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Rate the last thing you read


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  • 1 month later...

I'm reading Austen's "Emma" right now. Trying to get through the classics and whatnot.

As enjoyable as I'm finding this book (definitely a chick book), it's tough to understand at places! The language is so stilted. Jeez, it must've been hard to think that quickly to say such flowery things off the top of yer noggin.

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Has anyone read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand? If so, what is your opinion of it?

I'm getting ready to listen to it but I'm wondering if I should maybe wait until I have more time because it's long and sounds like something I can't multi-task to without losing track of whats going on.

It has something like six to eight parts to as an audible book.

Any thoughts on it?

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The Buddha of Suburbia -- Hanif Kureishi

I think this book is very much like Catcher in The Rye, in that it doesn't have much of a plot and it's just one big anticlimax... but I actually liked it very much. It's about a British-Indian teenager in London in the 70s, who's not all that sure about his identity, sexual orientation, future,... it;s great. Read it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Rebel Sell: How Counterculture became Consumer Culture. - Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter

I'm reading this book for my thesis and it's a bit sad that it says pretty much exactly what I want to say with my paper. I am contemplating scratching out the authors' names and writing my own instead.

Written by two Canadians it covers the concepts of 'counterculture', 'romanticism' and 'cool' and all these combine to say that countercultures are 'cool' because of the romanticism associated with them.

But, it's all a bunch of LIES. Countercultures and rebellious behaviours and trends are completely hypocritical. People with money spend lots of money to look and live like people without money - boho chic, veganism, organic produce, hippie-culture. And then they consider themselves to be anti-consumerism, they think they're sticking it to 'The Man', they think everyone who lives a 'normal' life is a lemming (as evidenced by the pic posted in that thread) without acknowledging the fact that if all these lemmings started acting the way they do - started talking back to their bosses, quit their jobs, ran off to China on a whim - the alternative lifestyle wouldn't be very alternative at all.

The authors make the point that 'taste' and 'cool' are like property - there are only that many people who can have good taste or be cool, similar to how there are only that many people who can live in a prime location e.g. a loft in NYC. So in order to have good taste or be cool, there have to be several people who have bad taste and are uncool - like art or music - it's only good if few people know of it, or like fashion, it's only good if a few people can afford it.

But the hypocrisy lies in the fact that they claim to be free spirits, anti-capitalists and other bohemian things without realising that capitalism is engineered towards THEM. Marketing and advertising are all about making brands appear different, distinct, unique, original etc. So the hippies had volkswagens, punk brought in Vivienne Westwood, grunge had Converse - every subculture ultimately has an associated brand - and then they go and say they're anti-consumerism?

Kurt Cobain gets lucky though - the way I see it, he appears to be a victim from both sides of the fence. To the zillions of Nirvana fans he's a rock n' roll martyr - a victim of the system who had no choice but to kill himself in his Converse-clad feet. To the cynics of 'alternative' cultures, he's a victim because he never wanted to be mainstream, it went against what he believed music was about, but Nirvana was responsible for the commercialisation of grunge. And KC didn't want that. The authors actually use Nirvana as the prototype of alternative being the mainstream.

This one book I want on my bookshelf at all times. I'm considering never returning it to the library. It's so insightful in so many ways and it sticks it to the ones sticking it to "The Man". Yeah, take that hipsters!

Seriously, I'm just using whitener on their names and writing mine on top in ballpoint pen.

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Being part of an elite is always needed to be cool. And in an age and society where the vast majority of the people are middle class, you have to set yourself apart from that. Obviously there are only two directions it can go - make it seem as if you have more money, or less money. Of course the former is the way more expensive option (not that the other is for free).

But the main point is, in past, present and future, "you can't be 'cool' if you're part of the majority"

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I am currently part way through "Molesworth", an anthology of the Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle quadrilogy "Down With Skool!", "How To Be Topp", "Whizz for Atomms", and "Back In The Jug Agane", a student's eye view of life in St Custard's, a fictitious British boarding school in the early 1950s. Fabulously entertaining, the Molesworth books are brilliant socio-cultural satires, masquerading as children's literature but under-pinned by a humour and sub-text more likely to appeal to adult readers. It's a hoot. Highly recommended.

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Her other Plum books are much, much better Shawna. I am a long time fan but "Plum Spooky." was not one of her better efforts IMHO :crazy:

Her whole Plum series rocks but the holiday ones she puts out really can't compare. I have them all on audio and I'll share ;)

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