Thursday, December 20, 2007

Earth-Shattering Dialogue... Or something

I wanted to post something new. Something mind-blowing. Something... earth-shattering. It seems like the closest I can get right now is... I... I can do a Rubik's Cube.

Yeah... I'm also fascinated by the political races for the presidential primaries, Rep. and Dem. Maybe it's just that it's big news right now, and they're making much more of it than they used to. But maybe it's just because I was clueless four years ago and eight years ago about the presidential primaries. Or maybe it's because now I have cable news shows like MSNBC and FOXNews, who seem to talk about these events more. But it is fascinating... sometimes it's rather silly. The ups and downs in the polls and the people talking about those said ups and downs. It's fascinating how so much of this is based on image and marketing. Huckabee keeps rising in the polls in Iowa, and why? Image. Clinton keeps falling in her polls. Why? Image. How well do we know these characters? How closely do we study their policies, their record. How well do we understand the ideologies behind those policies, with all their nuances? I mean it's one thing to say that this candidate stands for such-and-such an issue, like getting out of Iraq, and this one doesn't. But how well do we know what they're going to do? Most people seem to want to get out of Iraq, but most voters don't seem to know or really care how. I mean, even McCain wants to get out of Iraq, but he wants to win first. Do people who say we should just get out and get out now, actually sit down with experts and analyze the long-term international impact of such a move? Do they consider how exactly that should be done? Do they know what each candidate is going to actually do to get that done? The way I see it, most people just look at a candidate's image, and they mistakenly think that that image has something to do with his/her capability to be president.

Anyway, that's my political rant for the day.

Next up, books.

I started reading "The Idiot" some time ago, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I'm about halfway through it right now, and I must confess, though I was at first fascinated, I soon became quite bored. I'm guessing it will turn out something like The Brothers K, in the sense that it will suddenly get really good around page 600, and I won't be able to put it down then, but for now, I might have to switch to another book and come back to it later.

Speaking of books that get boring in the middle, how is it that such books becamee such amazing classics. You can't write a book that's so boring that people won't care to finish it and still be successful in today's book-saturated environment, so how did guys like Dostoevsky make it? I'm writing a book myself, and I'm really trying to make it less boring in the early/middle stages, because it gets really good later on, and I know it does, because I've read through it (making revisions) a couple of times now. Do I have the talent of such greats as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy and Dickens? I think it's possible, but how would anyone find out. I actually don't think these guys would stand much of a chance in today's market. I don't know. We'll have to see. Back to work on my pet project.


Josh Fuller said...

For what it's worth, I believe the answer is yes, the folks who advocate for withdrawing immediately do have analysis, expert opinion, and history on their side, and they understand what the likely consequences are. They are the same people who were saying six years ago that it would be a dangerous mistake to invade, and most of us have had to admit by now that they were right.

Some links, if you're in the mood to click:

Jake said...

Thanks for the list, Josh.

To be fair, I was mainly refering to the average American voter, many of whom say that we should be getting out of Iraq, and I was wondering if most of them are privvy to any of the expert opinions you mention. Not only that, but are they well informed as to the plans of the canditates that seem to promise what they are asking for. It seems like most of the American public at large, generally get their knowledge of candidates, sadly, from watching television, a venue that barely provides the smallest insight into such matters.

It's nice to see that there are some among us who are quite well-informed and know how to do a little digging.