christinawilder

I'll think of a damn title later

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Hangsaman
Shirley Jackson, Francine Prose
No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs
Naomi Klein
Progress: 158/528 pages
"I want to perform an unnatural act."

- Lenny Bruce



"I get a kick out of being an outsider constantly. It allows me to be creative. I don't like anything in the mainstream and they don't like me."

- Bill Hicks



"I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.’” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant."

-George Carlin



"The more I see, the less I know for sure."

- John Lennon

Crooked Little Vein - Warren Ellis Crooked Little Vein is without a doubt the weirdest book I've ever read, and easily among the most fun (and disturbing). The back cover, filled with reviews from other authors, is enough to dare anyone to read it: "I think this book ate my soul", confessed Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer series creator), and William Gibson, author of Spooked Country gave more of a plea than a review: "Stop it. You're frightening me."What makes Crooked Little Vein so odd is that it centers around normalized debauchery in the American culture but in a strange, amusing way. The current civil war between red states and blue states, along with each generation's varying definitions of morality are the backdrop of the story, with plenty of bizarre and depraved characters this side of Wonderland.Self-loathing detectives are a dime a dozen, but Michael McGill has reached a sad kind of low; instead of drowning himself in booze and cheap women, he is at the mercy of a Super Rat who is immune to the traps he sets in his office, and he laments the loss of his girlfriend (who has left him for another woman and emails him pictures of their trysts). He's dressing himself with dirty clothes when a surprise visit from the White House Chief of Staff, who demands his help with finding the secret Second Constitution, a draft made for use when the country is in dire need of help.He pleads with McGill to assist him with cleansing the country: "Look at what's on television now. Look at the magazines and newspapers. Look at what people put on the Internet...Moment by moment, our country has grown sicker. Our borders, Mike, have come to encompass the nine circles of Hell." (pg. 14) He's hardly a clean-cut Captain America, though; the chief of staff injects hard drugs among other things into his bloodstream while staying in seedy hotels, leering at paper-thin models on pay per view.The detective doesn't have much of a choice, and takes the case. McGill is given a huge bank account to pay for his travels, along with a small computer that stores the leads they have about the precious document - Nixon's sale of it to a prostitute in exchange for services, a wealthy and a power hungry family who had hoped to use it for political leverage, among others.Joining Detective McGill on his journey is Trix, a young tattooed liberal who delights in the oddities they find. Their first meeting is at - get this - a group meeting for people who have a sexual fetish for Godzilla. McGill is chasing down a lead, and Trix is there taking notes for a thesis. It's not exactly "Casablanca", but their relationship (and this book) isn't exactly normal.As they encounter strange fetishists and deranged politicians, they argue over the course of America, with McGill determined to finish the job and gain a semblance of a normal life, and Trix determined to convince him to destroy the document rather than allow American citizens to be "brainwashed."Trix is staunchly opposed to anything religious or southern, but as McGill tells her, "it's not like you're flying into a jungle when you go south." (pg. 106) McGill seems to understand that what is immoral to one group is perfectly acceptable to the opposing one, and there isn't a shortage of perversion anywhere.As he tells Trix, "you don't get to keep the parts of the country you like, ignore the rest, and call what you've got America." In these divided, difficult times, that's good advice for anyone, whether you consider Godzilla porn disgusting or enjoyable. This book is twisted and wickedly fun - I dare you to read it.