Supersize Me is one of my favorite documentaries, and I watch it every so often as a reminder to veer away from those dangerous yet alluring drive-thr...moreSupersize Me is one of my favorite documentaries, and I watch it every so often as a reminder to veer away from those dangerous yet alluring drive-thrus.
"Don't Eat this Book" is a follow up to the film, as Morgan Spurlock takes us through some of the backlash he experienced from the film (lobbyists, Fox News, restaurateurs), as well as more details he gleaned during his research for the film.
Most damning is how evident the marketing of fast food is aimed at our children - and not just fast food, but packaged, processed foods on the supermarket shelves, too. Morgan also bemoans public school lunches, sodas in schools, and the disappearance of the daily Phys-Ed class for students.
The most galling moment to me is when Morgan reveals that McDonalds actually had the balls to open a restaurant right next to Dachau, the German Concentration Camp. Seems like you'd wanna create a little distance there - out of reverence, respect, and common decency. If nothing else, I don't think I'd want my Happy Meal forever linked in memory to genocide. But, there ya go.
This is, above all, a really entertaining book. Morgan's got a great sense of humor - and more than a little ego, but he's charming enough to get by without sounding like an ass. I listened to this as a book on CD and I think it's worth chasing down so you can hear him spin his tales rather than just reading off the page.
I'm surprised Mayor McCheese hasn't issued a hit on this guy.
Dated, but daring, these monologues make up Bogosian's seminal stage show, where he plays a dozen characters from the fringe - homeless man, loner, ru...moreDated, but daring, these monologues make up Bogosian's seminal stage show, where he plays a dozen characters from the fringe - homeless man, loner, ruthless executive, and others.
Bogosian was the premiere monologist of his day, and these monologues show why he teetered between talented actor and self-absorbed rock star in his hey-day. These monologues tingle with the swagger of a man who knows he's hitting all the right notes.(less)
An under-appreciated gem of a comic who had the first platinum comedy album, two hugely successful sit-coms, and now a book that reaffirms his 'aw shu...moreAn under-appreciated gem of a comic who had the first platinum comedy album, two hugely successful sit-coms, and now a book that reaffirms his 'aw shucks' approach to success. Sometimes nice guys finish first - it's just that they make less noise about it, so no one notices.(less)
I've had a hard time entering Philip Roth's world, having abandoned "Sabbath's Theater" and "The Human Stain" in the past, though I still hope to revi...moreI've had a hard time entering Philip Roth's world, having abandoned "Sabbath's Theater" and "The Human Stain" in the past, though I still hope to revisit them.
"Everyman" may have been just the right passageway for me - a novella about a man (we never learn his name) and his realization that, in the twilight of his years, he has become everything he'd hoped he wouldn't. As he undergoes a series of medical procedures, the wreckage that is his body serves as a metaphor for the maladies of his human spirit, having failed at marriage three times, as a father twice (his sons hate him, only his daughter wants a relationship with him), and as an artist (he waited until retirement to pursue his dream of painting).
The narrative is splayed between present and past, beginning with a graveside service for the man, and then weaving through the phases of his life. Roth isn't one for verbal theatrics, and his style doesn't draw attention to itself, so what you have left is simply a story well told, which may be the hardest thing for a writer to do - no bells, no whistles, just the bone and marrow of a life, presented but never explained.
Roth's rather unapologetic approach to prose accentuates the regret this character feels, and while most would consider the book a downer, I find stories of regret like this one to be most inspiring - it reminds you of priorities, the gifts of health and happiness, and the devastating power of every choice we make without being didactic about it.
When I told Wendy that this book never shares the main character's name with the reader she said, "I can't connect with a character if I don't know what to call them." Then, I looked at the cover of the book - completely black except for the title glaring off the hardback: "Everyman". There was his name, and the metaphoric punch that Roth intended.
This is not an 'enjoyable' or light read, but it's a quick and rewarding one, and one I'm glad gave me a passageway into Mr. Roth's reading room. (less)
A lot of folks complained that this wasn't a straight bio/memoir from Dylan, but has Bob ever 'aimed to please'? No, he does his thing. In this case,...moreA lot of folks complained that this wasn't a straight bio/memoir from Dylan, but has Bob ever 'aimed to please'? No, he does his thing. In this case, he vents a bit about being turned into a counterculture icon, when all he wanted to do was write and sing songs. His dedication to being with his family and raising his son at what might've been the height of his career is admirable.
Most enjoyable was a passage about New Orleans that is as brilliant as any of his lyrical writing. The book-on-CD is read by Sean Penn, and to hear him read this section, in particular, is pretty exhilarating.
I still don't have any insight into how Bob writes his songs, or what he thinks of most of his musical peers, but I got to see a side of him never exposed onstage or in film. For that, this book is worth picking up, at least if Dylan fascinates you as he does me.(less)
Wow, in case you couldn't tell from his behavior in press conferences, interviews, and candid moments on the diamond, Barry Bonds has a chip on his sh...moreWow, in case you couldn't tell from his behavior in press conferences, interviews, and candid moments on the diamond, Barry Bonds has a chip on his shoulder the size of the Golden Gate Bridge.
This book just confirms it - you might go in looking for the misunderstood athlete who secretly wants to be loved, who visits sick kids in the off-season.
That guy's not here. Where have all the baseball heroes gone? Pete Rose, Bonds, McGwire, Clemens - all sport asterisks next to their names in my book now.