Friday, May 26, 2000

Send this Jerk the Bedbug Letter

by John Bear, Ph.D.

The local branch of the Seattle Public Library has this stack of shelves on which they display a handful of books for all to see and, if one is inclined, check out. That's where I saw this tome. The topic of the book is consumer complaints -- how they are made (or not made, in many cases) and how companies, politicians, and the like handle them. Despite the author's degree, however, the book is not too weighty. It's the type of book I call a sound bite book -- it's broken up into 2-3 paragraph sections, each with its own subtitle and with lots of margins surrounding. The book seems to boil down to this: There are no discernible rules for successful complaining and what works against one company may not affect a different one in the least; however, the author is the type of person who will complain, so you should too. I also noticed while reading this that a number of scholars have used consumer complaints as the subject of their research projects. Kind of makes me wonder....  Anyway, the book has enough anecdotes to make it good waiting room material.

LibraryThing link


Thursday, May 18, 2000


by C.S. Lewis

Part two of Lewis' space trilogy, Perelandra is an interesting science fiction tale from the forties which incorporates the Christian worldview into the story. (Actually, that was the first volume. In this one, Christianity is integral to the plot.) Dr. Ransom, is transported to the planet Venus (Perelandra, to the natives) on a mission from God. The bent eldil (angel) from Earth is mounting an invasion and Dr. Ransom is called up to stand against him. Of course, Ransom has to spend a considerable time gawking at the alien scenery first, and then take an occasional break to engage in philosophical discussions. (I find it amusing when characters in stories start philosophizing. It's kind of like finding technical flubs in a movie -- you're instantly pulled out of the fantasy world and become aware of the storyteller.) But all in all, it's a nice little book. Check it out, but make sure you read the first book in the trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, first.

LibraryThing link

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Thursday, May 11, 2000

Sex, Economy, Freedom & Community

by Wendell Berry

Wendell Berry is an essayist who stirs up mixed feelings in me. When he questions the status quo, my first reaction is to cheer him on, but sometimes I find that I'm standing right in the middle of the s.q. and those barbs start coming right towards me. Basically, Mr. Berry is all for a simple life in small, rural, self-sustaining communities. He feels that big business, big government and big cities are all unhealthy and detrimental to the general populace. (Small cities tied into the surrounding farm country are cool, but not the huge metropolises.)(metropoli?) Just about all he has to say is worth listening to, whether you end up agreeing with him or not. The most unpleasant truth that he often speaks is that things are screwed up and that we are part of the cause. So I have to say check it out, even if you don't want a philosophical challenge. It's good for you.

LibraryThing link


Thursday, May 04, 2000

The Three Stooges: An Illustrated History

by Michael Fleming

I first heard of this book in a newspaper article about a TV movie based on this book. As is my practice, I first watched the cinematic rendition and then delved into the book for its greater depth and eloquence. With this one, however, the greater depth was pretty shallow. Even so, it effectively tells the Stooges' story and then goes on to examine their cinematic legacy and provide a filmography of all of their Columbia two-reelers. If you are a Stooges fan, check it out. If not, it might make good waiting room material.

LibraryThing link

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