What Are You Wearing...er...Reading?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Here's what passes for journalism at the National Review: What's Obama Reading; On this summer’s presidential book list, fiction trumps reality.

Seriously, besides for fiction quite often being an intellectually creative way to discuss and explore human nature, sometimes it's damn good. Is Tevi Troy, the article's author, seriously suggesting that all a President should read are books that make him (Tevi, not the Preznit) feel good?

No, Tevi is just taking a cheap political shot, and a massively stupid one at that:

First, five of the six are novels, and the near-absence of nonfiction sends the wrong message for any president, because it sets him up for the charge that he is out of touch with reality.
Really?? I read fiction, therefore am out of touch with reality? That doesn't even make sense. I drink chocolate milk, therefore I haven't grown up. Oh, but there's more epic grasping-at-straws:
Beyond the issue of fiction vs. nonfiction, there is also the question of genre. The Bayou Trilogy has received excellent reviews, but it is a mystery series...Room is another well-received novel, but it is about a mother and child trapped in an 11-by-11-foot room. This claustrophobic adventure does not strike me as the right choice for someone trying to escape the perception that he is trapped in a White House bubble.
Yeah. You read it. Reading mysteries makes it impossible for the President to escape a perception that he lives in a bubble. Shoot me.

He goes on to winge about a book about an Israeli woman maybe harming how he is vioewed in the Palestine-Israeli conflict and the absence of "conservative" fiction (which to me, is their entire platform). He ends with this gem:
Either way, the annual book list should be a relatively easy way to make the president appear to be on top of things and in control. This year’s list, alas, reveals a president who appears to be neither.
.Tevi is listed as a "senior fellow at the Hudson Institute." This Institute is a think tank wherein the first quote about its founder - Herman Kahn - is from Donald Fucking Rumsfeld. So...there's that. Tevi ought to be ashamed of having wasted the 35 seconds it took to write this diatribe. Unfortunately, it appears it was taken seriously enough for the National Review to put it up.


Bob 11:00 AM  

I just read that Obama was reading Nixonland - so there. Nonfiction.

What would have been acceptable fiction? Atlas Shrugged?

Smitty 11:16 AM  

I'm sure Tevi would have chalked that up to pandering to conservatives. It doesn't matter what he read; if he read the bible, it'd be because he is trying too hard to prove he is Christian.

Bob 11:24 AM  

He should place a stack of books in view of the public and include Atlas Shrugged, the Bible, the Koran, and a few others just to freak everyone out.

Smitty 1:30 PM  

I think, just to make the wing nuts freak, he should publish a fake reading list with shit like Steel Magnolias, The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, everything from Toni Morrison (cuz, you know, she's BLACKITY BLACK BLACK), and anything from the Oprah reading list.


The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. And that's it.

steves 6:59 PM  

I don't think this is any worse than reporters asking him what he has on his iPod. The reality is that people are going to analyze the shit out of what he wears, reads, watches listens to, and eats. I can't think of a president in my lifetime that wasn't subjected to this scrutiny.

I wonder how much a president reads is really what he wants to read, as opposed to what looks good.

Smitty 8:26 PM  

I wonder how much a president reads is really what he wants to read, as opposed to what looks good.

Part of the problem is that with the president, he probably is just reading what interests him. I imagine Bush's list came from a staffer.

All jokes aside, I get that "both sides do it" when it comes to analyzing presidential reading and listening lists. My point is that from who ever does it, they ought to feel shame. Or lose something. Like their heads.

steves 10:14 PM  

I agree. That article was pretty silly. I can see poking fun at the President's books, but to do some kind of "in depth" analysis like this guy did just comes across as a bit of a stretch.

I would also like to know why he assumed A Brave New World was for one of his kids. NPR just had a poll where it was named one of the top 100 sci fi/fantasy books of all time.

FWIW, Atlas Shrugged is on my top 50 list of shitty, pompous books by over exposed authors.

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