Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Some seriously misdirected mail

I received both of these book club mailings this weekend. One is for American Compass, "The Conservative Alternative." The other is Black Expressions, "Getting connected through books."

A note to anyone who may be wondering: I am neither Black nor a Conservative, at least not in the sense that the term "Conservative" is used by those who embrace the authors featured in American Compass. One of the cover quotes is from that freaky skank Ann Coulter: "I am often asked if I still think we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. The answer is: Now more than ever." This is from her book How To Talk To A Liberal (If You Must). Her previous books had apparently self-descriptive titles like Treason and Slander; I rather hoped she would continue the series with books like Nutjob and Freaky-Looking Skank.

I didn't immediately toss both mailings because I thought it might be instructive to see what's being offered by both books. Black Expressions is not too enlightening, beyond Is Bill Cosby Right?, a response to a controversial speech given by Bill Cosby which "challenges Cosby's comments - and questions his commitment - to the black poor."

American Compass is more interesting. At first glance, it becomes immediately obvious that many of these books have one thing in common: a red, white, and blue color scheme. Zell Miller's cover photo from his book A Deficit of Decency is apparently one of the few available where he doesn't look like his head is about to explode with rage: the same photo is used twice on the cover of the flyer (one of those times it is flipped left-right, a major graphic arts no-no) and twice on page 4, as a background photo immediately above an image of his book. Judge Roy "Ten Ton Commandments" Moore is featured on page 8. Oh, and surprise, surprise: the Cons love the new Pope, formerly the ultra-conservative Cardinal Ratzinger.

I'll end with another cover quote, this one from Michael Medved's Right Turns: "...conservatives (sic) aren't just more astute and practical than their liberal counterparts, they are also happier, more fulfilled in their lives and their work."

Really? I'd say Mr. Medved has got that completely backwards. The conservatives I know are generally angry and miserable most of the time; during brief moments of clarity they are deeply conflicted. The most astute and practical people I know are liberals. And the happiest people I know are, too.


Super G said...

Of course, they might have a few reasons to be conflicted.

Suppose you obtained power over all the branches of government and the media, implemented all of your policies, and then found out that they were basically an unmitigated disaster and increasingly unpopular. That might cause you to evaluate whether all that jingoistic crap you bought into is really based in fact or was it based on wishes, easy answers, and an excuse for selfish behaviour. This might force you to start resolving the chasm between your sanctimoniuos behaviour and crass treatment of your fellow human beings and the high ideals that you give lip services to.

Anyway, you get the idea why these guys might be a little conflicted.

Super G said...

Apologies for the previous boorish post. It was a moment of weakness.

Anonymous said...

Well, I wouldn't say that happiness is a function either of conservatism or liberalism. I've been liberal, moderate and conservative, and found that life still affects you either way. I also haven't noticed a correlation between a person's politics and their happiness. So I'd disagree with both Harry and Mr. Medved.


betz said...

definately food for thought from all. the spookiest thing however? i got these in the mail the other day as well.
i just glanced at them and thought....hmmm...yet now that Harold mentions it...they WERE seriously misdirected. :(