Thursday, December 4, 2014

2014 Reading, Books 124-126

124) Manga Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream adapted by Richard Appignanesi and illustrated by Kate Brown

This one didn't work quite so well for me as the manga Much Ado About Nothing because the adaptation choice seemed to fight with the glorious language rather than enhance it--a sort of classical yet futuristic version of Athens that just didn't quite work for me. Still, Shakespeare.

125) All the Truth is Out by Matt Bai

I was a teen when the Gary Hart scandal broke in 1987, too young to vote still but more than old enough to pay attention. The scandal horrified me to the depths of my young Baptist soul--I didn't have any idea then just how commonplace adultery was among the powerful throughout history.

Now...what would appall me as a wife I can tolerate as a voter. Hart was certainly no worse morally than earlier politicians whose affairs were ignored by the press (Kennedy, etc.), or than later ones who survived scandal and were forgiven by enough voters to win elections (Clinton, etc.). He was just caught at the exact point in history WRT journalism, mass media, and celebrity culture to be destroyed by it, and we probably lost a capable president in the process. At the very least, the last quarter century or so would look very different if Hart rather than Bush Sr. had been elected in '88.

Bai also makes a case that we've lost something in how the Hart scandal led to much more packaged and trained candidates--it makes it easier for shallower, less competent men and women to win high office, because anyone can learn the right sound bites, and it's probably easier for someone who isn't that intelligent, thoughtful, or insightful to stay "on message" and consistent.

126) Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Rift Part 3 by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru

The final book in a trilogy and therefore interesting to fans of the series but utterly obscure to anyone else. I enjoyed this outing for a glimpse into the kind of mature avatar Aang became and some more hints at the roots of the technological and political changes that led to Korra's world decades later.

No comments:

Post a Comment