My brother-in-law is none too fond of the people in the White House. Okay, he hates Republicans. (Actually that’s not quite true: it’s the current Republican party that gives him so much trouble.)
This does not cause much of a stir among us at Christmas, since almost everyone gathering together on the big day pretty much agrees that the current president is the worst president of all time.
The problem is that this gives my brother-in-law absolutely nothing to talk about. Poor thing. You’re absolutely right is a non-starter when you want to have a decent conversation about politics. So what do you do when you can’t get a good political argument going? (After all, isn’t the point of Christmas to get families together so they can discover how much they disagree about basically everything? Oh, peace on earth, you say? Ha.) Anyway, the answer is to give him a bunch of books that’ll take his mind off the concord in the house.
Here they are:
I’m going to take these from the bottom up, as a small gesture of resistance to the top down nature of the party in power.
- The Nastiest Things Ever Said About Republicans is pretty self-explanatory. I’ll just add that what’s in there struck me as pretty tame. That’s one reason why we’re in as much trouble as we are right now. The Democrats just aren’t mean enough.
- Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father should inspire him. I haven’t read it. But I like Obama and I’m hoping Randy’ll give it to me next year in MY bookstack — the one I want everyone to make for me.
- Nickel and Dimed: On (not) Getting By in America. (For those who might not know this book, it’s written by a woman who spent a year trying to live on minimum wage jobs. Things didn’t go all that well.) I read some of this earlier in the year and thought it was pretty good. My guess is that my brother-in-law will love it. It’s gritty and interesting and makes your blood boil. Great for right after the pumpkin pie when you might otherwise fall asleep.
- What Were They Thinking. I can’t remember the subtitle, but it’s something like, “really bad ideas people actually thought were good ideas.” Given how comforting it is to see how ridiculous people can be, this would be a nice thing to read right after you’ve picked up the paper and seen yet another day of horrendous bloodshed in the middle east.
- The last two books —Roget’s Thesaurus and the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Quotations — are what Randy actually did ask for for Christmas. I’m guessing he’s looking for synonyms for “idiot” and “evil.” As for the quotations, I’m not sure what’s that about, but I wouldn’t mind being treated to the occasional concise word of wisdom.
And now, I take my leave, with a breathtakingly useless piece of information. It’s this: plastic snowmen, the kind that wind up and waddle around, look really frightening close up.