It occurs to me that I'll share versions of a couple more of my Amazon reviews. The first I entitled "Something that Matters, " in which I was pleased to indulge myself in a wistful bit of philosophizing:
There are a few ... well, call them competitions, where just to finish is to win. Not too many things you can say that about. There are only three sports: mountain climbing, grappling, and distance running -- everything else is just a game. Everyone should climb a mountain. Every man should grapple. But as for endurance running, I don't suppose it's for everyone. It's where you ... not test, not prove ... where you meet yourself, naked of accessories and suppositions. At mile 24, there are no more theories. The unfairnesses of your childhood don't matter. You get to the place where you'd just weep except the water is too precious. This is where what is base in your soul can become noble.
And so I, taking the long view and realizing that birthdays pass like a caravan of elephants, have resolved to commemorate such an upcoming thing with a long run. That's why tales of the accomplishments of others are important. We need to be reminded of excellence. We need to be encouraged to strive. Dreams matter.
I am an earnest sort of man, don't you see. The other, "To the Bone," is on the book "The Face of the Tiger" by columnist Mark Steyn -- look him up at steynonline. To wit:
Steyn is a superb polemicist -- sharp unto the dividing of joints and marrow. There isn't a false note in his prose, and even if you don't subscribe to his warmongering right-wing madman bigoted homophobic ... am I leaving anything out? -- I quote from memory his own self-description ... oh! intolerant views, you can still admire the clarity and self-assurance of his style.
My own wonderful son is now serving in the US military, and I'm sending him my copy of Steyn's book, just to help my own wonderful son (do I repeat myself? I am vast!) stay focused on the whole point: if it is to be Jihad vs Crusade (and it seems that it is), we have to know which side of the line ... or should I say "razor" ... we're on ... or should I say "box-cutter"?
There is a folk tale, variously attributed, about the fox that is persuaded to carry a scorpion on its back across a river. "Oh, I surely will not strike you with my venomous tail," assures the scorpion, "for then I too would drown." But halfway across, the scorpion does indeed sting the fox, and as they both flounder, the fox reproaches the betraying creature. Its reply came thus: "It is true that I too shall perish. But I am a scorpion, and to strike is my nature." How Islam is practiced by the vast majority of its adherents is as it may be. But its nature is Jihad.
In any case, Steyn is laugh-out-loud funny, and there is hardly a page that doesn't have some master-trope that just makes you shake your head and wish you'd thought of it first (I just pretend to myself that I did). It may be that even those on the far left would be convinced, if such a thing were possible. In short, a whole-hearted recommendation ... and did I mention my son is wonderful?
I'm not, actually, a political sorta fella. It's just that I Hate & Despise discourtesy, and I guess I kind of suppose that 9/11 was an impolite affair. Call me crazy.
Anon, Dear Reader. Anon.