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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

Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live in Now--Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Everything - David  Sirota I grew up in the 80s and have fond memories of my childhood, which was mostly very decent:Sirota paints a fascinating picture of this decade. He shows how Reagan and pro-military, anti-government entertainment have paved the way for a strange future (today's present):"If, in the 1980s, you said that at some point in the future hundreds of thousands of for-profit contractors would be fighting our foreign wars, that a large portion of America's prisons would be run by corprorations, that muc hof our municipal infrastructure would be owned by private companies, and that the government would even outsource parts of its disaster relief services, few would have believed you." "Propoganda is most effective when it is least noticeable" - Nancy Snow, public relations expert.This book will irk you if you are a conservative Republican, or if you love Glenn Beck (the author describes him as "the itchy, pus-bloated pimple on a butt rash of cynicism", so there you go). I myself don't fall in these categories, so I enjoyed the book and was stunned (but not altogether surprised) to see certain things laid out, such as:- the military offering assistance to movies only if they think the movie will help to recruit young people into enlisting- famous black men (i.e. Michael Jordan and President Obama) being described in the press as "transcendent", people even forgetting that they are, in fact, African-American (as if that were a compliment or favor)- how politicians used media to make hippies into cartoonish idiots yearning for a peace that will never come- the encouragement of greed and prizing possessions over offering aid to those in needIt's really amazing to look over the things we see every day and realize it came from somewhere, and Sirota does a convincing job of establishing that that somewhere is the 1980s. Overall, well worth the read.Bonus: The author gives probably the best description on how we are influenced by outside sources ever:"The human mind is not a vapid DOS prompt waiting to be programmed by pop culture. It is more like a boulder in the middle of a river, anchored but also slowly sculpted over time by a persistent current."