Sunday, October 18, 2009

Character Building?

It's been raining and raining and raining, and it made me so slow and melancholy that I didn't get out of bed to run. Ekim did, he ran in the pouring rain, said it was character building. See, with my luck, running in the rain would just be blister building, wouldn't do a damned thing for my character.

One thing that I do believe is good for one's character is trying to understand different people, and with this in mind I took my family's recommendation and read Deer Hunting with Jesus, Dispatches from America's Class War, by Joe Bageant.

This book has been out there since 2007, but since I'm more likely to be browsing in the novels, I was grateful for this recommendation. Deer Hunting with Jesus attempts to explain why the democrats have not been able to win the working class vote and is told from the point of view of someone who grew up in the working class culture. Author Joe Bageant revisits his hometown with new eyes and paints a wonderfully detailed picture of the life its inhabitants lead, and he does so lovingly; he knows these people, and they trust him not to set out to poke fun or make fools of them. There is a good deal of humor in this tome, but it's not directed unkindly at people for whom Bageant feels warmth and sympathy.

Bageant explores the topics of education, religion, guns, family traditions and values, and how the political conservatives captured the attention of a large group of people who tend to feel disenfranchised. It's a fascinating book, well worth the read. (Interview with Joe Bageant)


And now for something completely different: our latest Netflix installment was Gran Torino, in which Clint Eastwood portrays an aging working class man who is facing old age without his wife and living in a neighborhood that has changed beyond his understanding. He is an old curmudgeon who finds an unexpected meaning in both life and death. Eastwood's role is an example of great character! It's a gem of a movie, and I recommend it, too.


Tom & Icy said...

I'm waiting for the sequel to the book "Gone Fishing With Satan" about the character of bankers and Wall Street billionaires.

Doug said...

I think Eastwood revolutionized the genre by replacing the poor blacks and Indians in need of an American hero with Hmong.

Bone said...

Sounds like an interesting book. I remember when I was growing up, always being told the democrats were for the working man.

TLP said...

It's a good book alright.

I kinda want to see Gran Torino, but I was afraid of a lot of violence. But if you can take it, so can I.

Nessa said...

I usually like Eastwood movies. I haven't seen this one yet.

The book sounds interesting.

Wordless Wednesday - King of the Field