Monday, June 21, 2010

Don't Tease the Panther

I've not given myself the luxury of recreational reading in a long, long time. But, I've been catching up lately. I just finished a book tonight and wrote a review on about it. Since that took up my time, I share my review as my Tall Tale post for today:

Here it is:

I love reading negative reviews on Amazon. They usually save me money. Of course I pass them through the precious or worthless filter before I decide whether or not to spend my coins anyway. In this case it would have been my loss should the reviews have dissuaded me from the purchase.

I just finished reading "The Overton Window", and then went to Amazon to read the negative reviews after the fact in this case. A little backwards from my normal modus operandi. From the negatives I read I probably would have bought the book anyway and would have been glad I did after reading it.

I wish we could turn back the hands of time and have this book published under a pseudonym and then see what kind of reviews it would have gotten.

But hey, I found the negative reviews almost as entertaining as the book. Thanks guys!

Reading the negative reviews before writing my own review has probably changed what I would have wrote originally, but not the reason I gave Glenn's book only 4 stars, which I'll share at the bottom of my review.

All the negative reviewers probably think anyone who enjoyed the book and/or gave it a more positive review than their's have probably already entered the early stages of baptism into the cult of "Glenn Beck". Hey Glenn, you're not the charismatic "anti-christ" are you buddy?

After reading this, I think I'd buy the autographed copy in the wooden box if Glenn would inclose a personal signed note vouching that he didn't use ghost writers. Did you Glenn? As they claim. If you did, I'm disappointed. Still enjoyed it though, and if you choreographed the whole nine yards; good job regardless of the ghost writing.

I've always thought life wouldn't be too bad as long as I could still play a game of chess and enjoy a good book regardless of my physical condition. When it comes to enjoying a good book, this one would hit the mark for me. To all the pedantic nitpicking points in the negative reviews; come on guys, this is fiction! Plausible fiction. You try to sound so erudite yet display no concept of the suspension of disbelief in literary works. Give me a break!

Okay, "don't tease the panther" might have pushed it a little bit. I probably would have been tempted beyond what I was able to endure if a hot babe I was attracted to hopped in the rack beside me even though I think any male that disrespects the marriage bed is only an immature punk and not a mature man. (Unfortunately thanks to the influence of our culture, I've had my immature punk days. If I could do it over, I'd do it different.) I do appreciate the fact that Glenn didn't go over the top with too explicit sexual displays that goes beyond innuendoes that too many authors think is required to sell novels and movies. Thanks Glenn. I also appreciate the fact that Glenn showed good dialogue does not have to be salted with the use of expletives which is another indicator of immaturity for those who use them.

We live in precarious times. Anyone who can't recognize that has their head buried in the sand. I enjoyed how Glenn blended fact with fiction throughout this book, which he generously elaborated on in the afterword. That should be an eyeopener for all except those who prefer the bliss of ignorance.

A cord was struck with me as I read in the afterword, "When your mind suspends disbelief, it may also become more willing to consider a broader spectrum of possible outcomes to the events and agendas that are playing out around us every day." Yeah! As a pilot I like for my mind to go first where my body might have to follow. That involves looking at the full spectrum of possibilities from best to worse case. Should the worse case attempt to materialize, it makes dealing with it easier than being surprised. Then Glenn followed that with a paragraph about fighter pilots.

All I can say is the fighter pilot's prayer: "Lord I pray for the eyes of an eagle, the heart of a lion and the balls of a combat helicopter pilot." I don't have any combat helicopter time, but I personally know some of these men and am richer for the friendship. Likewise, regardless of the name of the author of "The Overton Window" I am richer for having taken the time to read and enjoy the book. Thank you Glenn!

So, "The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best." Are they those who's immune systems are compromised by greed and blind ambition inflicted with the virus of corruption, allowed by a populace asleep at the helm? If so, we are in pretty deep kimchee. It won't be pretty once the fermenting is done.

I don't mind yielding to a superior debate when I believe it is the right thing to do, and I become convinced of its merit. Page 210 describing the four types of people in the world comes close to convincing one to yield. Glenn could have spun this story anyway he chose. He could have made all his detractors happy. Unfortunately it is obvious that our so called visionaries are tainted by corruption and greed. "Do as I say, not as I do!" Yea, no thank you!

"And so this government of the United States was brilliantly designed to keep that weakness of human nature in check, but it required the people to participate daily, to be vigilant, and they have not. It demanded that they behave as though their government was their servant, but they have not. In their silence the people of the United States have spoken. While they slept the servant has become their master." Oops.

Okay, why only four stars? "It was hard, she'd said, because it wasn't a street address that she'd been given, only a latitude and longitude." Sheesh! There was a time when a pilot also had to be skilled in navigating if he/she was to be useful. Now with GPS any dummy who can plug in the numbers is good to go. So how many times does Google Maps turn up an inaccurate location when a street address is entered? Yeah, thank you! If the latitude and longitude is accurate, the location is accurate anywhere in the world. Street addresses are not standard and useful world wide, while latitude and longitude are. You would think a protagonist of Molly's caliber could handle a simple set of latitude and longitude coordinates. That flaw would almost make you want to be a progressive if all the aspects of progressivism were as simple as that. Latitude and longitude are not that hard folks! Otherwise, excellent book Glenn! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Thanks.


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