which led to his taking a job as a KBR trucker in Iraq. The prologue gives a good background for the rest of the book. This isn't one of those that goes way back and works forward, finally arriving at the main narrative.

The account of the ambush and following kidnapping are followed by a relation of his experiences while being held at various locations and by different people. It's interesting to get an inside look at the different Iraqis who "handled" him. Some were fairly considerate, (he gave them nicknames like: Wimpy, The Silent One and Curly) and others, like "The Guards on Death Row", were the masked, hard, guerrillas that usually come to mind. The last chapters get very repetitive, however that is exactly how his days were: redundant. It's great to see how he kept up his mental strength and faith in God despite physical problems (he was shot in the arm during the ambush).

And of course you always want the guy to escape! He does. I always like to find out the story behind the headlines. This was a good chance to do it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Link added for The Memory Hole Blog

I've added a link to The Memory Hole Blog to my "Links" section on the left. The blog and site are, in their own words, dedicated to: "rescuing knowledge, freeing information". Edited and published by Russ Kick the site has a lot of out-of-the-way, sort of Orwellian information on various suppressed or forgotten subjects.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005 Folk, Traditional, Celtic and World Music

If you like any of the above types of music you may find some more you'll enjoy at FolkAlley. You can listen online through their site (if your registered) or with Windows Media Player. If you use WMP (like I do) you'll need to search for Folk online radio stations. Below are a few links to some of my favorite musicians I've found through listening to FolkAlley and WKSU in Kent, OH.

Kate Rusby, Nickel Creek, Lucy Kaplansky and Dervish.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Literary Resources on the Net

These pages at Literary Resources on the Net have a great many links to book resources and author bibliographies available on the Internet. You can find information about authors and historical knowledge in ethnic categories such as: Latino, Irish and Native American literature.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

In the Company of Soldiers

In the Company of Soldiers Posted by Hello

This is the latest book I've completed reading. In the Company of Soldiers by Rick Atkinson gives a perspective on the involvement of the 101st Airborne Division in the invasion of Iraq. The author gives an inside view of the division, mainly at the command level of Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, Maj. Gen David H. Petraeus and the Brig. Generals and Colonels under their command.

The book is well written (the author won a Pulitzer Prize for his book An Army At Dawn) and is worth reading if you're interested in more detailed accounts of the war than you'll find in the news and periodicals. It does not, however, seem to have the same urgent, first-person portrayal of combat that can be found in other books I've read. Specifically Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden or The Hunt for bin Laden by Robin Moore. The closest this book gets to them in the first-person combat narrative is in chapter 14 (At the Gates of Babylon).

Nonetheless this is a good book especially for those who'd like a look at how the Gen.'s made tactical decisions and their performance under the pressure of sending their men on dangerous operations. Mr. Atkinson toughed through the same sand storms, camps, etc. as the men he portrays and I'd say he did a good job overall in writing this volume. Give it a read if it's down your literary alley.

You can visit the book's website and read other opinions (I haven't read any yet) or listen to interviews. In the Company of Soldiers Website