Thursday, April 18, 2013

Recent reading

Religious Lies - Religious Truths by Donald Jackson
It is the thesis of this book that we need a Christology that preserves divinity, but one that rejects the claim that this divinity is found only in Jesus of Nazareth.
 Instead of religion acting as a support system for the individual, it has become a suppressor of the individual for the perpetuation of the institution by demanding individual subservience.
 A spirituality that does not provide a source of meaning for humanity does not deserve to survive. That is the reason why organized religion is becoming more and more impotent and irrelevant.
 Edward Albee: A Singular Journey by Mel Gussow
"People should be more interested in a writer's work than in the person of a writer. Writers, in other words, should be heard and not seen. It is very dangerous for a writer to become a public personality; I can think of one American novelist [Ernest Hemingway], recently dead, who became so convinced that he was, in fact, the public image of himself that it did serious damage to his work. And the better the writer, of course, the more interesting his work in comparison to himself."
 If you drink too much, "You're either going to be a nice Irish drunk or you're going to be a monster. I turned into a monster."
 Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse
An artillery battery commander explained, “The ammo kept coming whether or not we had targets for it, so the batteries fired their allotments every opportunity they had, whether there was actually anything to shoot at or not.”
 “There are more civilians killed here per day than VC either by accident or on purpose and that’s just plain murder. I’m not surprised that there are more VC. We make more VC than we kill by the way these people are treated. I won’t go into detail but some of the things that take place would make you ashamed of good old America.”
 The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick
The person who did the most to try to stop that confrontation, Henry Wallace, has been largely lost to history. Few people remember how close Wallace came to getting the vice presidential nomination on that steamy Chicago night in July 1944. What might this country have become had Wallace succeeded Roosevelt in April 1945 instead of Truman? Would atomic bombs still have been used in World War II? Could we have avoided the nuclear arms race and the Cold War? Would civil rights and women’s rights have triumphed in the immediate postwar years? Might colonialism have ended decades earlier and the fruits of science and technology been spread more equitably around the globe? We’ll never know.

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