nin137

Nick's Journal
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2007-03-15 13:42:58 (UTC)

I'm on spring break! So what do I do? Read!

well i have thoroughly been enjoying my spring break. aside
from sleeping in, being with the one that i love, seeing old
friends, and just out and out being a lazy fuck, i have been
reading voraciously.
on my way over here i finished a book called, "the
democratic wish". an excellent book which chronicles a few
major movements (like civil rights) and talks about how the
government changes. the main point of the book is
essentially that the government reacts to revolutionary
change by creating agencies which 'carry out the people's
will'. while this works for the instance that they are
created and have some effect a short time thereafter, these
agencies eventually get sucked into the beaucratic mold and
essentially become another useless vestigial arm of the
government, just there to put a rubber stamp on a document.
the author's main point of contention is that 'the people'
have weakened the american government from the start to such
a vast degree through the 'checks and balances' system that
it is virtually ineffective for large scale change. he
argues through the use of his revolutions (civil rights,
medical malpractice, etc.) that while there are certain
disenfranchised groups that try to overthrow the status quo,
they only really receive the power to do so when the
government creates these agencies for whcih they can act out
their purpose.
he shows how the checks and balances system wreaks havoc on
revolutions with the judiciary branch undermining the
legislative, the executive not wielding enough power, and
the legisliative essentially just being a bunch of punk ass
pansies.
his agenda is pretty clear throughout the book and as is
appropriate for any intellectual advocating radical change
he starts to veer into the realm of obscurity when summing
up his idea on how to 'fix' government. essentially he
wants to centralize power. throughout the book he suggests
that the people's waryiness of government places
insurmountable shackles on the government's ability to help.
in other words, i think he hates libertarians.
all in all a great expository book with a watered down
conclusion. i give it a 2/3 stars.
the other book i read was this book call 'female chauvinist
pigs'. one of juli's coworkers had brought it and explained
it like this to me, "this book is all about how women
exploit themselves in a sexual manner."
this of course fell on deaf ears. but then i read the back
and noticed that malcolm gladwell had endorsed the book and
i decided that it was an essential read. i breezed through
the 200 pages in 2 hours (pat on my back) and came up quite
pleased.
the problem with feminism is that it is always riddled with
contradictions. the major problem is that opponents of
feminism always try to undermine the movement by point out
these contradictions. the larger goal is one that i can't
really argue with at all, so the contradictions don't hvae
much meaning to me. the women who are feminists can
sometimes be annoying, yes, but so are mexicans when they
can't understand what i'm saying in the chipotle line. do
we lock THEM up like animals? oh wait.
anyhow.
the book basically tears, hugh hefner, girls gone wild,
paris hilton, britney spears, and sex and the city a new
asshole. basically anyone who even remotely commodifies a
sexualization of the female body. the author makes the
rather obvious point that the main notion of these women of,
"i'm acting like stripper, because it's empowering" is
essentially contradictory. she goes on to show how that
while the majority of girls take a pleasure in detaching
htemselves from feminity (thus all the girls who comment on
other girls' asses, etc.) in general when you strip or play
to the sexualization of women you are subjecting yourself to
men and the sexist culture which views women as mere objects
of desire. and seeing as how subjecting yourself to anyone
isn't really empowering, the message is idiotic.
she just goes on and on about this and in general does a
good job. but once again she doesn't prove anything other
than that i wouldn't want to touch her vagina with a ten
foot pole. a great exposition on the obvious, but i wish
she had givne more concrete analysis (perhaps psychological,
i mean not ALL girls do this for empowerment, how come some
do and others do? what's the difference?). 2/3


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