Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Thesis Antithesis. Synthesis.

with 3 comments

Okay, so here’s the thing.  I’m about to have a very odd week-end.

First, you have to understand one of the n icer peculiarities of my life.  People send me books.  Fans send me books.  Students and former students bring me books.  And people in the business pack up and ship out whatever they think I’m just dying to have. I don’t mean that people just send me books they think I’ll like.  They also send me books they thing will drive me crazy.

On the drive me crazy front, I have a little stack that has been accumulating in my living room since around the first of the month.  This consists of Arguing with  Idiots, by Glenn  Beck; Secular Sabotage, by William Donahue; and A Bold  Fresh Look at Humanity, by Bill O’Reilly.

Now, here’s the thing.  Just about everybody knows by now that Beck makes me nuts, so that’s fully understandable.  And most of my proudly liberal friends know that I often rather like O’Reilly, even when I don’t agree with him. 

(I caught O’Reilly on air the other day agreeing with something Michael Moore said about Wall Street, and admitting it.  The man has an interesting mind.)

But the Donahue–ah, the Donahue.  Donahue is the founder and head of a group called the  Catholic Leaue, which has as its stated purpose combatting discrimination and disrespect for Catholicism.  If most of you have heard of him, ill will be because of one of the endless protests the man has staged against various art exhibits–the  Brooklyn one with the Madonna painted in elephant dung being the most famous.  

I’m going to skip over whether or not I think such protests are counterproductive, to note two things.  The first is that if I had been the one to stage a protest against that particular portrait of the Virgin Mary, I would have worried a lot less about the elephant dung than I would have about the fact that the rest of the picture was composed of a collage of pornographic photographs.   Very explicit pornographic photographs.

The second thing is this–the woman who sent me the book, the full title of which is Secular Sabotage:  How Liberals Are Ruining Religion and America,.this woman–

Must have gone out and paid for the thing.  It isn’t published by her house, or distributed by her house, either, as far as I can tell. 

And people don’t buy me things as a geneal rule.  They send me their copies.  They send me what their publishing house is putting out (and then they don’t even have to pay postage).

The only time they buy me a book is when they honestly think that if I read it, I’m going to bust a gut. 

Which is a very interesting thing.  I’ve actually started in on this thing, which so far seems to be mostly the standard stuff–and some of which I actually seem to agree with–so we’ll see how the week-end goes.

But in the meantime, I’m doing something I do very rarely today, and going out to see a movie.  Okay, I’m doing that to a  matinee on a bargain day–when did movie tickets get to be so ridiculously expensive?–but this is a special case.

I’m going to see Michael Moore’s Capitalism:  A Love Story.

By the end of the week-end, I may be a little puddle of mental short circuits.

We’ll see.

Written by janeh

October 17th, 2009 at 8:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'Thesis Antithesis. Synthesis.'

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  1. Don’t forget to tell us what you think about it. Moore gives me hives, as you know, but one of these days he might make a useful contribution to debate. Perhaps this will be it.


    17 Oct 09 at 8:55 am

  2. Rising cost of seeing a movie seems to be a function of rising production costs and declining ticket sales. With production budgets above $100 million, sanity no longer enters into the equation. Also, we have Piepenbrink’s Law of Film Budgets: For every one million dollars spent on special effects, one percent is shaved from scripting costs, so as the film approaches spending a hundred million on special effects, plot, characterization and dialogue approach zero. (Mind you, it quite possible to spend very little on production values and still not have a decent script. I could give examples.)
    I have purchased four movies made within the past five years, and watched three in theaters. In those three cases, I concluded that I was never going to want to own the movie, but I might want to see it once–on a large screen with buttered popcorn.
    Fortunately, Hollywood had already produced a great many excellent movies. If they don’t want to make any more, thanks to the wonders of modern technology I can go on watching the old ones for the rest of my days.

    And the Chauvin of Progressivism will never make a useful contribution to debate. Those involve facts and reason, not cheerleading.


    17 Oct 09 at 10:32 am

  3. I never heard about Donahue but I have heard of B’nai B’rith and the NAACP, so a Catholic Leaue, which has as its stated purpose combatting discrimination and disrespect for Catholicism does not surprise me.


    17 Oct 09 at 2:34 pm

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