Thursday, October 11, 2007

Grapes of Wrath

Been reading Grapes of Wrath - have to admit, I've never read it before, and thanks to a friend, I now have a copy of it. Amazing how Steinbeck captured the dialect (I lived 12 years in Oklahoma) and the tragedy of losing everything.

Also reading, in preparation for Advent, Dickens' Christmas Carol, wherein Scrooge believes that the poor can have all the shelter they need - in prisons and workhouses.

Both Steinbeck and Dickens hold before the reader the hardship of poverty, yet never lose sight of the poor as real people, with hopes and fears, longings and loves, just like everyone else.

Heard a specialist in Middle East last night - a simple reminder that Americans rarely hear the whole story on the Palestinians and are poorly informed on history. Imagine that!

Unfortunately, much of our Middle East policy in the last ten years has been influenced by the far right, the religious kooks who can hardly wait for "the war" which will usher in the Golden Age of Jesus. They want to preserve the nation of Israel so that it will be the place of slaughter when the time comes. Does this make sense? Of course not.

By the way, I'm committed to Hillary ... can hardly wait to have a new president and a fresh voice of reason and social responsibility in the Oval Office - send its present occupant back to the bush country of Texas where he can whack weeds and spit. In two terms, he has bankrupted our economy, profoundly damaged our international reputation, told our allies to take a hike, presented a Scrooge-like philosophy on the poor, sent thousands of troops to their death or a life of suffering, catered to big oil interests, tried to take over the world while posturing behind spiritual subterfuge, and twisted patriotism into a hideous passion. My only comfort is that history will determine his presidency to be our worst.

Been reading a bit about Lincoln - now there was a great president.