Curtis Dahlgren
"In Walden Pond"?; "Dances With Werewolves"?: Speaking of Books
By Curtis Dahlgren
January 18, 2010

"I have a dream that America will rise to greatness, again. But before that dream is realized, we've got to recall what freedom means. We've got to understand that 'rights' are not goodies to be apporopriated by government . . They are not given out through acts of Congress." — Joseph Farah (WorldNetDaily)

THE YEAR'S TOP 100 BOOKS SHOW SOME SIGNS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. And, Heaven knows, we could use all the courage we can get right now. According to the USA TODAY (1/ 14), Sarah Palin's book was #10 and Glenn Beck's 'Common Sense' was #11. "Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin came in at #15, and #30 was Beck's "Arguing With Idiots." Encouraging indeed.

On the flip side, "Dreams From My Father" came in at #85 and Edward (Teddy) Kennedy landed on #42 with True Compass. I could think of a Top Ten list for more appropriate titles that could have been chosen for that one, and Al Gore's name is nowhere to be seen (didn't his book tour start at the same time as Sarah Palin's?).

Bill O'Reilly managed #98, but alas, I can't find my name on the llist anywhere. I do have a royalty check for $1.56 that I haven't cashed yet, but maybe I'm in the wrong end of the business. The USA TODAY says:

" . . 17% of all book sales tracked in 2009 were related to vampires (and assorted other undead creatures, including zombies) or the paranormal (including paranormal romances) . . [aren't they all?]

". . Stephanie Meyer had another frighteningly good year with her sexy teen vampires and werewolves."

I had never seen, nor heard of, the name Stephanie Meyer before. I know, I'm in the wrong end of the business. Meyer had the Top Four books, plus #19 and #70! Two of her books were made into movies. But in an even more paranormal and bizarre twist, the USA TODAY reports:

"Hollywood's newest motto: In God we trust; Religion gets studio blessing."

Those headline writers at the TODAY always were such kidders. The story?

"In the nascent marketing of The Book of Eli last year, Warner Bros. executives urged the press not to reveal the title of the book, hoping to save it as a twist.

"Now, stars and filmmakers can't be more vocal in pointing out that the titular book is a Bible. Such is the suddenly divine landscape of Hollywood, where God is selling like hotcakes." No puns intended.

I haven't seen a movie for years, so I can neither recommend nor nix this one, but I will probably make an effort to see it and write a review (hoping for 1 1/2 thumbs up).

Getting back to the cultural/political books, however, I highly recommended the Palin book. With my promotional skills, she may regret my endorsement (nevertheless, I got a signed card and signed photo from her the other day, acknowledging receipt of a copy of my book, "Massey-Harris 101." She didn't actually endorse my book, but I got the review-of-a-lifetime from a college classmate this year. He calls me as a writer "A WELL-LIT WIT." [those last 4 letters are TWIT, tho].

But seriously folks, "True Compass" for a title of a book on the life of Senator Kennedy? I think even the people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are tiring of the Kennedy-Kennedy cycle, just as most Americans tired of the Bush-Clinton cycle. If I survive this winter up here in the tundra, I may have to write a biography of Al Gore:

"Going South; An Anti-American Life."

Either that or the definitive history of Cook County politics:

"Leftward WHOA; SCHLUSS, DAMIT ('enough of that already')"

I wouldn't bother, but someone ought to write:

"Reminiscences: How POTUS 44 Won the Nobel Peace Prize"


It was tempting to wait another day or so and see how the Massachusetts Senate race turns out before submitting a new column, but as they say, "Time wounds all heels.." And the USA TODAY says that God is selling like hotcakes now. We shall see.

PPS: Congrats to the [34-3] Vikings. Thanks Bret, for the memories, and I wish I could say the next 40 years will be even better for the country.

The same USA TODAY issue I've been citing has an article in Section B entitled, "How do we dig out from under $12 trillion in debt?" John Waggoner writes:

"The citizens of the U.S. owe $12.3 trillion in Treasury debt to banks, individuals, and foreigners. That's about $40,000 per person living in the U.S., and it's not counting the amount our states owe — or, for that matter, what we owe to our individual creditors."

Contrasting those stats to the President's "order" to his cabinet to come up with $100 million in spending cuts, that was 33 CENTS for every man, woman, and child. And Robert Gibbs said that, where he comes from, that's BIG money! Wonder where he's from anyway?

© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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